During the 1990s, corn microgreens became popular due to their sweet flavor. This makes them a great item to add to any meal. These popcorn-flavored microgreens are as tasty as they are healthy.
Microgreens offer a ton of varieties in flavors and are a rich source of good vitamins. Besides, corn shoots are exceptionally fast growers, so it is obvious that corn greens grow fast.
So if you are pondering over their growth process, they are super easy to grow. So if you are ready to discover the secret of microgreens and want to grow them, let’s scroll ahead for complete information.
What Are Corn Microgreens?
As the name suggests, Microgreens are young green vegetables with a height of 1-3 inches approximately. They come in a variety of colors and textures, plus they have an aromatic flavor.
Corn shoots are baby plants that fall between a sprout and baby green. They are mostly confused with sprouts, as they are leafless too.
According to the study, corn microgreens is one of the well-known and most grown cereal worldwide. You can include the long corn shoots in your salads and sandwiches to give them a lively look.
The shoots are yellow in color and taste like corn. Adding these corn shoots will not only give a ravishing look but will add intense flavor to your palatable meal.
Nutritional Benefits Of Seeds
Being a rich source of vitamins, eating these corn sprouts automatically weakens the link to several chronic diseases. Not to forget, the credit goes to the composition of its high amount of Vitamins, Minerals, and beneficial plant compounds.
Microgreens plants comprise of Vitamins a, b,c, which include Thiamin and Niacin. Plus, they are a great source of calories and consist of Ferulic acid, iron, magnesium, calcium, and beta carotene. Besides, it also acts as antioxidants that boost your immune system, reduces hypertension, enhances bone health, and prevents anemia.
An interesting fact is that their nutrient content is concentrated. It means that all the nutrients are much higher than mature greens, which is approximately nine times higher.
Although most of the studies depicted that popcorn microgreens consist of much higher nutrients than mature plants. It can even vary on the species being tested, as each species comes with a different level of nutrients.
Irrespective of popcorn seed’s composition, these greens are considered to be highly beneficial. Some of the diseases which can prevent by consuming microgreen are the following:
Heart Disease: Being a high source of polyphenols, a level of antioxidants, reduces the risk of heart disease.
Diabetes: The antioxidant’s nature of microgreens also prevents sugar from entering cells, thus reducing the risk of diabetes.
Few of the Cancers: According to the research, veggies rich in polyphenols and chlorophyll lowers the risk of certain cancers. It is observed that some of the microgreens are polyphenol-rich and can act anti-cancerous.
Alzheimer’s Disease: Diseases such as Alzheimer’s can be prevented by having food rich in antioxidants and a high quantity of polyphenols.
The corn microgreens can be easily grown in your backyard. Let’s talk about how to grow them effortlessly.
How To Grow Corn Shoots?
When used as microgreens, the sweet corn seeds are prepared similarly to any other larger seed. You may think growing corn is difficult, but it is not.
Some of the essential items for growing corn microgreens are:
- quality seed,
- growing medium such as a tray or container, or you can avail heating mat
- adequate light.
- First and foremost, soak the seeds for 12 hours in the cold water before planting them and in the dark. However, make sure you keep them in an open area as they need air circulation and cold water.
- You must put the microgreen seeds in potting mix (peat moss + vermiculture) to get better results.
- Moreover, keep in mind that popcorn seeds do not grow well in puddles of water and need to grow in the dark.
- Make your soil deep at least 1-2 inches, along with drainage holes in the bottom.
- You can add 2 cups of sweet corn seeds in a 10-20 tray, do not worry if they are too packed.
- Once you plant the seed, keep them in the dark. This will give them a yellow color and popcorn-like taste.
- You need to water the plant once every day to establish its roots. Later you can just water the soil and not the plant. However, it is important to only water the soil prevent mold growth.
- In case the soil is visible, add water to the drip tray; it will provide them with the water they need.
- After all the processes, you need to monitor and water them daily for approximately 6 to 9 days.
- The germination process usually takes 2-3 days, and you can harvest these corn microgreens once they reach a height of two inches or more, depending on your taste preference. Additionally, many of you may confuse corn husk as a nutrient, but it is not edible.
What To Use Corn Sprouts For?
Microgreens comprise three basic parts: a central stem, Cotyledon leaves, and true leaves. Besides using it as a garnishing product, corn microgreens can enhance flavor and add texture to any dish. People can add corn microgreens to their menu in the following way:
- You can add these leafy greens in salads, soups, pizzas as garnishing.
- Sweet corn microgreens can be added to increase the value of a smoothie or juice.
- You can include corn shoots as a side to any dish.
- Sweet corn can be eaten as a snack.
- You can grill the sweet corn and add popcorn shoots as a pair.
- Sweet corn is also used as nutrients supplements.
Harvesting Popcorn Seeds
Sweet corn microgreens usually take 6-7 days to harvest. Your corn shoots must be 2-4 inches high before you consider your crop to be ready. They will be yellow if you have kept them without light in the tray. It is a good time to harvest, as corn shoots get bitter and fibrous if left for a longer duration.
You can cut the shoot altogether or stagger it only if you keep them in light to get the ideal sweet flavor. However, if they have turned green, you are out of time to harvest.
Make use of sharp shears and clip the bunches of the corn shoots just above the soil level. While cutting the shoots, be careful and cut them about 1/2 above the soil and place them in a tray. The shoots do not grow again, therefore compose the used soil after your harvest.
Storing Popcorn Shoots
Storing corn shoots may seem like a daunting experience, but it is not. One of the ideas is you can store unwashed corn shoots in an air-tight container. Besides, place a paper towel to help absorb extra water and change it when required.
You can easily place your corn shoot microgreens for 7- 14 days to enjoy the same taste. However, when you use the stored microgreens, wash them well before you use them.
Microgreens are flavored, and you can easily blend them into your diet in numerous ways. Moreover, they are highly nutritious and help you prevent several diseases.
One of the cost-effective ways to boost your immune system and increase your nutrient intake without adding many veggies to your cart. Now that you know all about microgreens go ahead and add them to your diet to enjoy their benefits.
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.