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Top Picks: Which Microgreens to Grow at Home for Nutrient-Packed Harvests

Indoor Garden

Imagine your kitchen windowsill transforming into a vibrant, miniature garden, bursting with nutrient-packed greens.

This isn’t just a dream, and it’s more achievable than you might think.

I remember my first encounter with microgreens, sprouting from a tiny planter on my kitchen window. The sheer delight of watching these tiny greens sprout and flourish, and then harvesting them just days later, was nothing short of magical. I’ve been utterly captivated by microgreens ever since!

If you’re eager to start this journey and if you’re wondering which microgreens to grow at home, you’re in the right place.

Let me guide you in selecting the best ones for you based on my personal experience, whether you’re looking for nutrition, ease of growth, or something unique.

From peppery rocket to sweet pea shoots, we’ll explore the best varieties to get you started in no time!

The Most Nutritious Microgreens To Grow at Home

Assorted microgreens in small containers

Let’s be clear, microgreens aren’t merely fashionable; they are rich in nutrients, and I mean VERY rich! All microgreens are nutritional powerhouses in their own right. If you’re looking to add more nutrients to your diet, you can’t go wrong with any of these powerful greens!

Nutrient density is very important to me. I am no doctor, but I firmly believe that a nutrient-rich diet is a key component of health. I have myself managed to keep an autoimmune disease at bay by focussing on nutrient-dense foods – and greens are the stars!

Through thorough exploration of their nutritional profiles and scientific studies, I’ve curated a selection of the most nutrient-dense microgreens for you to grow at home. This section isn’t just a list; it’s a guide to the elite of microgreens, with unmatched health benefits. Prepare to supercharge your diet with these tiny but mighty greens!

Drum roll please – here is my top 5 of the most nutritious microgreens you can grow at home.

Broccoli Microgreens

Broccoli microgreens are a TRUE superhero! They pack a nutritional punch far exceeding that of their mature counterparts. This is not just anecdotal; numerous studies have confirmed that broccoli microgreens contain higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals compared to fully-grown broccoli.

Rich in sulforaphane, a compound lauded for its cancer-fighting properties, these microgreens are more than just a trendy health food. Sulforaphane has been extensively studied and is known for its ability to detoxify the body and protect cells from damage. Additionally, broccoli microgreens are loaded with vitamins A, C, and E, essential for maintaining a robust immune system, healthy skin, and good vision.

I remember my first batch of broccoli microgreens. Initially, I was sceptical – I am not a fan of broccoli sprouts. I know they are SO good for me, but I find their pungent taste very offputting. If that sounds familiar, I would urge you to try broccoli microgreens! Their taste is slightly peppery, but much milder than sprouts.

Radish Microgreens

What do you do with the leaves from your radishes? Throw them on the compost heap? Yep, I used to do that too! But guess what? Radishes, just like broccoli, are part of the brassica family, and their leaves are some of the most nutritious around. So stop tossing them, and start eating them! While mature radish leaves can be a tad rough when consumed raw, they are quite delicious when cooked.

When it comes to microgreens though, there is no roughness, only deliciously tender and crisp leaves, packed full of nutrients. These are perfect to top up a salad or sandwich.

Rich in vitamins A, C, E and K, radish microgreens bring a dose of calcium, iron, and potassium to your plate, not to mention their antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. This study has shown that radish sprouts could potentially have even greater protective action against carcinogens than broccoli sprouts!

You even get red varieties of radish microgreens!

Rocket Microgreens

Rocket microgreens, called arugula across the pond, are another member of the infamous brassica family, and bring their own array of nutrients to the table.

As its name suggests, rocket is quick to grow in the garden, but did you know you can also grow it year-round indoors as a microgreen?

Rocket microgreens are densely packed with nutrients, particularly high in calcium and potassium, essential for bone health and proper muscle function. They are also a great source of folate, a vital nutrient for DNA synthesis and repair, making them particularly beneficial for pregnant women.

Moreover, these microgreens are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin K, both crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system and aiding in blood clotting and wound healing.

Sunflower Microgreens

Did you know that you can grow microgreens from sunflower seeds?

Sunflower microgreens are another nutrient-rich choice for your indoor garden. They’re one of my very favourite microgreens to grow for their hearty, nut-like taste and delightful crunchiness. I particularly like their thick stems and leaves, they bring a lovely bite to my salads.

They are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including high levels of Vitamin E, a potent antioxidant known for its skin and hair benefits. Additionally, they are rich in B vitamins, which are vital for energy metabolism and nervous system health. These microgreens are also an excellent source of vitamins A and C, promoting good vision, immune health, and skin integrity.

Beetroot Microgreens

Beetroot microgreens are a true gem.

They’re not just nutritious; they’re stunning too with their bright, deep red colour. And when it comes to taste, they’re a sweet and earthy delight, much like their mature counterparts.

When it comes to nutrition, beetroot microgreens are hard to beat. They’re a fantastic source of vitamin K and rich in vitamins A and C. But that’s not all. They’re also loaded with essential minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium.

One of the standout features of beetroot microgreens is their betalains. These antioxidants are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, making these microgreens not just tasty but also beneficial for your health.

The Easiest-to-Grow Microgreens for Beginners

If you are new to growing microgreens, it’s a good idea to start with easy-to-grow varieties to gain confidence in your growing skills.

I’ve selected the following 5 varieties because they

  • are easy to sow,
  • germinate and grow quickly,
  • require very little care.

Cress Microgreens

Have you ever grown cress heads as a child? That’s how easy it is to grow!

Cress microgreens have a quick growth cycle, often ready in 5-7 days, and are easy to grow, making them perfect for beginners.

They have a distinctive mild, peppery flavour reminiscent of watercress that can add a fresh twist to your salads and sandwiches.

Kale Microgreens

Kale microgreens are a true delight. As a member of the brassica family, kale is renowned for its health benefits, and its microgreens are no exception. These tiny greens are packed with nutrients.

They are also one of the fastest microgreens to grow – they can be ready in as little as 3 days!

One of the best things about kale microgreens is how effortlessly they grow. In my experience, they sprout very uniformly, making your trays look like a perfectly manicured mini garden. And the best part? They’re ready in just about 3 days!

Kale microgreens are not just easy to grow; they’re also low maintenance. Once they’ve germinated, they need very little care.

Cabbage Microgreens

Cabbage microgreens are easy to grow. They don’t grow quite as fast as the first two microgreens mentioned above, but you can still harvest them about 10 days after sowing.

Any cabbage variety can be grown as a microgreen, but I particularly enjoy growing red cabbage because of the beautiful pink colour of its stems. I always recommend red cabbage microgreens to beginners as it looks so attractive both when growing and on the plate!

Kohlrabi Microgreens

A few years ago, I tasted kohlrabi microgreens for the first time, initially unsure of how to incorporate this unique vegetable into my meals. Originating from Germany, kohlrabi is not a commonly known vegetable to many, and its use can be a mystery at first. However, it didn’t take long for this delightful vegetable to become a staple in my kitchen.

Kohlrabi microgreens, with their sweet, mild cabbage-like flavour, are among the easiest microgreens to grow, making them perfect for beginners. They mature incredibly fast, ready for harvest in just 4 to 5 days.

Plus, they’re not just tasty. They’re pretty too, especially the purple ones with their beautiful stems.

Pea Microgreens

Ever tasted fresh pea shoots straight from the garden? They’re like a little burst of spring, offering that sweet pea flavour as early as April. But here’s a secret: you don’t need to wait for spring. You can grow pea microgreens indoors all year round!

My daughter adores them. Seriously, she can munch on these sweet, juicy greens all day. It’s a joy watching her eat them by the handful.

Pea microgreens are super easy to grow. In just 7-14 days, you’ll have a batch ready. They have this delightful sweet and nutty taste. And guess what? They taste exactly like fresh peas!

Before you start, soak the pea seeds for at least 6 hours. This little trick helps them germinate better. Trust me, it’s worth the extra step.

Here’s the cool part: pea microgreens are one of the few that can regrow after you cut them. Just harvest them a bit higher than other microgreens and keep them in the light.

Unique and Flavorful Microgreens To Grow at Home

Colorful and flavorful microgreens

If you’re looking for something a little different, why not try growing some lesser-known microgreens? Keep reading to discover amaranth, sorrel, mustard, and red clover

Amaranth Microgreens

Amaranth microgreens are a fantastic choice to add a splash of colour to your indoor gardens.

They’re not just easy to grow but also stunning, with a vivid red hue that can brighten up any dish. Their flavour is reminiscent of spinach – earthy, nutty, and with a hint of sweetness.

But amaranth microgreens are also packed with vitamins A, C, and K, and are rich in iron and antioxidants. This makes them as nutritious as they are beautiful, offering a host of health benefits in each delicate leaf.

These little greens are also high in protein. Along with vitamins A, B6, and C, they’re a powerhouse of essential minerals like iron and magnesium.

Ready in just about 3 days, amaranth microgreens are a joy to grow.

Sorrel Microgreens

Sorrel microgreens are another unique choice for your indoor garden. They have a tangy, lemony flavour and a striking appearance, resembling red-veined spinach.

They do take a bit longer to grow, with a harvest time of 12-20 days, but their unique taste and attractive appearance make them worthwhile trying. They’re a lesser-known herb but one that will undoubtedly bring excitement to your microgreen adventures.

Mustard Microgreens

Are you ready to add a bit of zing to your dishes? Mustard microgreens are here to do just that! They are known for their strong, spicy flavour.

With their intense taste and aromatic punch, they remind me of horseradish. Not one for the faint-hearted!

These spicy wonders are super easy to grow. You can harvest them as early as 7 days for a milder taste. Or, if you’re up for it, let them grow a bit longer, up to 25 days, to really amp up that spicy horseradish flavour.

Red Clover Microgreens

Did you know that clover is edible? I only found out recently!

Meet red clover microgreens, a delightful and unusual green that’s not just easy on the taste buds but also a nutritional powerhouse.

Red clover microgreens have this gentle, unassuming flavor with a pleasant crunch. They remind me a lot of alfalfa, both in taste and texture.

These microgreens are as easy to grow as they are delicious. In just 6-8 days, you can go from seed to harvest, adding a fresh, nutritious green.

Red clover microgreens offer a bounty of health benefits. They’re rich in calcium, iron, vitamin C, and folate. But that’s just the start. They’re also abundant in vitamin K and essential minerals like selenium, chromium, and iron.

What really sets red clover microgreens apart are their bioactive compounds. They’re brimming with phenolics, flavonoids, and isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen. These compounds have potent antioxidant properties, helping to boost immunity, improve bone health, and reduce oxidative stress.

Fenugreek Microgreens

Fenugreek microgreens are not just any ordinary sprout; they are a treasure trove of health benefits with a rich historical tapestry.

Originating from ancient Egypt around 1500 B.C., Fenugreek, often mistaken as a seed, is actually a legume. It was revered for its medicinal properties, aiding in childbirth and lactation. In modern times, particularly in Egypt, it continues to be valued, now for providing menstrual relief.

These microgreens are incredibly easy to cultivate at home, ready to harvest in just 3-4 days. They offer a unique flavour profile, blending a slightly sweet taste with a subtle bitterness. I particularly like to pair them with a tahini dressing.

Growing Tips for Microgreens at Home

After selecting your microgreen varieties, some tips will help guarantee a fruitful harvest. These include pre-soaking your seeds, understanding the germination and harvest times, and managing your microgreens’ light and temperature requirements.

Pre-soaking your seeds can help with optimal germination. This process makes the seeds’ outer shell softer, making it easier for them to start growing. It also kickstarts the germination process and can increase the chances of your seedlings growing successfully.

Understanding the germination and harvest times for each microgreen variety is key to a successful harvest. Each type of microgreen has a different germination and harvest time, so it’s important to keep track of these timelines.

Pre-Soaking Seeds

Before planting, it’s a good idea to pre-soak your seeds. This step helps soften the seed coat, aiding in germination and overcoming the seeds’ natural dormancy. Pre-soaking for 8-24 hours allows for faster germination by enabling new growth to push through the hard shell.

Germination and Harvest Times

Keeping track of germination and harvest times is crucial for successful microgreen farming. Most microgreens are ready for harvest anywhere from 7 to 21 days after sowing. For instance, sunflower microgreens are usually ready in about 10-14 days when their leaves are fully grown.

Understanding these timelines can help ensure you get the most out of your harvest microgreens.

Don’t miss it! Check my detailed guide: How Do You Know When Microgreens Are Ready? 3 Visual Cues to Harvest at Peak Flavor

Light and Temperature Requirements

Light and temperature play a crucial role in the growth of your microgreens. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Most microgreens need at least four hours of direct sunlight every day for optimal growth.
  • They require a steady temperature for the best results.
  • However, each variety may have its own specific needs, and it’s important to adjust your growing conditions accordingly.

Don’t be left in the dark, check out my complete guide: Shedding Light on Growth: Do Microgreens Need Light to Thrive?

Conclusion

As we wrap up our journey, I hope you feel inspired and ready to start your own miniature green paradise right at home.

Whether you choose one of the most nutritious varieties, the easiest to grow, or a uniquely intriguing one, there’s a microgreen out there for every taste and experience level.

So, grab some seeds, a handful of soil, and a little bit of enthusiasm – happy growing, and may your kitchen windowsill become a source of endless green delight!

Frequently Asked Questions

What microgreens are easiest to grow?

Some of the easiest microgreens to grow are cress, kale, kohlrabi, cabbage and peas. They’re perfect to get you started!

What are the healthiest microgreens to grow indoors?

Growing at home, consider starting with broccoli, radish, rocket, sunflower and beetroot – my top 5 most nutritious microgreens!

Which microgreens are not edible?

Nightshade family plants, such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers, are not edible as microgreens since they contain toxic alkaloids that can cause digestive and nervous system issues.

What are the health benefits of eating microgreens?

Eating microgreens can help protect your body from oxidative stress and provide essential vitamins and minerals, making it a great way to boost your health.

How do I grow microgreens at home?

Grow microgreens at home by setting up a well-lit area with small trays and selecting your favourite seeds – the flavours of your microgreens will be similar to that of their mature plant counterparts.