Microgreens are simply the 1 to 2-week old shoots of vegetables like celery and broccoli.
How do you grow broccoli microgreens? Broccoli microgreens are planted in shallow trays and left to germinate in the darkness for approximately 2 to 3 days. For the next 1 to 2 weeks, provide plenty of water and light as well as a stable temperature of around 70°F. Broccoli microgreens are ready to harvest when they reach heights of 2 to 3 inches tall.
Read on below and discover all you need to know about getting started with growing broccoli microgreens, as well as recipes for how to use them!
How To Grow Broccoli Microgreens: Quick-Start Guide
Broccoli microgreens are grown just like the majority of crops grown for microgreens; quick, fast, and in a hurry:
1. Plant Seeds in Shallow Trays
The first step to growing broccoli microgreens is planting them in the right sort of container and using a proper medium.
The tray should be shallow, and the growing medium needs to be something that drains quickly but has a high water retention rate, like coco coir.
For optimal results, water the seeds thoroughly before moving on to the second step.
2. Allow Time for Germination
The second step of growing broccoli is simply placing a cover on the growing tray, or placing it somewhere dark, and waiting.
On average, broccoli microgreens sprout within 2 days, though sometimes it takes 3 or more.
Check back on the seeds and sprouts daily. Also, make sure that the growing medium is staying moist.
3. Provide Plenty of Light and Water
The third step to growing microgreens is the most crucial; providing proper amounts of light and water regularly.
When you remove the broccoli shoots from the darkness, start blasting them with 6 to 10 hours of light per day with a grow light.
Further, the tray/growing medium should never dry out completely.
The final step is cutting the shoots down and eating or selling them.
The average crop of broccoli microgreens requires just 1 week of light to reach the proper size for harvesting.
That said, sometimes crops may take a few extra days for various reasons including not enough light or water, fluctuating temperatures, and more.
Can You Eat Broccoli Microgreens?
Yes. Broccoli microgreens are absolutely edible, in fact, they are often chosen for recipes due to their crunch and fresh natural taste.
In the following sections of this guide, we discuss the edibility of broccoli microgreens more in-depth as well as share recipes for you to try.
So, let’s get into it!
Broccoli Microgreen Taste
Microgreens always taste different than their fully developed brothers and sisters. In this case, broccoli microgreens are softer than mature broccoli, obviously, but have a higher crunchiness to them than most microgreens. Flavor-wise, most people say that broccoli microgreens are mild to slightly bitter.
How To Eat Broccoli Microgreens
One of the greatest things about broccoli microgreens is that they are useful as an ingredient in numerous types of dishes, as well as by themselves in mixed salads.
A few of the most common ways to eat broccoli greens include:
- In stir-fry or curry
- On sandwiches
- In casseroles
- In salads of all sorts
- In wraps
- As a way to add crunch to food
- In dressings
- Raw by themselves
- In creamy soups
- Add them to shakes or smoothies
Do Microgreens Lose Nutrients When Cooked?
Unfortunately, when you cook microgreens they do lose some of their nutrients. But, that’s nothing new because all vegetables are prone to losing 50-percent of their nutrients when cooked.
The great thing about broccoli microgreens, in this regard, is that they lose only around 20 to 25-percent of their nutrients when cooked.
Broccoli Microgreen Recipe
Please provide several simple recipes for preparation.
Pizza With Broccoli Microgreens
Pizza is one of those foods that practically all humans enjoy. Thankfully, broccoli microgreens are the perfect addition to several types of pizza. Whether you add them as the main ingredient or as a garnish, microgreens pizza is super tasty.
- Prepare your pizza as you normally would
- Add a cup full of broccoli microgreens onto the top of the pie
- Top things off with a pinch of parmesan and mozzarella and bake it
Broccoli Microgreens Salad With Avocado and Kimkraut
Salad is one of the most common ways that people eat broccoli microgreens or any microgreens for that matter. We found that one of the tastiest salads is a combination of broccoli microgreens with a bit of avocado and a dash of kimkraut.
- Create the base of your salad with microgreens, including broccoli and other greens
- Add a healthy serving of avocado
- Toss in a bit of kimkraut
- Top things off with a drizzle of lemon and a spoonful of hummus
Burgers With Broccoli Microgreens
If you live in the United States, there’s a high likelihood that you enjoy a burger from time to time. One of the best ways to eat microgreens is to replace lettuce on your burger with broccoli. You can also add a bunch of other healthy/yummy stuff to make it even better.
- Prepare your burgers as you would normally, including cheese if you want it
- Leave out the lettuce when you’re topping off the burger
- Add microgreens onto the top of the burger
- Apply any sauces you want and close the bun
Broccoli Microgreen Nutrition
The science points towards broccoli microgreens being an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
In fact, they are considered to be packed with up to 20 times more good stuff for you than their fully-grown counterparts.
Yes, you read that last line correctly: broccoli microgreens may be up to 20 times more healthy for you than the “real-deal” fully-grown broccoli you’re used to eating. That said, even in the worst-case scenario, they are still up to six times more nutritious than fully grown broccoli.
The microgreen version of broccoli has high levels of copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc, to say the least.
Broccoli Microgreen Benefits
The benefits of broccoli microgreens are actually quite phenomenal when it comes right down to it. If you aren’t already eating broccoli microgreens, consider adding it to your family’s menu!
A few of the most significant benefits of broccoli microgreens include these facts:
- They help fight disease
- They’re good for your heart health
- They can prevent cancer
- They improve your digestive health
- They are easy to grow
Broccoli Microgreen Seeds
Despite what you may have heard, there is no standard type of seed for broccoli microgreens. You can even crush dried broccoli plant heads and gather them yourself.
That’s right ladies and gentlemen: you can grow broccoli microgreens from any regular old broccoli seeds that you can get your hands on.
As far as buying them goes, you can purchase them online via a trusted retailer like Amazon, or directly from a local seed and supply store/gardening center in your area. You can even buy them at Walmart in their garden section.
Once planted, the average batch of seeds fully germinates in less than 3 or 4 days, and sometimes in just one or two days.
In case you get your seeds mixed up, it’s always good to have a picture of the seeds or at least know what they look like. It helps avoid misplanting.
Broccoli seeds are tiny and round, measuring just 1 to 3mm in size. They are brownish, reddish, and black in color.
Are Broccoli Microgreens the Same as Broccoli Sprouts?
Broccoli sprouts and broccoli microgreens are often considered the same thing, but in fact, they can be two different things. The thing they do have in common is that they are both baby versions of broccoli.
Broccoli sprouts are 4 to 5-day old broccoli plants, literally 1-inch sprouts.
Broccoli microgreens, on the other hand, are 7 to 14-day old broccoli plants, which measure 3 to 4-inches in height. They also have larger leaves than sprouts (which barely have leaves at all).
Are Broccoli Sprouts Healthier Than Broccoli Microgreens?
On the contrary, broccoli microgreens are actually quite a bit healthier for you than broccoli sprouts are. Most estimates from the scientific community put microgreens at well over 5 times healthier than sprouts and up to 20 times healthier than fully-mature broccoli.
In fact, the microgreens version of broccoli has much higher concentrated levels of vitamins A, B, C, and E than sprouts. In addition, microgreens also have higher concentrations of numerous vitamins and minerals.
What Kind of Broccoli Is Used for Microgreens?
Calabrese broccoli is by far and wide the most commonly known and grown sort of broccoli on the market. Belstar and Destiny are also rather high on the list of types of broccoli to use for growing microgreens.
A few other popular varieties of broccoli to grow and harvest as microgreens include:
- Eastern Magic
- Green Magic
- Purple Sprouting.
- Sun King
- Waltham 29
Can You Use Regular Broccoli Seeds for Microgreens?
There is no particular sort of broccoli seed that must be used for microgreens. What is most important is the technique for growing them. Microgreens are any plant that is cut short at 1 to 2 weeks and harvested as is, including broccoli.
Do Broccoli Microgreens Regrow?
Most broccoli microgreens will not grow back, simply because they do not have the energy to do so. When you harvest microgreens of any sort, you are snipping off the first set(s) of leaves of each plant, and the majority of their stem as well.
There is often not enough energy stored up in the plant’s roots to regrow. The exception is typically hydroponic broccoli microgreens or some really tough broccoli species in general.
Will Broccoli Microgreens Grow Into Broccoli?
Broccoli microgreens are simply baby broccoli plants that are cut before they have a chance to grow into mature plants/vegetables.
That means if you don’t cut your broccoli microgreens on time, and you allow them to keep growing, they will turn into full-size broccoli. The exception is if you are using a special type of seed.
How Many Times Can You Regrow Broccoli Microgreens?
Unfortunately, you can’t regrow most broccoli microgreens. Once you harvest them the first time, that’s all she wrote. In fact, it is the same with all microgreens.
The reason is, you are harvesting a sprout or seedling when harvesting plants as microgreens(instead of mature produce from a plant).
There is nothing left to regrow because you are taking the whole plant, rather than the fruits, flowers, or vegetables a plant produces.
Troubleshooting Broccoli Microgreen Problems
As with all good things, there are certain issues that are liable to pop up from time to time. Growing broccoli microgreens is no exception.
Some of the most significant problems with growing these particular microgreens are:
When your seeds are clumped up together when planted, there will be clumpy spots where all the sprouts are jammed together with some of them suspended in the air. Some of the sprouts will die and the others will develop at various rates, making it hard to harvest the entire batch at once like normal
Take your time when planting, and space your seeds properly. It seems piddly at the time, but it is well worth the few extra minutes doing the job right.
If you’re keeping your equipment clean and sanitized in between crops, you shouldn’t have to worry about bacteria getting into your microgreens. But, if you do, you could get a slight stomach ache from a minor bacteria, or seriously ill from one like salmonella.
Keep all of your growing trays, seed incubators, and general growing system/area clean and sanitized. Make sure that you are sterilizing equipment as well. As an extra precaution, wash your hands before and after working with your plants.
Not Enough Light
If your microgreens are growing too slowly, there is a great chance that you’re not allowing them enough light. Remember, broccoli microgreens require between 6 and 10 hours of light each day.
Provide the correct amount of light consistently. Plug your lights into a programmable timer and set a schedule for them to come on and off at the right times every day.
Not Enough Water
When young plants, like microgreens of any sort, including broccoli, don’t have enough water, they will slow down growth and eventually die if the problem is observed and corrected in time.
Set a reminder on your phone for a watering time each day. Even if you don’t always water them when the alarm goes off, it will serve as a constant reminder that they need proper hydration.
One problem that a lot of new growers overlook is temperature fluctuations directly around the microgreens and the system/area they are growing in. Even a window cracked open or the crack underneath a door may cause enough of a cold and constant draft to disturb their growth.
Make sure that your growing system/grow area has a stable temperature. If you can, set a thermostat to 65°F and 75°F, the temperature sweet spot for broccoli microgreens.
Growing microgreens of any sort is a fun and rewarding experience, and broccoli is by far one of the best species to choose. It’s easy to grow, super-healthy, and tastes great. It’s also growable in under a week once you get the hang of it!
Hopefully, we covered all of your questions about getting started with growing broccoli microgreens, including what to do with them once you get them harvested!