The nutritional benefits of the Alfalfa microgreens and sprouts are widely known all over the world. These plants contain a crunch-like flavor which makes the microgreens easier to eat.
Methods to grow alfalfa microgreens have become widely famous on social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. Let’s dive deep into the special qualities of alfalfa microgreens.
What Are Alfalfa Microgreens?
Medicago sativa or Alfalfa, as called widely in North American countries, is a perennial flowering plant. Alfalfa is a common forage crop in many parts of the world and is called lucerne in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia.
Medicago sativa originated from medes’ land, now called Iran. The Latin genus name Medicago is taken from the word Medes which refers to the people of this land. Alfalfa is from the legume/ pea family Fabaceae. They contain trifoliate green leaves, that is, three long elongated leaflets attached to a single stem. Alfalfa also contains clusters of purple flowers with fruits containing 10-20 seeds and grows in the temperate region.
Nutrients Present In Alfalfa Microgreens
The alfalfa microgreens and sprouts contain a variety of nutrients and benefits. In fact, all parts of the sprout are edible, ranging from the greenish-brown seeds, leaves to the white stems. The microgreens and sprouts can be taken in the form of supplements or alfalfa sprouts as such.
These alfalfa microgreen sprouts are mixed with a salad with other nutritional fruit like apple, papaya, and other vegetables. Hence, the alfalfa microgreens have a variety of nutritional benefits and bioactive properties.
The alfalfa microgreens are primarily fiber-rich food that contains many vitamins and minerals. Other than that, the microgreens also have high protein content and about 9o% water. The important nutrient benefits mainly present in the microgreens are discussed below.
Phylloquinone and Menediol: alfalfa microgreens contain predominantly a huge amount of vitamin K. This prevents excessive bleeding, which helps blot clotting.
Tocopherols: the microgreens contain Vitamin E,which mainly helps in the reproductive system by soothing menopause and enhance immune responses.
Ascorbic acid: vitamin C is present in high amounts in the microgreens, which helps with healthy bones and skin. Vitamin C also acts as neurotransmitters and contains several enzymes required for providing good immunomodulatory actions.
Folic acid: The folate present in alfalfa lowers cholesterol levels and LDL levels. This vitamin b9 helps cardiovascular patients.
Polyamines: Agmatine is a chemical polyamine that is extracted from microgreens and contains bioactive compounds. Agmatine sulfate, similar to vitamin C, helps act as neuromodulators, nitric oxide production, and other ion channels.
Other nutrients: the alfalfa microgreens and seeds contain many mineral compounds with high calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous contents. Iron, zinc, carotene, sodium, and other dietary fibers are also present in the greens. These nutrients are helpful in the growth and development of bones and provide strength. Other vitamins like b1, b2, b3, b5, b6 are also present along with phytosterols, flavonoids, saponins, and alkaloids.
Uses Of Alfalfa Microgreens
There is a wide range of benefits alfalfa microgreens possess, and they are popularly taken as a staple food for these reasons. The aid of these greens would help anyone from many health conditions. proper intake of these germinated plants would reduce health risks and help in the prevention of many diseases. Some health benefits are discussed below.
1. Alfalfa Microgreens Reduce Cholesterol Levels
The greens are said to alleviate total cholesterol and LDL (lipoproteins)levels and lower the bad cholesterol levels. This is helpful for people suffering from cardiovascular diseases and other heart conditions.
2. The Microgreens In Reproduction
High amounts of phytoestrogens and tocopherols present in the greens help menopause as alfalfa contains blood clotting properties. Menopause gives rise to lots of hormonal changes, and the alfalfa germination and extracts are proven to make the period easier in women.
However, sprouts are known to have adverse effects during pregnancy and breastfeeding as they can be used as estrogen supplements.
Some Ideas On How To Grow Alfalfa Microgreens
Growing alfalfa microgreens are very easy nowadays. The seeds can be sprouted anywhere. There are many different ideas present thanks to the development of technologies and exposure to various platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.
Generally, the seeds undergo cross-pollination by bees and other insects. Nowadays, with the help of modern technologies and thanks to the information provided by websites like Pinterest, it is very easy to grow alfalfa microgreens. There are many ideas provided on the internet which are readily available. Let’s discuss how to grow alfalfa microgreen herbs?
1. Soaking The Alfalfa Microgreens
To grow alfalfa microgreens, first purchase all the items from the market. The things are available from the market according to our price of choice. The product can also be found online and can be added to the cart.
The seeds can be found in grocery stores in the vegetable section, or the business can be accomplished by collecting the seeds from a bootstrap farmer. While using technologies, check the price reviews and weight of the seeds from the variety of things present before adding them to the cart. The price can payed through Paypal or other media, including Pinterest.
Weigh one tablespoon of the alfalfa microgreens; it will contain one and a half cups of alfalfa sprout germination. First, pour the seeds in a tray or a sieve and wash them thoroughly. Then, soak the alfalfa seeds in a clear jar by completely immersing it in cold water. Cover it with a lid and soak for at least 12 hours. Drain the water carefully using a cheesecloth or filter.
2. Growth Harvesting Ideas
To properly grow alfalfa microorganisms, keep the jar containing the seeds in a way where the light cannot fall. It should be kept in the dark place at a warm room temperature. The ideas here are to duplicate all the natural required nutrients to stimulate germination. Rinse the jar regularly every 12 hours with warm water for 2 to 4 days; little sprouts start to appear.
The other version of the method uses a clay medium to soak in a tray and spread the microgreens in the tray for them to germinate under the sunlight as the clay medium will absorb the water present.
When the greens are 2 to 2.5 inches tall, transfer them to a soil medium. Prepare the soil wetting them with water. The ideas implemented here are to create a soil line, so the surface is moist. The soil should also contain all the necessary nutrients like magnesium, etc. The greens are planted into the soil and regularly watered.
While harvesting, it can be done easily through cutting with a pair of scissors and a knife.
3. Storing Microgreens
The microgreens are rich in flavor when consumed fresh, but they can also be stored in a cool place in the refrigerator for about a week.
Alfalfa is widely celebrated for its oxidative properties, nutrient-rich flavors, and colors in the diners club. Microgreens provide many health benefits, making them super easy to grow compared to their counterparts. They are used in crunchy snacks, appetizers, and salads. Indeed Alfalfa microgreens are loved by all for their various properties.
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.