We are living in an amazing time of rediscovering common things in our life and re-estimating their value. For example, greens, vegetables, and fruits — we find more and more ingredients that make them priceless for our health. Today we are reintroducing kale to you, and not just some kale, but kale microgreens.
These cute little sprouts are the epitome of healthy food. They provide so many health benefits, it will be hard to count (but we’ll still try).
Kale microgreens are easy to grow. You can easily do that in your indoor or outdoor garden.
But why should you bother at all, planting and growing kale microgreens?
Let’s find out.
- 1 Kale vs. kale microgreens
- 2 A little body often harbors a great soul
- 3 Kale microgreens varieties
- 4 Are kale microgreens high maintenance?
- 5 Final thoughts
Kale vs. kale microgreens
Microgreens and their full-size varieties are often different both in appearance and composition.
Kale microgreens are young sprouts that will later grow into mature plants of regular size. Basically, they are just babies.
It’s not common among the microgreens, which usually differ from the ‘original versions’.
After you plant the seeds, you’ll have to wait just a few days before you can harvest kale microgreens. That’s fast and convenient. One more incentive is that both their leaves and sprouts are edible, with nutrient levels through the roof.
It turns out, the little guys contain a higher concentration of vitamins and microelements than the grown kale plants. Kale microgreens are extremely rich in vitamins and have earned the name ‘Superfood’.
A little body often harbors a great soul
Kale microgreens are a significant source of vitamins and microelements providing major health benefits for the human body.
Vitamin A strengthens the immune and reproductive systems, stimulates cell division, and protects and improves vision.
Vitamin B6 is responsible for healthy brain development and the proper function of the immune system. It is also great for sustaining a healthy level of metabolism, which is very important in the era of a sedentary lifestyle.
This vitamin is one of the most effective antioxidants. It protects the body from the harm caused by free radicals. Due to the current environmental situation, we are exposed to these elements on a greater scale than ever before.
That’s why vitamin C consumption becomes critical for us. It decreases the risk of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other severe conditions.
Vitamin C also protects cells, blood vessels, skin, and bones.
Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that minimizes the damage from free radicals and slows down the cell aging process. It protects and improves vision and skin.
This vitamin prevents blood thinning, being a major part of the clotting process.
It plays an important role in strengthening the bone structure and the heart condition.
Dietary fiber phosphorus
Fiber is critical to freeing the human body from waste. Dietary fiber phosphorus helps cleanse the kidneys, which are critical for removing the body’s waste products and sustaining the balance of salts and electrolytes.
It also regulates energy storage. Eating a proper amount of fiber helps maintain a healthy body weight.
Folate participates in the metabolic processes and DNA and RNA formation.
Copper strengthens the immune system, bone structure, and blood vessels.
Iron is critical for hemoglobin production. It strengthens the immune system as well.
This element is very beneficial for the immune system. Magnesium also regulates blood pressure, reduces the risk of kidney stones, and maintains proper muscle activity. It has anti-inflammatory properties.
Manganese is critical for blood sugar regulation. It also plays an important role in connective tissue and bone growth and stimulates sex hormones. Besides, a sufficient amount of manganese insures normal brain and nerve operation.
Potassium helps maintain normal levels of fluid inside the cells. It contributes to normalizing blood pressure levels and to proper muscle contraction.
Kale microgreens varieties
Kale comes in a variety of different species, and you can grow any of them in their microgreens version. As we’ve already mentioned, kale microgreens are just the babies of their mature version. You can grow kale microgreens, harvest some of them, and leave the rest to grow to the full size. Here are the main species.
Red Russian kale
Dwarf Siberian kale
Vates Blue Scots kale
Red Winter kale
Are kale microgreens high maintenance?
Now we’re going to show you that growing kale microgreens, as well as taking care of or harvesting them, is not complex and doesn’t require a degree in agricultural science.
How to plant
First, you’ll need kale seeds. We suggest purchasing them from a respectable company recommended by professional growers or institutions. If the microgreens seeds are of poor quality, the result will be also… poor.
You’ll also need a growing tray.
A plastic 10″ x 20″ garden tray with drain holes will suffice. And don’t forget the second tray, to put below the first one, to keep the water from leaking.
As the growing medium, we recommend using sterilized soil or coconut coir and earthworm castings. Such a growing medium is rich in nutrients and doesn’t let the soil retain too much water.
- Fill the plastic tray with a growing medium. Keep it loose, this way the seeds will easily germinate on the surface.
- Dampen the soil. It should be well-moistened, but not too wet. If you overdid it a little, wait for half an hour, and let the water drain through the holes.
- Distribute the seeds evenly, scattering them over the growing medium. The seed density should be about 0.5-2 oz per flat.
- Lightly mist the seeds with a spray bottle of water and put a lid on the tray. Germination is faster in darkness. If you have several trays, put them on top of each other (no more than 3) with an empty tray without holes on top of the last one.
- Store the tray(s) in a dark place with a temperature range of 60° F – 70° F. Check out the seeds every day and mist them lightly.You should be able to see the sprouts on the 2nd or 3rd day. The germination phase is over.
How to grow
When the sprouts are 1.0″ tall, give them light. Use a grow light, artificial light, or indirect sunlight.
Bottom water kale microgreens heavily when you open them up.
Then continue bottom watering the kale. If you try to water young sprouts from above, you can end up damaging their tender leaves and stems. So only bottom watering for now.
Grow microgreens in places with proper ventilation, mild temperatures, and out of direct sunlight. Don’t overwater the kale.
Your kale microgreens will be ready to harvest after 8-12 days.
Make sure the leaves are open, and the color is bright green.
How to harvest
Grow microgreens until they are 3.0″ tall. Then you can harvest kale microgreens.
Use a sharp knife.
Make sure the kale microgreens are dry. For that, don’t water them for at least 12 hours before harvesting.
Cut the kale with the knife and put it into a plastic bag (or another packaging of your choice). If the kale sprouts are still wet, dry them first; otherwise, their shelf life will be too short.
Stored in a plastic bag in the fridge, these greens can last 7-10 days. A good shelf life.
As you can see, it’s not complex to grow microgreens.
How to eat
And now, a few tips about how to include these microgreens into your diet and get all the health benefits that kale provides.
One of the best things is that you can eat kale microgreens raw, and they are exquisite. Their taste is mild but sophisticated, it brings additional flavor to any dish, adding freshness and an earthy slightly sweet undertone.
Like other leafy vegetables, they are a great addition to salads.
Put them on avocado toast, pizza, or in soup.
It’s a great garnish for any dish. Red Russian kale has this specific and beautiful dark leaf color which will make your dish look like a piece of art.
A smoothie with kale microgreens is a healthy bomb, protecting you from heart disease, and enriching your body with the nutrients important for the proper work of all the organs and systems.
In our article, we told you about kale microgreens, one of the simple leafy vegetables, neither fancy nor exotic and, nevertheless, absolutely wonderful for your health. We told you how to grow kale microgreens, how to get them ready to harvest, and how to eat them too.
If you like indoor gardening, consider growing microgreens. You can grow kale microgreens in the garden too, they have a relatively long shelf life, which is also a perk.
Microgreens are packed with vitamins, taste delicious, and look cute. Join the club and start using the great benefits these little cuties provide.
Can you eat kale as a microgreen?
Yes, you can eat kale microgreens. They are just young sprouts of mature plants. Add them to soups, salads, and main dishes. They are great as garnishes, especially Red Russian kale. Make a smoothie with them for a healthy treat.
What are kale microgreens good for?
Kale microgreens are great for salads, sandwiches, and toast. You can add them to soups for additional flavor or use them as a garnish for any dish, especially Red Russian kale.
Which microgreen is the healthiest?
All microgreens are very healthy, but pea shoots are one of the healthiest ones. They are packed with vitamins and microelements.
What do kale microgreens taste like?
It has a mild, sweet flavor like other brassicas.