A microgreen is a common lentil plant that is harvested before it reaches maturity. Growing it is not difficult, even if you are a beginner. Often, lentil microgreens are served in restaurants as a side dish or added to meals for nutrition. More about growing microgreens will be discussed in this article.
- 1 Comparing microgreens to lentil sprouts
- 2 Are lentil microgreens healthy to eat?
- 3 Features of growing lentil microgreens
- 4 Harvest and store lentil microgreens
- 5 Taste qualities of lentil microgreens
- 6 FAQ
- 7 Results
Comparing microgreens to lentil sprouts
The lentil microgreens are often confused with sprouts. However, there are significant differences between the products. If you soak the microgreens seeds and wait until the shoot is released, then a sprout will form.
If it continues to develop in properly selected soil, then roots and leaf plates will form.
Are lentil microgreens healthy to eat?
You can use for your dishes lentil sprouts and eat lentil microgreens. Lentil sprouts and lentil microgreens are full of nutrients and are edible.
Features of growing lentil microgreens
Growing lentil microgreens is easy. There are several important steps to follow.
More about growing microgreens will be discussed below.
To grow lentil microgreens, you need to prepare several important materials, namely:
- special planting tray;
- soil or nutrient medium;
- seeds for your own microgreens;
- source for water supply.
First, you need to prepare the seed. Opt for whole lentils that don’t split. You can’t get microgreens from crushed grains. Only dry seeds should be used. Fresh ones are unsuitable for planting.
You can buy lentils at the nearest supermarket. It is quite easy to germinate and can also be consumed as food. The peculiarity of such a product is that it is not pre-processed.
Do not use lentil seeds that have been treated with chemicals. Otherwise, you may get poisoned. Purchased lentils need to be sorted out, removing split seeds. Otherwise, the microgreens will rot and deteriorate.
As soon as you sort the seeds, you should pour them into a glass jar. Enough 1-2 handfuls. Soaking helps speed up the germination process. The lentil seeds are fairly firm when dry, so soaking helps to soften them and make them easier to germinate.
You can soak the lentil seeds overnight. Fill them with water, and leave for 7 hours. It is impossible to leave seeds in water for a long time; otherwise, the fermentation process will begin.
Culture medium preparation
While the seeds are soaking, you can start preparing the soil. You can use regular garden soil. Microgreens get all their nutrients from the seeds, not from the soil.
Filling the tray with soil
When the soil is sifted, it needs to be poured into a suitable container. You can take ordinary baskets that are sold in the supermarket.
There are special trays for growing microgreens. It is best to use them whenever possible.
The latter option is more overall and is specially designed for such work. Choose containers with holes at the bottom. This allows excess moisture to be removed so that the soil does not become swampy. Otherwise, the roots will rot and mold.
After that, the soil needs to be well-moistened. Give preference to methods that do not spoil the structure of the soil. You can use a sprayer that will spray water in a fine stream. In this case, the soil does not be pushed out of the tray.
You can also place the tray of your own lentil microgreens in a slightly larger tray. The container below should be filled with water. After a few minutes, the soil from the tray is moistened with water. After all, water will pass through the holes in the bottom.
Once all of the above steps have been completed, you can proceed to land. Soaked seeds should be evenly distributed over the surface of the soil. If they are properly soaked, they should become soft. This suggests that when in contact with the soil, they will quickly germinate.
Gentle seed pressing
After, you need to slightly press the lentil seeds into the ground. It is better to do this with the palm of your hand, with light pressure. It is important that the lentil seeds immediately begin to contact with moist soil. You should not bury them deep because the sprouts will appear much longer.
Some gardeners advise covering the lentil seeds with a little soil. However, not everyone does it. If you do not need an urgent harvest, this stage should not be abandoned. If you want to enjoy your microgreens faster, light pressure will suffice.
For microgreens to germinate evenly and successfully, a weight should be placed on top of the tray. You can use regular paperboard, the size of which corresponds to the tray. To prevent the board from getting wet, wrap it with a film. Use of a plastic or wooden board is allowed.
You can also use ordinary stone or brick, which is laid on top of the board. It won’t slow down development. The seeds have enough energy to make the board rise during germination. As soon as germination is active, it is better to remove the board with the load.
As soon as you put the load, it is recommended to remove the tray in a dark place. It can be a closet or a place under the sink in the kitchen. The room must be well-ventilated.
Moving tray to light
After a few days, the tray should be checked. Germination rates should be at the level of 95%. Yes, lentil microgreens germinate well. However, some species can germinate slowly and unevenly.
Therefore, you should put the trays in a well-lit place.
As soon as germination is normal, you should put the trays in a place where there is a source of artificial light. Make sure there is no direct sunlight. This spoils the taste and overall appearance of the microgreens. You can use any commercially available lamps.
Leave lentil microgreens under lights until you start harvesting. Lamps should be placed evenly. At the same time, the lamps should not interfere with the passage of fresh air. The tray should be 11.8 inches lower than the lamp.
If the own lentil microgreens are exposed to intense light, growth is straight. Therefore, the greenery will be beautiful. Make sure the light is not too hot. Aesthetics is important, especially if you plan to sell after harvest.
The lamps must shine exactly on the green. If they stand at an angle, then you must notice sprouts shooting because they may grow at an angle, so the aesthetics are violated.
When you grow microgreens under a light source, you should start watering. It is important to provide the watering with an interval of 2 days. This must be done until you start harvesting. You can take advantage of several options for watering.
First, you can put the tray of microgreens in a larger container. After that, a massive pan should be filled with water. As soon as the soil is slightly moistened, immediately move the container under the light source. This should be done every time you need to water.
You can also use a spray. If you use a hose or a spray bottle, it is important to water at the base. This will prevent water contact with the microgreens canopy and leaf blades.
It is important to note that the frequency of watering depends on the climate of your area. The higher the air temperature in your area, the more often you need to water the plants. Remember not to overwater the plants. After all, this can lead to the formation of mold.
Excessive moisture can spoil the taste of greens. Therefore, try to water the plants properly before harvesting them to get the best results.
Harvest and store lentil microgreens
Already 4-5 days after sowing, your microgreens are ready for harvest. It is important to understand that timing is highly subjective.
Try to harvest greens when 3 full sheets are formed. You can also focus on the taste and appearance of leaf plates.
Many gardeners think that green is ready for harvest in 3-4 days after sprouts appear. If you delay the timing a little, then the plants will become bitter. It is recommended to harvest with kitchen scissors. Lentil microgreens stalks are also edible.
It is recommended to cut directly above the ground.
For the greens to have an attractive taste, it is possible that a dressing is required.
It is recommended to store the collected microgreens in the refrigerator. It does not need to be rinsed first. Microgreens should be washed before use. This has a better effect on the shelf life. If you store the lentil microgreens properly, they last for 3-7 days.
Taste qualities of lentil microgreens
Microgreens and lentil sprouts have a nutty, slightly earthy flavor. The taste is a bit like peas. You can add the product to all dishes in which you want to get a nutty taste. In this case, the dish will be saturated with nutrients.
If you grow lentil microgreens yourself, you always have your own useful product. You can saturate your body with nutrients every day.
When it comes to growing lentil microgreens, many questions can be faced.
Do lentils make good microgreens?
Lentil microgreens are not only delicious. It contains many vitamins, minerals, and fiber. At the same time, it is easily digestible, contains a minimum of calories, and the growing process itself is inexpensive.
How do you grow lentil microgreens?
Growing lentil microgreens is easy. First, you need to soak the seeds in cold water. After, you need to water them several times a day. Rinse them afterward and drain the water. Already 2-3 days after planting, you can harvest lentil plants.
Can you eat lentil greens?
Yes, you can eat lentil microgreens. Lentil microgreens taste like peas. The best taste qualities are observed when the height of the plants is 0.4 inches.
Are sprouted lentils good for you?
For better absorption of lentil microgreens, they must first be cooked. In the sprouting process, phytic acid is neutralized, so vitamins B and C are better revealed. At the same time, sprouted lentil microgreens are much more satisfying. It has a crunchy texture and is slightly refreshing.
As you can see, growing lentil microgreens, which are very useful for the body, is not difficult. If you follow all the rules discussed in this article, in a few days you can enjoy nutritious and tasty greens.