Tiny, delicate versions of common vegetables have descended upon the cooking scene. Whether you?re in a fine dining restaurant or at a friend?s dinner party, your dish may very well be accented with these miniature veggies. But what exactly are these petite plate occupiers?
They?re called micro greens, and their recent addition to the foodie world is hardly just a trend. These tiny versions of our everyday vegetables have been around for 20-30 years, but gained popularity in recent years for their distinct textures and ability to enhance even the simplest of plates.
Organic micro greens, as is notably the best variation for obvious reasons, require a specific planting process. Seeds from common vegetables like spinach, pea or beet, are harvested as seedlings, before they mature to adults. This time span is typically acknowledged as under the 14 day mark. Organic micro green farmers grow these greens indoors, allowing them to perfectly monitor external conditions for an end result that is truly a baby version of your favorite veggie.
But besides being an adorable counterpart to their more mature versions, organic micro greens offer a number of benefits. Their addition to any dish packs a punch of added flavor, nutrition and visual appeal.
- Added Flavor
- Enhanced Nutritional Value
- Increased Visual Appeal
Don?t be deceived by their size. Though small, micro greens are far more flavorful than adult vegetables. This flavor-packed feature means that micro greens can transform the mix of any dish. Fresh and bold, these greens allow chefs to play with the palette of their creation on a more granular level.
From vitamin C to beta carotene, vegetables of any kind provide essential nutrients for optimal health. And perhaps most notably, organic micro greens offer an incredible density of nutrients. Leaves from organic micro greens have been found to contain four to six times more nutrients than the mature leaves of the same plant. In order to get the most nutritional quality, it?s suggested that organic micro greens be cut as close to plating as possible and stored at an optimal temperature of 4 degrees Celsius or 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Adding microgreens to salads, for example, is a great way to pack even more nutrition into an already healthy meal.
And besides being a slam-dunk for our taste buds, organic micro greens also add a beautiful, creative twist to the look of any dish. Chefs often top entrees with micro greens for added color and texture, as both of these have been linked to satisfaction for the diner. Children, for example, prefer six food colors on their plates and 7 different food components, while adults prefer three colors and three food components. With preferences like these, incorporating organic micro greens into the mix of any dish adds a welcomed visual accent to the rest of the plate. And the options in which micro greens to add are vast. It?s estimated that there are perhaps 100 types of common garden flowers that are both edible and palatable.
So the next time you?re trying to decide what culinary element your dish needs, consider the addition of one (or more) organic micro green varieties. From specialty produce to micro herbs, these little vegetables may go by multiple names. But whatever you call them, these miniature veggies pack flavor, nutrition and a creative look all in a tiny package. Get creative and have fun incorporating these tiny, tasty greens into your next entree!