Cooking with fresh microgreens isn’t entirely for gourmet chefs. Learn everything you need to know about buying, preparing, storing, and cooking with microgreens (4-40 times more nutrient-dense) and herbs.
This idea intimidates some people from using fresh micros or herbs in their cooking, but after this article, you’ll be ready to order a GIY Kit (Grow it yourself). You’ve heard that fresh is best, but if you don’t have significant experience with micros or herbs, then you’ll probably have a few questions. What pairs with which types of food? How much should I use? When do I add them to the cooking process? What should I do with the leftovers?
They’re flavorful, colorful, construct beautiful garnishes and most importantly, they’re packed with valuable nutrients and antioxidants. With a few tips and tricks, you can maximize your use of fresh micros to transform every meal into something special.
GROWING YOUR OWN
Growing gives you certain advantages over buying from the market. Cutting sprigs moments before use ensures maximum flavor and nutrition, and you waste less since you’re only cutting what you need. To harvest microgreens, don’t pull them out of the soil. That’ll disturb all the plant roots. Instead, cut the greens at soil level with sharp scissors, just like a haircut. Every herb plant is unique and requires varied harvesting techniques. It’s always a good idea to snip the leaves using scissors rather than pulling them off with your fingers. Start by removing older leaves from the outside of the plant to encourage growth. Then work your way inward toward the younger stems. GIY Grow Kits are so straightforward and provide you the freshest and most affordable options to grow.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING
If you have to purchase your microgreens or herbs from a grocery store, try to pick them up as close to your cooking time as possible. Hunt for bunches with vibrant color and aroma. Herbs packed in plastic should be pried open for a sniff test. If you can’t smell them, chances are you won’t be able to taste them. Avoiding limp and soggy bundles with any discoloration, the same concepts apply to microgreens. You definitely want to purchase and grow your own greens whenever possible, but if you need something then look for the freshest possible. I also know several growers that have crops not even yet harvested that you can purchase on. demand. ( Make sure you talk to a local grower and see if they have an on-demand option).
PRETREAT YOUR CROPS
If you’re not using yours herbs or greens immediately then you’ll want to pretreat them before you place them in the refrigerator. First, remove anything fastening your herbs together. Ties and rubber bands can bruise fragile plants affecting their longevity and flavor. Once you’ve harvested your microgreens you need to remove excess moisture; this is one of your biggest enemies; not only will it encourage mold growth, it will also make your microgreens soggy, ruining their taste and crispiness. The root ends will need to be snipped as they will draw moisture away from the leaves resulting in premature wilting.
HOW TO STORE PRODUCE
Before you store your HERBS in the fridge, wrap them in a moist paper towel and put them in a ziplock bag. Make sure the bag has a little bit of air inside, and place it in the warmest part of your fridge (usually located either in the doors or on the top shelf). When you’re ready to use your herbs, simply cut away any wilted or discolored leaves. Fresh herbs don’t have an extended shelf life, so use them as soon as possible.
MICROGREENS are the opposite, they need to have the moisture removed to maximize the shelf life you need to place your harvested microgreens between two paper towels. Gently dab the microgreens through the towels, this will help eliminate the moisture, but don’t forget that microgreens are fairly delicate; you don’t want to break or squash them. Once you’re happy that they are dry you should place them into a plastic bag or a plastic container, with the lid on. You can then place them in your refrigerator, and they should last for up to a week.
HOW TO WASH
Not having to wash your crops is another benefit of growing your own. Water will quicken their demise, so if you can, skip this step. Only wash if you’re going to use them immediately, otherwise store them in your fridge unwashed.
Fill a bowl with cool water and put your herbs in it. Gently move them around the water to remove any dirt. If there is a significant amount of sediment at the bottom of the bowl, dump your water and give the herbs another rinse. Gently pat them dry using a paper towel or give them a whirl in a salad spinner.
Top Tip: If you need to wash your microgreens before you can prepare them for storing, use cool water. Coldwater or hot water will damage them and their nutritional content.
Since fresh herbs do not have a long shelf life after cutting, it is a good idea to use them all as quickly as possible. Knowing which types of microgreens pair with which types of foods will allow you to be flexible and creative in the kitchen. Knowing which types of herbs pair with which types of foods will allow you to be flexible and creative in the kitchen. You could also infuse oils with your leftover herbs or add them to cocktails. The possibilities are endless!
What are you waiting for Everything you need to grow microgreens is a click away. Just add water! Works in low light. All non-GMO seeds. So many options for grow kits how will you decide? Click here
FOOD PAIRING GUIDE
Flavor: Licorice and cloves
Pair With: Tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, oregano, pasta, onions, chicken, eggs, pizza, green leaf salads, bell peppers, zucchini, apricots, berries, figs, peaches, plums