In simple terms, vegetable and herb seedlings are known as microgreens. They are a new form of specialty vegetables that can be purchased in stores or grown at home from vegetable, herb, or grain seeds.
Many different types of seeds can be used to grow microgreens. The most common varieties of microgreens are grown from the Brassicaceae family and Amaryllidaceae family. This includes cabbage, broccoli, kale, garlic, onion, and so on.
Microgreens are classified as functional food by scientists, which means they can provide essential nutrients in a sensible way. They’re referred to as a superfood by some and for the right reason! Even though they are ‘micro,’ their nutritional value can be enormous.
Foods like salads, soups, drinks, smoothies, sandwiches, and even garnishes may all benefit from them. Their distinct flavor livens up any dish, and their vivid colors are extremely eye-catching.
They’re enjoyable to grow, delicious to eat, and nutritious for health.
What Is Kale?
Kale is a leafy dark green that can be either be eaten raw or prepared.
Kale microgreens are a member of the cabbage family, which includes broccoli, cauliflower, and collard greens.
Kale has gained more popularity in recent times due to its high quantity of vitamins and minerals. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as “the queen of greens” and “a nutritious powerhouse.”
What Are Kale Microgreens?
Kale microgreens are without a doubt one of the healthiest and most nutritious microgreens available. It’s high in dietary fiber, minerals, calcium, and iron, among other things. Kale greens are a vibrant green color with light pink shoots and add a strong taste and flavor to salads.
Red Russian Kale
The red Russian kale is a cultivar of Brassica oleracea var. Viridis. It gets its name from its stem which is light pink-purple in color. The leaves are the most tender and mild of all types, being thinner than other cultivars of kale and have sharp edges.
Growing Kale Microgreens At Home
Growing kale microgreens is no herculean task. Even a beginner can easily experiment with this microgreen at home since all the items needed are already available. The only thing you’ll have to do is purchase the seeds from a good company and get busy!
- Containers like pots and trays
- Potting soil
- Spray bottle
Step 1. Planting
- Take a shallow flat tray or a garden pot with a depth of at least 4-5 inches.
- Fill it with a mixture of clean potting soil and manure or vermicompost.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil after spreading them out uniformly and thinly on the surface (or sand).
- Seed germination begins 3-4 days later while maintaining them in a cool area with plenty of air circulation.
- When most of your seeds begin to sprout and crop from the soil surface, expose them to sunlight and air.
- Find a sunny balcony, a spot in the kitchen, or place your micros under a grow light where your microgreen can get some fresh air.
Step 2. Growing
You may use pebbles or fresh garden soil that has been washed of any impurities or dirt. Microgreens thrive very well in hydroponics as well. For better results, add manure or vermicompost.
Kale microgreens need 4-5 hours of direct sunlight to grow. An ideal location for kale is a bright sunny spot near a window or a kitchen shelf.
This plant should be watered daily without allowing the soil to dry out entirely. Water should not be poured directly on the kale seeds. Using a spray bottle, keep the soil moist from the sides and water your kale microgreens twice a day.
Step 3. Harvesting
- The “leaf stage” is when the leaves are fully open and about an inch or three tall. This is the best time to harvest (day 5-14).
- Cut the shoots just above the soil surface with a sharp scissor or knife, taking care not to harm the roots or sprouts.
- Make sure you don’t harvest your crop right after watering it. Allow 4-5 hours for the medium to dry before harvesting.
- To get the most out of the cut stem, rinse them with warm water and eat them right away.
The best option to harvest your kale microgreens is by cutting them at the base and storing them in the fridge in a glass container/Tupperware. That way, they’ll last about 10 days!
Here are a few tips to help you out
- Before stacking your seeds on the tray, wet your soil bed, spread the seeds, and mist your seeds. Germination can be significantly improved by misting.
- Water from the bottom for healthy germination and to avoid mold and a rotting odor from the plants.
- If you use coconut coir, you won’t need to water your plants at all once they’ve been planted!
What Are The Health Benefits Of Kale Microgreens?
Kale has been shown in several research studies to have the ability to lower bad cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease.
Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K are all abundant in kale microgreens. Calcium, Copper, Manganese, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Carotene, Chlorophyll, Amino Acids, Trace Elements, and Antioxidants are also found in this food.
This microgreen also:
- Protects against osteoporosis and diabetes, supports heart health, and fights carcinogens that cause cancer
- Due to the high fiber content, it prevents constipation.
- Collagen is produced, which maintains the skin and hair.
- Lowers Glucose Levels in Type 1 Diabetes.
- Advocates against oxidative stress.
- Keeps blood pressure in check.
The Bottom Line
Kale microgreens have a delicious flavor and can be easily integrated into your diet. Considered very healthy, they can lower your risk of developing several diseases. You can boost your nutrient intake without having to buy large quantities of vegetables because they’re easy to grow at home. So, they’re a cost effective and healthy addition to your diet.
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.