How To Use Microgreens in Food
Episode 027 of the Microgreens Podcast
There are so many ways to use microgreens in food that there is no way I could mentioned them all. But I think I have a great start discussing how to use microgreens and add microgreens to your diet.
Take a listen to the podcast for my ideas. A transcript to the podcast is published below.
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Show Notes and Transcript of How to Use Microgreens in Food: Episode 027 of the Microgreens Podcast
Below is a transcript of Episode 027 of the Microgreens Podcast How to Use Microgreens in Food.
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Episode 27 Microgreens Podcast
As my daughters were growing up, we watched a lot of cooking shows together.
And I think the first time I saw microgreens, they were used as a garnish.
But let me tell you, I am not the person to be using tweezers to set microgreens onto my meal dishes. I'm just not that kind of person.
I am more of the salad type person where you just take a bunch of microgreens and you either throw them on top of a salad or no lettuce is used and you just use microgreens to make a complete salad.
Some microgreens can be used as snacks, for example, sunflowers. People just pick them out of a bag and chew them like it would a piece of popcorn. I sort of do the same thing with pea shoots. I don't necessarily eat them as a snack, but I can't seem to cook with them without eating a few of them raw.
Another common usage for microgreens are for sandwich toppings, whether that is to go on top of a sandwich, inside a wrap, on a taco, or a burrito, or placed inside thinner wraps such as sushi rolls, especially the spicier microgreens like mustard really work great with sushi.
If you don't want to use a grain wrap, you can actually even use thinly sliced vegetables such as daikon radishes. Or if you're really good with the knife, you can use carrots; cut them around the diameter really thin and then just use those as your veggie roll.
Almost any type of microgreen can be used in a sandwich roll or incorporated inside a wrap, or a taco, or burrito. Microgreens have so many different flavor profiles that you can find a microgreens to go along with about anything that you want to eat.
If you really want to go off the rail a bit, you can use them on melts, not only in as an open face sandwich melts, but you can actually encapsulate the microgreens inside slices of cheese.
I've done this before. It really surprises people.
So basically for a melt, you'd put a slice of cheese down, chop up some microgreens, put them on top of the cheese, put another piece of cheese on top of that, and then just cook it like a regular melt. People are really surprised when they bite into that melt and see the greens inside. They don't get mushy or anything. They stay nice and green.
The cheese protects them. It's pretty cool and it really surprises a lot of people when you spring that on them.
You can also float microgreens on soups, whether they're cold soups or warm soups, especially the more flavorful microgreens like onions or some of the herbs.
Often you'll see microgreens topping soups and they're whole and long, like an onion. Microgreens are two and a half, three inches long. I'd rather see them chopped up. The soup is much easier to eat that way, and I think it actually increases the flavor.
And while we're on the topic of using stronger tasting microgreens, I'm sure everyone is sort of using arugula as a pizza topping, but there are other micros you can use too two such as basil, onions, leaks, or again, any other strong flavored microgreens such as radishes.
What microgreens you use will all depend on the other toppings that you have on the pizza. Just remember that some microgreens are better to be added on top of the pizza after cooking then while they're cooking.
Microgreens are also great to be added to salsas or guacamole, whether you're actually making the salsa or guacamole with the microgreens or taking a store bought salsa and adding your own fresh microgreens to increase the flavor profiles.
This is a great way to use up microgreens that you have left over or improve the flavor of any salsa that you have bought.
My oldest daughter loves to incorporate onion or leak microgreens into the guacamole.
It really adds another layer of flavor and really picks up the punch of the guacamole.
Just like with salsas, you can actually add microgreens to cold salad like potato or macaroni salads.
Again, the stronger flavor microgreens like onions leaks and mustards work great with these, but we like to add baby herbs as well. It really adds, again, more layers of flavor to your cold salads.
One of the best microgreens to add to a cold potato salad would be chives. Garlic chives are even better.
All right. Let's mix it up a little bit.
Let's change from foods to drinks.
That's right. Microgreens can be used to drinks, whether they're alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks. Obvious drinks would be bloody Mary's or rum drinks like mojitos.
Microgreens such as borage, mint, and cantaloupe work great with vodka or even in iced teas. Lemon lime flavored drinks pair really well with the sweeter herb microgreens and the microgreens also add a lot of color to those drinks.
You can use the microgreens either chopped or use a muddler or you can just add them to the drink hole for the visual appeal.
Not only can microgreens be added to drinks in the leaf form or muddled, but they can also be blend it into smoothies or juiced with fruit such as oranges, pineapple, apples, or any other fruit and vegetable with a high liquid content.
Just think of wheat grass. You can do the same thing with microgreens or actually add microgreens to your wheat grass.
Whole microgreens drinks, smoothies, or even wheat grass is just a bit too much for me, but I do think that microgreens mixed in with some other fruit juices would be really good.
Switching gears again, microgreens can also be processed into pestos or they can be used in sauces for pasta dishes or they can be chopped up and added for color and flavor in both pasta and rice recipes.
Now, not many microgreens can hold up very well to high heat like it is for stir fries, but you can use pea shoots in stir fries. That works really well.
In fact, the pea shoots actually turn a much brighter green when they cook this way.
Pea shoots and many other microgreens are great on egg dishes, whether they're incorporated into dishes like scrambled eggs or just sprinkled on top. In fact, this is one of my favorite ways to use microgreens and it's a great way to add a vegetable into your breakfast meal, which is generally quite hard to do.
Another way I add microgreens to my diet and it's an unusual way, is to chop them up and add them to ground meats.
You can also add them to plant-based burger substitutes.
One of my favorite ways to use microgreens is to chop them up and add them to my meatballs or add them to a meat loaf. They add a lot of moisture and all the vitamin and minerals are added to the meat.
When fish prices aren't out of the world or when I catch some trout or walleyes, I generally add chopped microgreens to the fish when I cook them in foil or parchment paper.
I find that lemon basil and some of the mustards work really well with fish. Of course, parsley and dill would also be winners when you're cooking them with fish.
Similar to adding microgreens to soups, you can add them to Pho or to American hardy stews.
Last but not least, micro herbs can be added to desserts such as tarts, strawberry shortcakes, mint comes to mind with ice cream.
Seems like whenever I do see these in desserts, you see the whole leaf just added on top of the dessert, but I think if you chop them up, it's going to be easier to eat and it's actually going to add more flavor to the dessert that you're eating. Might not look as nice, but the flavor will be a lot better.
I might cook good tasting food in my own mind anyways, but I'm not a chef or I'm not even a creative amateur. So I'm sure there are hundreds of other ways to incorporate microgreens into your food or your diet.
I'd be very interested in knowing how you use microgreens, or how you plan on using microgreens, or how you've seen microgreens used.
And just be aware that I'm looking for someone to partner with to write microgreens recipe articles for my website.
If you know anyone or if you are that person, please let me know. I would love to add a great recipe section to the website and give total credit to the person that creates the recipes.