Are you looking for healthy sprouts to grow? Try growing mustard microgreens or the Brassica Juncea; these microgreens are full of flavor and can add a nice kick to your salads, sandwiches, and more.
If you plan to grow mustard microgreens at home, it is important to know the correct method. Should you grow them in a take-out container, with or without soil? This guide will answer these questions and equip you with easy tips to grow, harvest, and store mustard microgreens.
These baby mustard seeds have a hot and sweet taste and are among the most flavorful microgreens. Looking for some extra spice? Just add a bunch of mustard microgreens to your dish. Read on to grow mustard sprouts in your own kitchen garden.
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What Are Mustard Microgreens?
Simply put, microgreens are sprout versions of seeds of vegetables and herbs. These are comparatively easy to grow and care for and are loaded with nutrition. Mustard microgreens are nothing but tiny versions of your mustard plant. Appearance-wise they resemble chia microgreens. They feature white stems with pale green cotyledons. Even among mustard microgreens, there are several versions to choose from. If you are aiming for the bright burgundy-leaved plant, go for the Red Garnet variety.
Mustard microgreens of all kinds, with varying colors, shapes, spiciness, are often grown easily. Consequently, these sprouts feature cooking delicacies across many cuisines such as Indian, Chinese, and American.
From the different varieties, Mizuna greens are said to have originated in China and have spread to become a significant part of the Japanese cuisine and culture. Canada produces many of the modern and popular mustard microgreens variety.
Mustard Microgreens Nutritional Content
Mustard microgreens are packed with vitamins and minerals. Among vitamins, these greens are loaded with Vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K. They are a good source of fiber, potassium, calcium, iron, protein, and folate.
On the other hand, the yellow-colored, mature mustard plants, though nutritious, lack the same level of nutrition or simplicity as their mini counterparts, i.e., mustard microgreens. A small serving of these microgreens comes to par with any of your store-bought vegetables.
This is also because both mustard plant and mustard microgreens are from the Brassica genus, consisting of one of the most healthy plant varieties.
What Are The Benefits Of Mustard Microgreens?
Mustard microgreens offer dual benefits. Not only are they full of exotic flavor and spices, but they come with significant health benefits. This makes them good for your taste buds as well as your overall health.
1. Health Benefits
Following are the health benefits that mustard microgreens offer
- They help in preventing and fighting against lifestyle diseases such as diabetes.
- Eating mustard microgreens stimulates healthy and long hair growth.
- They can also provide considerable relief from congestion and help in clearing out sinuses.
- They also help you develop a stronger immune system with the help of Vitamin C.
- They are rich in antioxidants and rank second only to kale here.
- The presence of plentiful phytonutrients like phenols and glucosinolates in mustard protects your body from falling ill due to diseases and environmental stresses.
2. Culinary Benefits
Despite being small in size, sprouted mustard microgreens taste just like mustard. Instead of loading your dishes with processed condiments, you can garnish them with a handful of mustard microgreens. Though generally spicy, different varieties of mustard microgreens vary in taste, some even resembling the flavor of horse-radish sprouts.
You can use it as a filling inside your sandwiches, in your salad bowl, stir-fried vegetables, and lots more! If you have a high spice tolerance, you can even eat them uncooked too.
Growing Mustard Microgreens
You need to expose your mustard microgreen seeds to direct sunlight. In fact, they grow best when covered to avoid light from all sources. As a result, mustard microgreens have a pale yellow seed leaves color at first. Once they are ready, just a few hours in light can give them a bright, green color.
You would require the following items in order to grow mustard microgreen at home-
Choose high-quality mustard seeds to begin with. Depending upon your preference, you can select one or more types to grow separately.
A minimum of two shallow trays, one with and the other without drainage holes.
3. Growing medium
Choose an appropriate potting mix. Alternatively, you can also use coconut coir.
4. Tissue paper
You will need this for growing soilless mustard microgreens.
Since exposure to direct sunlight must be avoided, you can get a low beam artificial plant light.
6. Sharp scissors
Kitchen shears or other sharp-cutting scissors must be used for harvesting mustard microgreens.
7. Spray Bottle
You would need this to mist your plants from time to time.
Ways To Grow Mustard Microgreens
Mustard seeds are round, small, and dark black in color. When watered, they tend to get sticky, similar to chia seeds. This makes it difficult to plant them, so you can’t do the soaking part with these seeds.
Once you have gathered all your materials and unsoaked mustard seeds, it’s time to plant! There are two ways you can do this – with and without soil. We will have a look at both methods here.
1. With Soil
Take hold of the growing tray, which has drainage holes, and put an inch or two of soil in it. Put another tray, one without drainage holes, below it to catch the excess water and soil. Smooth out the soil surface and wet it well using the spray bottle. Using the palm of your hand, gently tap the medium used to even it.
Now, take a spoonful of mustards and broadcast seed across the media surface. You can also make use of a seasonings shaker bottle to sprinkle the mustard seed. You must space the mustards close enough to grow a bunch yet maintaining a decent distance for adequate aeration. The wet soil will allow the microgreen seeds to stay in one place and start germinating.
Next, grab hold of another tray, the one without the holes, and place it above the first seed-containing tray. This is called blacking out of seeds. Here, we block out all the light and press the tray above the soil.
You can add a small weight above the tray to better press the seeds inside the soil. This will, in turn, enable the root hairs to grow deep down inside the sowing mix. Make sure not to exceed the weight of your mustard seeds beyond 2 pounds.
After getting planted, leave the mustard seeds in this condition for at least 2-3 days for germination to take place. Within this period, make sure to keep the seeds covered in the dark.
Make sure to mist the soil at least twice a day for best results. You can try the bottom watering technique and water the plant from its soil instead of leaves.
Once your Brassica Juncea microgreens begin to sprout, they will push against the cover as they continue to grow. Within 3-4 days, you would be able to see the cotyledons.
Once this happens, you need to remove the covering tray and place a grow light about 10-12 inches above your microgreens tray. Within some time, your yellow mustard microgreens will restore their full green color.
2. Without Soil
If you want to grow your mustard microgreens without soil, all you need is a wet paper towel in place of your potting mix. Wet a paper towel and spread it out on your tray with the drainage holes. You can place another tray (without holes) beneath this one to collect excess water.
Next, sprinkle your mustard microgreens throughout the paper towel. Make sure to give sufficient spacing between the seeds. Next, mist them with water, and cover them with a tray (without holes) to germinate.
Here too, within a span of 3-4 days, your mustard microgreens will sprout and displace the covering tray. Make sure to water the microgreens regularly to maintain their moisture throughout the germination and the growing period until they are harvested.
With and without soil, both the methods produce similar results, except for minor differences in height. The ones grown in soil may grow taller than those grown without soil.
What Are Its Uses?
The best thing about mustard sprouts is that they are the easiest to produce. Being closely related to kale, these share their rich nutritional value. They are not only a quick-to-grow food item but provide health benefits too. Nutrients derived from mustard microgreens can help you cure or control diabetes and hair loss and give a boost to your immunity.
You can use Brassica Juncea sprouts as condiments in dishes that need some additional spice and punch.
Harvesting Mustard Microgreens
Mustard greens do not take much time to grow. Before you know it, the brassica juncea plant will be ready for harvesting. You will be able to harvest them anywhere around 5 and 14 days from the day of planting. As a result, you can harvest them as and when you need, leaving the rest intact. This allows them to stay fresh for a longer period.
Mature mustard greens will have around 1-3 inches of growth and feature fully open cotyledon leaves. However, care must be taken to harvest them before the first full leaves grow, which will alter their texture and taste.
Just grab a pair of sharp scissors and cut your grown microgreen sprouts within 5-7 days of planting. You can let them grow for a few more days and harvest when needed.
Storing Mustard Microgreens
After harvesting your mustard greens, give them a decent wash. Make sure to rid them of any paper towel or soil remains. Now, you can chop and add them to the dish of your choice.
Keep the remaining microgreens in a sealed plastic bag and refrigerate them. You can wrap them with a paper towel first to absorb the extra moisture. They will be able to last you for 10 days like this. But, with any other fresh food, microgreens too are best when consumed fresh.
Mustard microgreens are a chef’s delight. You can grow microgreens inside your home and that too without much effort or resources. Just some trays, planting medium, water spray, and seeds are all you need to relish these healthy microgreens. In fact, you can even grow them without soil by using a wet paper towel in its place.
You must mist your plant regularly both during the germination and growing period. The microgreen requires a dark environment during the germination process and artificial low-intensity light after that. Use your kitchen spears to cut a bunch of these and use them as and when needed.
With this plant guide, you will be able to grow mustard microgreens at home conveniently. Enjoy the health benefits that come with the herbs while enhancing the taste of your food. Try it out today!
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.