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Expand Your Horizons Via This Tiny World

Get the health benefits so many people are talking about.

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Close up shot of green and purple microgreens
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On my last trip to the farmers market, I found a small stall selling even smaller leafy greens. Nostalgia led me to what I assumed were Chia Pets, but upon closer inspection, I realized there were no terracotta hedgehogs to be found. Overcoming my disappointment, I discovered I had stumbled into a tiny world of microgreens. They pack a nutritious punch and add delicious, bold flavor to any plate. A Chia Pet can’t do that!

Aren’t They Just Sprouts?

Microgreen advocates will be the first to tell you that sprouts and microgreens are completely different. When you enjoy a spout, you are eating the entire seed root and stem. With microgreens, the stems are cut, leaving the root behind. The leafy greens are from 1-2 inches in length, depending on the variety.

Think of microgreens as an (extremely) early harvest of your favorite veggie. The benefit is you get all the nutrients and flavor in a small sprig — a little green goes a long way!

Types of Microgreens

Some of the most popular varieties are basil, cucumber, arugula and radish, but you can also experiment with other flavors, such as sunflower, pea shoot or wasabi.

Basil: Like pesto on steroids, this bright green adds a nice spice to pasta and soup.

Cucumber: Add a pop of fresh, juicy flavor to salads or seafood.

Arugula: Much like its big brother, micro arugula is aromatic and peppery.

Radish: Dark purple in color, these microgreens add a spicy kick to salads or entrees.

Sunflower: Offering a slightly more subtle flavor, sprinkle sunflower microgreens on soups or sandwiches.

Pea Shoots: Pee-wee peas add a sweet snap to your pasta.

Wasabi: If you love the green paste at Japanese restaurants, you will love the eye-watering experience of this microgreen, which pairs nicely with sushi and other fish.

Concentrating all the flavor from a full plant into a few leaves, microgreens can range from spicy to sweet. They’re fun to mix and match to find the flavors you are craving. To get started, you may want to try a curated mix that complements the bold favors, such as a spring mix.

Toss Them Anywhere

Here are a few fun recipes I have found that harness the massive power of microgreens, but really, you can sprinkle them on just about anything for a pop of flavor and color. Looking for a place to start? Pick a meal! Breakfast, lunch, dinner or even dessert will benefit from a clipping of microgreens.


To prove the point that microgreens can go on absolutely anything, try sprinkling them over fried eggs and hashbrowns or on a bagel with cream cheese. The microgreens will offset heavier ingredients. Or try this Egg White Omelet with Avocado Goat Cheese and Microgreens for a healthy start to your day.


There’s nothing like a spring salad to give microgreens a stage to shine. This recipe from Vegetarian Times combines a mix of microgreens with a light strawberry lime vinaigrette. For the salad, mix together a combination of your favorite microgreens, then add thinly sliced snow peas, radishes, and halved strawberries. Garnish with edible flowers, and you will have spring in a bowl.


Check out this Lemon and Pea Tendril Risotto with Microgreens from Blue Apron — it’s proof that any dish can be garnished with microgreens. For other ideas, try adding a handful to your favorite pasta dish, or use them to add a splash of color to poached fish.

Yes, dessert too

These petite plants will even make dessert a delight. Try this Mini Strawberry Chocolate Tart with Basil Microgreens from Vegetarian Ventures. The basil microgreen sets off the strawberries and adds a beautiful visual contrast.


If you have been looking for a way to eat healthier, adding nutrient-dense microgreens may just be the microstep you need to move in the right direction.

What’s your favorite? Leave a comment below! 

Follow Article Topics: Health