Healthy Living: What's the big deal about microgreens?

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Food trends come and go. Right now, we are seeing a comeback for some leafy green vegetables, but think small!

Certified Nutritionist Deborah Enos says microgreens are rising in popularity during the pandemic, "It’s really amazing the nutrient content of these little guys."

Some people might think about sprouts when they see the tiny greens and Enos says they really pack a punch, "These have four to 40 percent more nutrient content than their fully grown mature counterparts."

Enos says she has noticed a lot of people looking for ways to boost their immunity right now, "Microgreens checks just about every box when it comes to boosting your health."

Enos says varieties like broccoli microgreens can not only help fight off the common cold, but a compound in those cruciferous greens can fend off even bigger issues.

"Sulforaphane is just like a master nutrition, it is great for cancer prevention, which of course I am really concerned about in my life after getting over breast cancer... If you added roughly a tablespoon or two throughout your diet for the day, you would be way ahead of the health game."

Microgreens are pretty accessible locally, "This is a company called Mount Hood microgreens, and I actually got these from PCC. So here is an example of kale… again, they all look about the same."

But they only have a 3 to 4 day shelf life, and they can be a little pricey. So maybe consider the alternative, "It’s just super easy to grow at home during a pandemic, I think it has been a really fun DIY or buy a kit from you know Amazon or someplace else."

Don't want to spend that money? We get it!

"You can just take an old mushroom tray, put a light sprinkling of soil down, make sure you don’t fill it to the top it’s gonna be too much… put your seeds in, get a water bottle and just spray them every few days."

Enos says microgreens are pretty resilient and easy to grow, even in Washington! She says to find a window, and if you don’t have one, putting them under LED lights in the kitchen will work! "Seeds actually do like to germinate in a little bit of darkness, it makes them a little bit heartier... It also likes the pressure of something on it, which is also something that is gonna force germination and that’s why there’s some paper on top of this, it adds a bit of pressure to these seeds."

It takes roughly three short days to see these little guys start sprouting up. Enos says you can harvest them within a week.

"You just come through with some scissors, chop some off and throw it into a salad and you are done."

Deborah says the most popular microgreen right now is a sunflower, one of the reasons is because they have no flavor, so once you harvest your greens or hit the store, you can really add them to just about anything and get a major health benefit.

"You could eat a pound of broccoli and end up with a tummy ache or you could add a tablespoon of broccoli greens on top of your salad, on top of your avocado toast, into a smoothie, on top of eggs…"

This powerful little green is easy to integrate into your life and can do a whole lot of good for your health.

Microgreens come in about 25 varieties right now.

From Nutritionist Deborah Enos:

Microgreens, a hot trend, or a food that can really boost your health?

Back in the 70s, the trend was growing bean sprouts on your kitchen counter. The trend today? Growing microgreens.

I've been eating microgreens for a few months, so when Ali asked me to film this segment, I decided to throw myself into the whole microgreens trend and learn as much as possible.

Boy, was I surprised!

Microgreens (according to research) can have 4 to 40 times more nutrients than their fully mature counterparts. One compound called sulforaphane (linked to breast cancer prevention) is present in such high amounts in broccoli microgreens that consuming one tablespoon of greens is the equivalent of eating almost a pound of mature broccoli!

Microgreens are available at most farmer's markets and all PCC Markets.

Information on microgreens from Kevin Byers, Senior Produce Merchandiser for PCC Community Markets:

Why are microgreens so popular right now? People realize how nutritious and versatile microgreens are. From salads, smoothies, sandwiches, or as a garnish microgreens are an easy way to add a burst of nutrients to your diet. Both vibrant and delicate, microgreens add a unique element to any dish.

How are microgreens different than full-grown vegetables? Microgreens are just as their name states: micro versions of their full-grown counterparts. Yet, like the old adage, big things can come from small packages. Microgreens can have a more concentrated flavor and a more dense nutrient profile than full-grown vegetables.

Are microgreens available at all PCC locations? 'All 15 PCC locations carry microgreens. The varieties rotate daily as microgreens have a short shelf life, but we get daily deliveries and source locally, so our inventory is always being replenished.'

For more information on learning how to grow microgreens, I recommend checking out the kits from: 

Grow nutritious greens year-round. (hamama.com)

Hamama Micro Green Growing Kit: (Use promo code: FOXQ13 for 15% off)

And for DIY, check out some of the videos from one of my favorite gardening gurus, Kevin, at Epic Gardening:

How to Grow Broccoli Microgreens Fast and Easy | Epic Gardening

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