There’s a lot of buzz going around about microgreens and how they are good for your health.
These edible vegetable and herb seedlings, also known as “baby plants”, have taken our dinner tables by storm with fine dining enthusiasts and the fitness community terming them as the current big thing as far as nutritional supplements are concerned.
What makes microgreens different from other greens is that they are usually harvested as soon as they sprout or develop their cotyledon leaves.
They are highly nutritious than more mature greens, and they make a good source of zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium, and other minerals.
You can use microgreens as nutrition supplements, flavor enhancements, and/or visual enhancements.
You can also add microgreens to your smoothie for a super nutritious and healthy drink.
Here is a breakdown of the best microgreens for smoothies and everything you need to know about these nutritious vegetable seedlings.
Do microgreens taste good?
Yes – microgreens are very tasty, but this depends on the type of seedling you want to add to your diet since each of them has its own unique taste. Most of these micro herbs have an aromatic flavor due to their high concentration of nutrients, and the taste is almost identical to the mature plant.
Here are a few examples of how various microgreens taste:
- Sunflower microgreens have a sweet and nutty taste with mild notes of lemon
- Beet microgreens have an almost identical taste to a mature beetroot but slightly sweeter and earthy just like dirt
- Kale microgreens have a mild and subtly sweet taste similar to broccoli
- Wheatgrass microgreens have a versatile taste that ranges from heavy green to mildly sweet to bitter
- Cilantro has a strong, citrusy, celery-like taste
- Buckwheat microgreens are slightly sour and they have a tangy, almost lettuce-like taste
- Lettuce microgreens have varying tastes. Some are slightly sweet while others have mild, rich flavor
- Lentils microgreens have a slightly bitter but mild pea-like taste
- Radish sprouts are spicy and they have a strong and peppery taste
- Pea shoots have an identical taste to fresh English peas ranging from sweet to grassy
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What are the best tasting microgreens?
Deciding the best tasting microgreens for smoothies entirely depends on personal tastes and preferences. Some people prefer a mild and grassy taste while others like a sweet and nutty taste. Whatever your preferences, here are five flavorful microgreens that you should consider.
- Monogerm cilantro
Monogerm cilantro is extremely easy to grow since it germinates quickly and loses its seed coat much earlier compared to whole-seed cilantro. It has a subtle citrusy taste and fresh aroma while its frilly leaves have an attractive look.
- Red arrow radish
Radish is another fast-growing plant that you can harvest in 10-12 days after planting. The red arrow radish, in particular, is very easy to grow and has a conspicuous peppery flavor that is similar to the taste of a mature radish.
- Garnet giant mustard
Mustard microgreens are a staple on most dinner tables due to their hot and sweet, mild mustardy flavor. Besides, the garnet giant mustard microgreens have a zestier taste than the mature version of the plant.
They are a rich source of antioxidants as they contain high levels of Vitamin A and C.
- Dark opal basil
The dark opal basil is an edible microgreen that has an intense, slightly sweet but zestier taste. It makes a very good garnish thanks to its colorful purplish mix coupled with its green, variegated leaves.
You can also blend it and add it to your smoothie as one of the ingredients of your healthy drink.
- Wild pea
The wild pea has been a staple for thousands of years and it is renowned for its numerous health benefits. It is a rich source of vitamin A, C, and E, as well as folic acid.
The plant takes about 14 days to harvest from the day of planting, and it has a strong, sweet taste that makes it ideal for smoothies.
You might be interested to check 3 Popular Knifes For Cutting Microgreens.
What greens to put in a smoothie?
Smoothies are extremely tasty healthy drinks. They retain the whole plant fiber, and most of them have no added sugars. However, the type of greens you add to your smoothie will determine its overall taste and nutritional value.
Here are popular greens that you can put in a smoothie.
Spinach is one of the best vegetables to add to a smoothie. This leafy green goes well with other fruits and veggies. It has no sugars and is very low on calories.
Most importantly, spinach is a rich source of nutrients such as protein, iron, fiber, and folate. It also contains phytonutrients like flavonoids, carotenoids, and saponins.
- Romaine lettuce
Romaine lettuce is a popular smoothie ingredient because of its mild flavor and high fiber content. Its high water content ensures that you stay hydrated for long during the hot summer days.
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What is more interesting is that you can pack your smoothie with lots of romaine lettuce, and you won’t even notice its taste in the drink.
Kale is another nutritious leafy green that you should consider putting in your smoothie. It has a mild but subtly sweet taste (identical to broccoli) yet it has no added sugars, and it is very low on calories.
Kales blend easily with any other greens and they offer a burst of nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants.
Although many consider it a green vegetable, zucchini is botanically classified as a fruit. Whatever the case, this green veggie is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory antioxidants.
It has a very mild, slightly sweet-bitter taste, and its low sugar and calorie counts coupled with its high fiber content makes it the ideal addition to any smoothie.
- Swiss chard
Swiss chard is a leafy green that belongs to the same family as spinach and beets. It has a mild, bitter, and earthy taste when eaten raw but turns to slightly sweet when cooked even for a few minutes.
It makes a great choice to add to your smoothie, considering the vegetable is a nutritional powerhouse. It contains a range of nutrients such as Vitamin A, C, and K, and minerals like magnesium and potassium.
Is drinking a green smoothie everyday healthy?
No doubt, green smoothies are highly nutritious and they come packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Considering this, drinking a glass of green smoothie every day might seem like a wise and healthy idea.
Consuming a diet full of vegetables can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of some types of cancer, manage weight, prevent digestive problems, and maintain a healthy heart.
However, a 2013 publication shows that drinking green smoothies everyday can also have a negative impact on your health. According to the report, green smoothies contain various compounds that can be detrimental if taken in excess.
Rightly so, kale, broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables contain plant chemicals like goitrogens, which inhibit the uptake of iodine by the body.
Consuming too much of the same vegetables every day can also lead to alkaloid buildup and subsequently cause stomach upsets.
Greens like spinach and Swiss chard contain oxalic acid, which many scientists link with serious ailments such as kidney stones.
Considering these findings, it is best to rotate the greens you use in your smoothies. The safest option would be to use microgreens in your smoothies instead of mature vegetables and fruits.
4 best microgreens for smoothies
- Sunflower microgreens
Sunflower microgreens are renowned for their sweet and nutty taste. They blend well with bananas, frozen peaches, lemons and apples to make a delicious and highly nutritious smoothie.
- Kale microgreens
Kale microgreens are also a popular choice for making antioxidant smoothies. These young leafy vegetables are low in calories and contain a variety of vitamins and minerals.
They have a subtly sweet taste and they blend well with blueberries and almond milk.
- Radish microgreens
Many people use radish microgreens as a garnish. However, you can blend them as a mix with your favorite vegetables for a peppery-tasting smoothie.
- Broccoli microgreens
Broccoli microgreens are crunchy, and they have a slightly mild taste compared to a full-grown vegetable. These microgreens go well with fruits like strawberries and bananas, and you can combine the florets and the stalk when making a smoothie.
How to grow microgreens at home?
Growing microgreens at home is much easier than you think. You can grow them in your kitchen garden or indoors in a seedling bed.
The best part is that you do not even require soil to grow your microgreens. You can use a planting medium such as coco coir instead of soil. Check out our article about Popular Coco Coir For Microgreen.
Here are the steps on how to grow microgreens at home
- Purchase all supplies, including growing trays, planting medium, organic microgreen seeds, spray bottles, and labeling materials
- Secure the location where you will grow the microgreens
- Prepare the growing trays by disinfecting the material and applying the planting medium
- Prepare the seeds
- Sow the seeds
- Cover trays that come with moisture domes
- Water as required
- Harvest as soon as the cotyledon leaves come out
Microgreens are great for making smoothies, not only because of their nutritional content, but also because of their mind-blowing taste. They are also safer than ordinary, mature vegetables since they do not have side effects like diarrhea and stomach upsets.
If you want to enjoy delicious and highly nutritious healthy drinks every day, make sure you include the best microgreens in your smoothies.