Micro greens have been found to contain higher levels of concentrated active compounds than found in mature plants or seeds. These tiny baby plants provide a convenient and concentrated means for absorbing the active compounds. Micro greens are considered to be in the group of what are newly referred to as “functional foods” which are food products that contain particular health promoting or disease preventing properties that are additional to their normal nutritional values.
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Are micro greens seasonal or can I get them year-round?
At Bella Verdi we grow micro greens and lettuce in a climate controlled environment utilizing an “organically principled” hydroponics system. This means that we can produce high quality micro greens, herbs and lettuces throughout the year. Some varietals do better in cooler weather than others and some take to heat and humidity so our planting schedule varies somewhat with the seasons.
What kind of greens come in the “micro” variety? The early cotyledons and first true leaves of just about any vegetable, leaf green and some herbs can be harvested as micro greens. The trick is in the growing and harvesting methods that are specific to micro green production. At Bella Verdi we have 12-15 micro green varietals in production at any one time (shifting with seasons and chef requests) and a catalog of over 35 varieties and mixes which can be grown to order.
There seem to be several different varieties…do they really taste different? Absolutely! Just like the full grown varietals micro greens offer a wide range of differing flavors and texture (or “mouth feel”). As you get to know the differences, food pairing opportunities become very interesting. Just a few of the more popular varieties are listed below: Arugula – Peppery, sometimes “nutty” flavored green. Great as a garnish for delicate soups and fish. Stands up well mixed into salads and pasta dishes. Cabbage – Dark green leaf with purple veins and leaf edges Enhances virtually any dish with a distinctive look and a mild earthy flavor with just a touch of heat. Mustard – Asian mustard with a unique, spicy flavor. Excellent mixed in salads or as a flavorful garnish. This spicy micro green is equally at home in Sushi rolls and roasted pork dishes!