Before we dive in deep, there is a common question we should address: what is the difference between sprouts and microgreens? Well, the seeds are the same, but the growing and harvesting methods are different. Sprouts are seeds that are sprouted, usually without leaves. Microgreens are grown for a little bit longer, either until they have cotyledons (baby leaves) or true leaves. Let's do a comparison of growing and harvesting:
Sprouts and microgreens are the most local food you can eat. When the plant is germinating or at a seedling stage, their nutrient content is concentrated, which means that they often contain higher antioxidant, mineral and vitamin levels than the large plant. Here are some of the health benefits of each.
To sprout or to microgreen?
Lots of seeds can be grown as either sprouts or microgreens, however, some are best as one or the other. You might choose to grow seeds as sprouts because it is a faster process. Microgreens may be chosen as the method because the root is not tasty, for example, sunflowers can be grown as a sprout or microgreen, but as the root has a bitter taste, they are better grown as microgreens where you can snip the tasty part off from the roots.
Here is a small list of seeds that are best grown as sprouts:
- Mung beans
- Soy beans
- Adzuki beans
Here are some seeds that can be grown as either:
And here is a list of seeds that are best grown as microgreens:
It is important to note that due to the growing conditions of sprouts, they have a higher risk of food contamination than microgreens. See our article on growing sprouts safely for more information.
Why choose just sprouts or just microgreens? At Sproutie, we love variety. Our monthly subscription contains seeds for growing sprouts and microgreens, and instructions for each. You will never get bored!