Sprouts Microgreens and Mesclun: How Do They Differ?

Sprouts Microgreens and Mesclun: How Do They Differ?

sprouts1Sprouts microgreens and mesclun are not the same, though many people confuse them. Below are basic instructions for growing them and you will be able to see how they differ.

Sprouts

  • Soak the seeds in water then drain thoroughly and place in a jar, which must be kept out of sunlight
  • rinse and drain them thoroughly twice a day
  • after 3 – 5 days the sprouts will be nearly ready to eat. Place the jar in more light but not direct sunlight.
  • harvest in 4 – 6 days. Empty the jar and place the sprouts on layers of absorbent paper – it’s best to keep the sprouts as dry as possible so remove as much water as you can with a paper towel. Remove any husks and unsprouted seeds.
  • place them in a covered container and keep in the fridge.

With sprouts you eat seed and seedling – everything.

Microgreens

microgreensAYou need a shallow tray or container with drainage holes. Fill this to near the top with a growing medium – potting mix is good.

  • sprinkle the seeds quite thickly over the soil and press it down gently. Note: peas should be soaked overnight before sowing.
  • water the tray – either by soaking or from overhead.
  • cover the tray to prevent it from drying out. Newspaper is good for this.
  • once the seeds have germinated, remove the cover and place the tray in bright light but not direct sunlight. Water them when required.
  • The microgreens will be ready to harvest in 1 – 3 weeks. Cut them with scissors when they are 2 – 5 cm (1 – 2 inches) high. The seeds are not eaten.

Note: Wash microgreens thoroughly before eating.

Sprouts are more nutrient-dense than microgreens, and microgreens have more nutritional value than mature vegetables of the same species.

A word of warning about sprouts:
It is not advisable to eat them raw, though many people do so with no ill effects. Bacteria from manure in the soil in which the seeds were grown can get lodged in the seed’s case. These will increase in numbers as you grow the sprouts and could cause illness.
See http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/types/fruits/sprouts.html

Whether you grow and eat sprouts is your choice. Microgreens should be no more dangerous than mature vegetables if they are thoroughly washed.

Mesclun

Mesclun greens are a mixture of leafy greens. Traditional mesclunmesclun1 contains young leaves of green salad vegetables such as lettuce, endive, arugula and some herbs. Nowadays a mesclun mix can contain such plants as spinach, mustard, chicory, chard, mizuna and more. This choice ensures that mesclun greens have variety and colour as well as a mixture of flavours and make a valuable addition of vitamins and minerals to your diet.

You can add a personal touch to mesclun by adding in some of the seeds you may have on hand such as Asian greens, kale, cress or purslane and herbs such as chervil or parsley.

The plants are grown until they are 10 cm (4 inches) or more and then snipped 2 – 3 cm (1 inch) above the soil. Cut what you need and leave the rest for another time. The plants that have been cut will grow again and be ready for further harvesting about a month later.

 

 

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