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By Katie Jackson
Microgreens, those tiny, delicate plants that often adorn upscale restaurant dishes, are hugely popular in culinary circles and can also be an enormously fun crop to grow at home.
Though microgreens may look like exotic Lilliputian plant species, they are actually nothing more than seedlings of everyday edible plants such as lettuces and leafy greens, vegetables, herbs, flowers, grasses and grains. However, because they are harvested at tender ages (often within a week or two after planting) microgreens possess unique characteristics that set them apart from their elders.
First embraced in the 1980s by San Francisco-area chefs, they were used to add color, flavor, texture and charm to a wide variety of dishes – from appetizers and main courses to desserts and even smoothies. Turns out, these darling little garnishes were not just pretty, they were healthful and nutritious. In fact, some species contain 40 times the concentration of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than their mature relatives.
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