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Articles - A Healthy Diet:

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Microgreens from your windowsill

Anyone who likes fresh greens in their own home will be delighted with microgreens.

High nutrient content, intense aroma

Microgreens are vegetable and herb seedlings, which are harvested when they are just a few days old and eaten directly. They pack a punch with a high nutrient content and an intense aroma which gives salads, soups and sandwiches that certain something. Cheese spread, pesto and green smoothies can also be enhanced with the mini power plants.

Microgreens by definition

Microgreens must not be confused with sprouts. Sprouts are also seedlings but they are grown without daylight, which gives them their light, slightly yellow colour. They are usually harvested with their roots after two to four days. Microgreens on the other hand go through an additional growth phase and have formed at least two more small leaves in addition to the two seed leaves. After germination, they take on a juicy green colour thanks to chlorophyll.

Which plants are suitable?

These delicate little plants can be grown quite easily on a windowsill. You don’t need special seeds. Some suitable ones are rocket, radishes, red cabbage, spinach, beetroot, mustard, broccoli, cauliflower and cress but also some herbs such as basil, mint, dill, coriander and chervil. Even pseudocereals such as amaranth are popular as microgreens. Large and hard kernels and seeds, such as peas, beans, buckwheat and sunflower should be soaked in water overnight before sowing. This speeds up germination.

How to grow and harvest successfully

A large plant pot saucer or deep plate from the kitchen are suitable for propagation. Fill the saucer or dish with compost two centimetres deep, sow the seeds densely and lightly press into the soil. Then moisten with a spray bottle and cover with clear film to speed up growth. Microgreens like a warm and light windowsill best, without direct sunshine. Don’t make it too wet, otherwise mould will form. Harvest after about 10 to 14 days when the first pair of true leaves form after the seed leaves and the mini plants are about 15 centimetres tall. Then cut the seedlings off about a finger's width above the compost and eat fresh.

 

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.bzfe.de