What are microgreens? Uses, Nutrition, Recipes & How to Grow

What are microgreens? Uses, Nutrition, Recipes & How to Grow

Microgreen Nutrition's

Microgreens have gained popularity and a buzz in the mainstream media recently. Though microgreens were first commercially  grown in California in the 1980s and 1990s, they did not get due attention till around 2016 when it was included in the  haute cuisine of high-end restaurants. 

Microgreens gained popularity because of their strong flavor, high intensity of nutrients, and exotic aroma. The microgreens for a vegetable or herb pack a lot more nutrition than their equivalent mature greens. 

Microgreens are used in soups, dishes, gourmet dressing, garnishing food, smoothies, shakes, and many other recipes. 

We will go over all the fine details of microgreens in this article. For quick navigation, use these links to move to the section of your interest. 


What Are Microgreens?

| Microgreens Benefits? | How To Grow Microgreens? | When To Harvest Microgreens | Most Nutritious And Healthy Microgreens | Microgreens Near Me | Broccoli Microgreens | Cabbage Microgreens | How To Eat Microgreens? | Microgreens Risk And Precautions


What are Microgreens?

Simply put, you can say microgreens are ‘micro’ versions of mature, full-grown vegetables and herbs. 

Microgreens grow quickly and can be harvested within 7-10 days. Once the tiny leaves appear and the microgreens reach a height of about 5 inches, or 2,3 inches above the container, you can reap them. 

Microgreens were once in short supply as the cost of growing these tiny food packs was high. With popularity, these have become accessible and there are ways to grow microgreens cheaply at home. Also, you'll find one or two microgreens shops in your city where you can buy microgreens for your home kitchen. 

Alaska, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey are the largest producers of in-house microgreens in the nation. 

Different Types of Microgreens 

There are microgreens that are easy to grow at home on a small budget. Check this table to understand the different types of microgreens

Microgreen Type

Days to Harvest

Most Abundant Nutrients 

Approx. Indoor Growing Cost 

Top Recipes




B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium

≅$100 setup cost, $3-$5 per tray 

Fresh Microgreen Avocado Toast




vitamins A, B, C, E, and K

≅$100 setup cost, $3-$5 per tray 

Potato and Radish Microgreen Salad




chlorophyll , carotenoid, ascorbic acid 

≅$100 setup cost, $4 per tray 

chipotle lentil tacos with avocado and microgreens




iron, magnesium, vitamins B and C

≅$100 setup cost, $6 per tray

Mustard Microgreen Omelette




vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, calcium, iron, magnesium

≅$100 setup cost, $4 per tray

Avocado Toast With Kale Microgreens




vitamins A, B, C, and E, calcium, iron, magnesium, niacin

≅$100 setup cost, $4 per tray

Lemony Garlic Zoodles with Arugula Microgreens




calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium

≅$100 setup cost, $6 per tray

Sunflower Microgreens Guacamole




vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, beta-carotene, calcium, iron,

≅$100 setup cost, $8 per tray

Green Smoothie with Cilantro Microgreens




vitamin A, v B1, B6, C, E, K, & calcium, potassium

≅$100 setup cost, $6 per tray

Beef Stir Fry with Alfalfa Sprouts Recipe




thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin

≅$100 setup cost, $6 per tray

Tuna Tortilla Wraps with Microgreen Borage 




Vitamin A, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium

≅$100 setup cost, $6 per tray

Creamy Carrot Soup With Microgreen




vitamins K, A, and C

≅$100 setup cost, $4 per tray

Carrot Risotto with Pea and Chard Microgreens




Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K

≅$100 setup cost, $4 per tray

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Bowl with Garden Cress Microgreens




beta-carotene, calcium, vitamins C, E, and K, and iron

≅$100 setup cost, $6 per tray




vitamins E, A, K, B6, and C, calcium, iron, zinc

≅$100 setup cost, $6 per tray

Simple Spaghetti with Lemon and Basil Microgreens




iron, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, copper, vitamins A and C

≅$100 setup cost, $6 per tray




Vitamin C, E, and K, as well as fiber, potassium

≅$100 setup cost, $6 per tray

Fennel & Micro Green Salad




vitamin A, C, E, and B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium,

≅$100 setup cost, $6 per tray

Red Shiso and Scallion microgreens tapenade




vitamins A, B, C, & E, calcium and magnesium

≅$100 setup cost, $4 per tray

Ojiya with sweet corn shoots

Garbanzo / Chickpeas 



calcium, iron, and other essential acids

≅$100 setup cost, $4 per tray

Microgreens Salad with Roasted Chickpeas Recipe




Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron 

≅$100 setup cost, $4.5 per tray

Carrot Risotto with Pea Microgreen Salad




protein, Zinc , Calcium, Iron

≅$100 setup cost, $4 per tray


Microgreens are also categorized according to the relevant families. 


  • Brassicaceae family includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radish, watercress, and arugula. 
  • Asteraceae family includes endive, radicchio, lettuce, and chicory. 
  • Apiaceae family includes onion, garlic, and leek 
  • The Amaranthaceae family includes amaranth, quinoa swiss chard, beet, and spinach. 
  • Cucurbitaceae family includes cucumber, melon, and squash. 

Microgreens vs Sprouts 

Microgreens and sprouts both are grown from the same kind of seeds but microgreens are more nutritious. Check the similarities and differences between sprouts vs microgreens. 

What's the same?

  • Same seeds for both microgreens and sprouts 
  • Both can mold with improper care 
  • Both need seed pre-soaking for growing 
  • Both can be grown indoors with planting lights 

What's the difference?

  • Sprouts are quick to harvest but microgreens take about the double time than sprouts 
  • Sprouts are shorter at about 3 inches while microgreens are 4-7 inches in height
  • Sprouts are grown hydroponically but there are hydroponic microgreens and in soil
  • Sprouts have seed leaves only but true leaf microgreens only can be harvested 
  • Microgreens are nutrient-richer than sprouts 
  • Sprouts grow without light but microgreens require light to grow 
  • Sprouts need no ventilation but the microgreens does 
  • Microgreens are costlier than sprouts 

Microgreens vs Baby Greens

Microgreens are primarily different from baby greens by the size and growth. However, all are harvested before maturity. 

Let's see the difference between microgreens vs baby greens in detail. 

The journey starts from the same seed. When the seed grows for one week and harvested, it is called sprout; when it grows for 10-14 days before harvest, it is called microgreen; when it grows for about 4 weeks, it becomes baby green. 

When it comes to nutrition, baby greens deliver more nutrients than microgreens. However, microgreens taste better. 

Microgreen Benefits

Microgreens got popular because of the amazing aroma they produce and the wealth of nutrients they deliver. More recently, scientists have discovered their health benefits. Here are all the ways microgreens help you.

Microgreens Nutrition 

Microgreens are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. 

A study done by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the microgreens deliver  four to six times more nutrients than their equivalent adults. 

Among all microgreens, the most nutritious are cabbage greens with a great deposit of vitamin E and vitamin C. 

However, despite their nutritional value, microgreens can be used scarcely in different recipes due their high cost. 

For a microgreens nutrition chart, please see this research

Health Benefits of Microgreens

Recent research has shown that microgreen can help fight many diseases like cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. 

Microgreens provide an abundant supply of polyphenols that lower the risk of heart diseases. There has also been evidence about the microgreens lowering LDL cholesterol levels. Other antioxidants found in the microgreens also help lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease. 

More Vitamins and Antioxidants Than Mature Vegetables

The tiny plants offer more vitamins and antioxidants than their adult versions. For example, a cilantro microgreen would give you three times more beta-carotene than fully grown cilantro. 

May Reduce Risk and Symptoms of Chronic Disease

Microgreens can decrease the risk of getting chronic diseases. It is especially helpful for overweight people. Also, microgreens reduce type 2 diabetes and obesity. 

This study shows that long-term consumption of broccoli sprouts reduces inflammatory markers in overweight people. 

Good For People With Poor Kidney Function

Microgreens will let you taste the high-potassium vegetables and enjoy the flavor again. 

According to this study, microgreens grown in hydroponic systems with a lower potassium level contain less potassium than their adult counterparts which is good for people with poor kidney function. 

Good For Gut Health

A study on microgreens and gut health shows that microgreens improve gut health with phytonutrients which convert our food to antioxidants and other nutrients that our body needs. 

Benefits for Skin and Hair 

Microgreens are rich with antioxidants and vitamin C. These nutrients increase the collagen levels in your skin promoting young look and skin radiance. Most microgreens provide a good amount of vitamin B complex, especially vitamin B6 which also helps your skin and hair look gorgeous. 

Check this study on how vitamin C and antioxidants make your skin healthy. 

How to Grow Microgreens 

Growing microgreens is easy. All you need is determination, some empty food containers, a handful of soil, and grow lights if you are growing indoors. 

Let’s go over the process from seeds to care and harvest. 

Microgreens Seeds and How to Sow?  

Microgreens are available in over 70 varieties. You can grow many vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers, and other greens as microgreens. 

For the start, grow only one type of seed. We recommend starting with the most nutritious of all microgreens, the broccoli microgreens. It is easy to grow, tastes great, and makes you healthy. 

If you are going to grow many microgreens at once, you can do it in one container or different containers. 

Microgreens are fragile. They can't tolerate harsh weather. You can grow them outdoors if the weather is favorable. Or you can spare a corner in your house and grow microgreens indoors with the help of grow lights. 

For seeding microgreens, sow the seeds closer for smaller seeds and give a little more space for larger seeds. Once sowed, water the soil and make it moist. You'll need to spray water on it regularly. 

How to Grow Microgreens Indoors 

Grow microgreens in your basement or windowsill with the help of a few inputs only. Use this step-by-step process to grow microgreens indoors and make your food even more delicious. 

Step by Step process of growing microgreens indoors 

Step 1: Collect Growing Containers in Your House

You don't need to buy new containers for microgreens; use leftover food containers, yogurt containers, bakery containers, simple grocery store containers you get with shopping. 

Prepare your container by washing it and poking holes in the bottom. 

Step 2: Make a Soil Mix 

Make a potting soil mix in a bucket or a large bowl. Add warm water and damp the soil. 

Fill up the containers with about 2 inches of the soil. Don't hard press the soil as it will hinder the growth. 

Step 3: Seeding the Microgreens

Sow the microgreen seeds by sprinkling them. Sow small seeds closer and bigger seeds with some space. 

Lightly bury the seeds. Add another layer of about one inch of dry potting soil on it and slightly moist the upper surface. 

Keep the tray covered and keep it directly under the grow light. 

Step 4: Maintain Soil Moisture 

Check if there is visible condensation in the try lid. If not, water the soil again to make it damp. 

Step 5: Move under the Grow Lights 

Grow microgreens indoors with grow lights for plants. Once the sprouting begins, remove the tray lid and put it under the grow light directly. 

You can also replace grow light by keeping the trays in sunlight for at least 6 hours daily. Use your windowsill. 

Step 6: Harvest after 2-3 Weeks 

Microgreens take anywhere between 2 to 3 weeks. You know it is harvest time when you start seeing true leaves and the plants grow about 4-5 inches. 

Growing Microgreens Outdoors 

You can grow microgreens if you have a lawn or any patch of land. You only need a small part of the land for microgreen farming. 

Use this step by step guide on how to grow microgreens outdoors. 

Step 1: Decide How Much Microgreens You Want 

The quantity of the microgreen harvest you need determines the amount of inputs and the cost. 

For your home consumption, one square meter will give you enough harvest for the entire season. 

When farming microgreens for your restaurant, consider devoting at least 10 Square meters. 

Step 2: Make the Soil for Microgreens Ready 

You can use containers just like indoor microgreens for outdoor microgreen farming. If you have some ground, make sure the plantation area gets 4-6 hours of sunlight daily. 

Clean the cultivation area. Add composite if needed. 

Step 3: Seed the Microgreens 

Once you have prepared the soil, sprinkle the microgreen seeds there. Keep the seeds closer and dense. 

Put another thin layer of dry soil on seeds to cover them and water the seeds. 

Step 4: Grow the Crop 

Once sowed, all you need to do is water the seeds. Don't let the soil dry out. 

Keep checking the soil at least once a day. Take out any weeds or pests. 

Step 5: Harvest 

You can harvest microgreens once they are 3-4 inches tall and you can see true leaves. 

You can usually harvest microgreens in 2-3 weeks. 

Don't let your microgreens grow too long or they will become baby greens. 

Step 6: Refresh the Soil for Another Cycle

If you want to keep harvesting microgreens, you will have to refresh the soil by tossing it upside down and adding composite. 

If you plant many patches of the microgreens, you can harvest for the entire season. 

When to Harvest Microgreens 

Microgreens are grown for only 2-3 weeks. You can harvest microgreens once they have grown to about 3-4 inches above the container level. 

Another marker to see if the microgreens are harvest-ready is to see if the true leaves have appeared. If not, the plant is still a sprout. 

When harvesting, cut with kitchen scissors an inch above the soil to get the clean harvest. 

Don’t let your microgreens too long or they will overshadow each other and their growth will be stopped. 

How to Harvest Microgreens

Once the microgreens have grown to 2-3 inches, harvest them with the help of a kitchen scissors. Cut the microgreens about an inch above the soil so that it does not get dirty. 

Harvest microgreens only once you see true leaves. 

Most Nutritious and Healthy Microgreens 

Grading the microgreens for their nutrition and health benefits is tough. Microgreens give about 40 times more nutrients than the same adult vegetables. 

We have collected nutrition data for these microgreens. If you need a bulk of an element through a natural source, microgreens is the way to go. 

  • Sunflower microgreens
  • Radish microgreens
  • Arugula microgreens 
  • Broccoli microgreens
  • Beets microgreens
  • Kale microgreens
  • Cilantro microgreens
  • Basil microgreens
  • Chia microgreens
  • Clover microgreens
  • Buckwheat microgreens
  • Alfalfa microgreens
  • Amaranth microgreens
  • Mustard microgreens

Microgreens Near Me 

Microgreens have become abundant in the last few years. Most cities have a few producers of microgreens. 

Microgreens are the most popular in Montana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. If you are living in or near a big city, you will have success in getting the happy answer to ‘microgreens near me’ question. 

Microgreens Seattle

Microgreens are not new to Seattle. However, there have not been many quality producers in the city. This is why Little Lolo’s Farms entered the Seattle microgreens market to provide a consistent supply of fresh microgreens. 

We offer a range of microgreens and sprouts. We have an inhouse microgreens farm and we harvest every Sunday. Once you subscribe with us for repeated delivery, you can get a fresh supply for healthy and delicious microgreens every Sunday. 

Explore our microgreens collection page. We also offer gift cards to help you give this natural boost of nutrition to your loved ones.

Everything you Need to Know about Broccoli Microgreens 

Broccoli microgreens are one of the most delicious microgreens available. 

The Brassicaceae family is overall very nutritious but broccoli sits at the top with abundance of glucosinolates and sulforaphanes. The fiber content helps our gut and digestive health.

The bulk of broccoli microgreens nutrition is Protein (2300mg), Fiber (410 mg), Potassium (326 mg), Vitamin A (300 mcg), Vitamin C (51.0 mg), Vitamin E (24.1 mg), and Nitrites (267 mg). 

Microgreens broccoli have bioactive antioxidants including carotenoids, anthocyanins, polyphenols, and supraphane. 

Here are some health benefits of broccoli microgreens:

  • Improves digestive health 
  • Helps lift mood with abundant vitamin C and folic acid 
  • Sulforaphane found in broccoli microgreens reduces cardiovascular diseases risk
  • Support immune system with glucoraphanin
  • Boosts energy and decreases fatigue with minerals and vitamin B 
  • Carotenoids in broccoli microgreens improve eyesight 
  • Broccoli microgreens help your body fight cancer with sulforaphane. 

Want to know how you can eat broccoli microgreens? These are some ways to add it to your food. 

  • Add broccoli microgreens to salads to get the rich flavor of broccoli
  • Add it to sandwiches for making them tasty and healthy
  • Make a smooth of broccoli microgreens
  • Sprinkle on your soups for better aroma, taste, and health 

Everything You Need To Know About Cabbage Microgreens

Cabbage microgreens pack about 4.5 times more antioxidants than their adult greens. 

Cabbage comes in Green, Red (may also look like purple), Savoy, and Napa color. Among these, red cabbage has more vitamin C, flavonoid antioxidants, and carotenoids than other cabbages. 

Cabbage Microgreen Nutrition and Health Benefits

Cabbage microgreen actually has more vitamin C than oranges. Thanks to the rich supply of antioxidants, It is great for reducing free radicals which make you age. 

The other abundant nutrients in cabbage microgreens are vitamin K, calcium, iodine, sulfur, potassium, and magnesium. 

Red cabbage has shown results in reducing the breast cancer risks in Chinese women. It stops tremor growth in cancer cells. Red cabbage microgreens pack the same ingredients in greater quantities. 

USDA study on microgreens being more nutritious than adult plants 

Other cabbage microgreens health benefits include: 

  • Detoxification organs and blood
  • Improve eye health 
  • Helps fight cancer risks 
  • Alleviates Alzheimer's condition
  • Good for digestive health 
  • Helps find inflammation in the body 

How to grow cabbage microgreens?

Use this simple, step-by-step approach to grow cabbage microgreens. You can also make use of our detailed section on how to grow microgreens above. 

  • Ready the soil either by using the potting soil available or removing unwanted debris from the soil. 
  • Sow the microgreens seeds evenly and tap lightly
  • Cover seeds with a thin soil layer
  • Mist the cabbage microgreens seeds
  • Cover the tray for keeping the moisture, or keep watering if it is outdoors. 
  • Remove cover once cotyledon appear 
  • Keep watering daily 
  • Harvest when the cabbage microgreens are 1-3 inches tall

How to Eat Microgreens? 

Microgreens first got popular because of the strong, flavorful aroma, rich color that they give to food, and enhancing the taste. They can be used with almost all dishes. 

Here are some ways you can use microgreens in daily food and party meals. 

  • Garnish for pizzas, soups, flatbreads, salads, etc. 
  • Smoothies for a nutrition punch 
  • Add to juice to boost taste and healthy benefits
  • Enrich the flavor in everyday food like omelet, tacos, or sandwich

Herbs microgreens are great for liquid and semi-liquid foods like soups, tea, yogurt, juice, and smoothies. 

Broccoli microgreens top the list of the best microgreens to eat with great taste and nutrition boost. 

Microgreens Recipes 

Parmesan and Ricotta Cheese Pizza with Pistachios Bacon and Micro Greens

Cook something that you love to eat, make it healthy with microgreens. 

This Parmesan and Ricotta Cheese Pizza with Pistachios Bacon and Micro Greens recipe from What We Love Most combines the best of both worlds with its versatility of flavors and a super nutrition boost. 


Microgreens Risks and Precautions 

Microgreens are at risk of contamination when there is some contamination in soil, water, or seeds. 

Some microgreens are more susceptible to contamination than others. That's why the commercial growers disinfect microgreens with chlorinated water. Some farmers rinse the crop before harvesting for up to 50 times to keep them clean and uncontaminated. 

If you are buying microgreens, note that the shelf life of microgreens is only 10-14 days once harvested. 

When you are buying microgreens from the local store, make sure that: 

  • Your are buying from a trusted store 
  • Check expiry of sell-by date 
  • Use them within 10 days and store them below 5C

For microgreens growers, these tips will help you reduce the risks of contamination. 

  • Use clean or new potting soil 
  • Use clean water
  • Harvest quickly once they are ready 
  • refrigerate below 5C


Can microgreens regrow after cutting?

Microgreens do not grow after harvesting or cutting. However, you can get the crop for the whole season if you plant many trays and grow many patches of microgreens. That way, if planned properly and grown in house under grow lights, you can reap every week. 

Which Microgreens Seeds Can You Grow?

You can grow almost all microgreen seeds and get a harvest. However, these microgreens are more nutritious than others. 

  • Sunflower microgreens seeds
  • Radish microgreens seeds
  • Arugula microgreens seeds
  • Broccoli microgreens seeds
  • Beets microgreens seeds
  • Kale microgreens seeds
  • Cilantro microgreens seeds
  • Basil microgreens seeds
  • Chia microgreens seeds
  • Clover microgreens seeds
  • Buckwheat microgreens seeds
  • Alfalfa microgreens seeds
  • Amaranth microgreens seeds
  • Mustard microgreens seeds

Why are microgreens more nutritious than other vegetables? 

Seed of any plant contains the concentrated nutrients of that plant. That's why the microgreens pack more nutrition than their mature counterparts. 

Can microgreens grow into full plants?

Microgreens are tiny versions of regular greens. They can grow into full plants if you plant them in the garden and let them grow but then, they won't be microgreens anymore. 

Is Eating Microgreens Risky?

Microgreens can be risky if there is contamination in the soil or water. If the seeds are cleansed well and chlorinated and the microgreens are rinsed like 50 times, there is almost no chance of microgreens being risky. 


How often do microgreens need water?

Watering needs depend on the microgreens farming method. Water your microgreens once daily for the best results. 

How long will microgreens last?

Harvested microgreens should be stored in the refrigerator at 5C and must be consumed within 10 days. 

How to use microgreens?

You can use microgreens for garnishing food, add it to soup for better flavor and aroma, add it to smoothies and juices for a nutrition punch, etc. 

how to get seeds from microgreens

You can’t get seeds from microgreens. They are tiny plants that do not produce seeds. If you want to get seeds for microgreens, you can either grow the plants to full or you can buy microgreens seeds. 

Can you grow microgreens outside?

You can grow microgreens in the windowsill, your kitchen gardening setup, your lawn, or any patch of land you have available. However, you’ll need to prepare land, clean it from rocks and weeds, and make sure that it gets at least 4 hours of sunlight daily.