You have planted your seeds, nurtured them for a few days or weeks, and now you’re ready to harvest your first crop of microgreens. It’s an exciting moment any time you feel the satisfaction of feeding yourself with something you grew yourself.
But once you’ve plucked all those pretty little sprouts, you want to put them to the very best use possible. So how should you cook (or not cook) these seedlings? Should you just toss them in a salad no matter what kind of greens they are? Or are some of them better suited to particular methods of preparation? Fear not, we’ve got you this far and we aren’t about to leave you hanging. Read on for five ways to take your beautiful microgreens from harvest to table.
Photo Credit: Anjali @ perfectmorsel.com
All microgreens excel when eaten raw. Skipping the stovetop not only keeps them fresh and crisp, it also preserves the delicate flavor profile you expect from each of these mini powerhouses. Add to that the fact that any cooking method automatically zaps some of the nutrients and you’ve got quite a few reasons to pursue the path of raw food when it comes to microgreens. One green that does particularly well when left raw is the sunflower shoot. This lemony little green is the perfect bright addition to salads. Here is a nice recipe to try that combines the mildness of sunflower shoots with some of its zippier relations.
Sunflower Sprout Salad
For the salad
1 ½ C sunflower sprouts
1 C arugula
2 carrots, shaved or chopped into very small bite-sized pieces
3 radishes sliced thin
1 small-medium cucumber seeded and sliced
For the Dressing
2 T fresh lemon juice
½ – 1 tsp agave (to taste)
½ tsp dijon mustard
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ C olive oil
- Combine all veggies.
- Whisk all Dressing ingredients together.
- Toss it all together!
Sandwiches and wraps
Another raw option is, of course, all things handheld. Tortilla, pita, gluten free, whatever your preference, microgreens are a fabulous way to add a punch of flavor and pack in the nutrition on any sandwich or wrap. Radish greens are particularly interesting for this because they also bring an element of spice to the table. My go to sandwich style is usually a wrap, I love the containment without the excess of bread. Here’s one of my favorite wrap recipes
Hummus wrap with radish shoots
One tortilla, any kind you fancy
1 ½ – 2 T hummus
½ C spring mix
1 carrot, shaved
Healthy handful of radish sprouts
Feta cheese crumbles
- Spread tortilla with hummus.
- Combine veggies in a bowl and arrange on tortilla.
- Top with some feta crumbles and wrap up well.
Cooking with microgreens
Some of these greens do very well when they are cooked. While some need to be tossed in at the very last second (radish sprouts are a prime example) others can stand up to a little heat. Microgreens can be a perfect addition to stir fry dishes like this one from Genius Kitchen. They also do well in other dishes like this pasta recipe with fresh spring veggies and pancetta if you aren’t a vegetarian.
Pasta with (pancetta), veggies, and pea shoots
½ pound pasta of your choice, cooked (bite sized pastas are better than noodles for this recipe)
1 4-oz package of pancetta
1 C fresh peas
3 C pea shoots
3 T freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Heat large, heavy bottomed pan over medium heat.
- Cook pancetta about 3-4 minutes.
- Add in peas and cook until heated through, another 2-3 minutes.
- Add pea shoots and cook for one more minute before tossing all with pasta.
- Garnish with freshly grated parmesan.
While it can certainly be argued that any microgreen would work for juicing or smoothies, and I absolutely encourage you to experiment and let us know what you come up with (add some spicy radish greens to a citrus based juice? Heck, why not?!) it is wheatgrass that is the unyielding champion when it comes to the world of juices.
Wheatgrass has been used for a long time now by those seeking optimal health through juicing. For many, adding this to a mixture of other things helps cut the very green flavor and gives a seriously dense nutrient boost at the same time. You can drink wheatgrass juice by itself too, and common wisdom is to mix one part juice with three parts water for a refreshing drink. But really any smoothie or juice recipe can happily handle a dose of wheatgrass. Here’s a basic, adaptable smoothie recipe that you’ll love.
Basic fruit smoothie with wheatgrass juice
1 oz wheatgrass juice
1 C frozen fruit (mango, berries, whatever you fancy)
1 C water
- Toss all ingredients in the blender and whirl.
- If you need to, add additional water to sort out consistency.
This recipe is really just a gateway into the smoothie world. Tell us your favorites.
Say what? Well sure, there are a few ways you can bake with microgreens. Why not sub out the spinach in your quiche or spanakopita with sunflower sprouts? They’ll add a layer of flavor that spinach just can’t achieve and they will look absolutely beautiful, too. Or, if you’re feeling rather brave, include a little handful of radish sprouts to a summer berry pie. That hint of spice will offset the sweetness of the berries in an unusual way.
There’s no wrong way to eat microgreens, though there are some ways that help each one shine. We’d love to hear how you’re using yours, comment below with your go-to recipes!