Little Known Benefits of Broccoli Microgreens
Broccoli is notorious for being one of the most disliked vegetables. Despite its notable appearances in classics like Chicken Broccoli Alfredo and Broccoli Cheddar Soup, the vegetable hasn’t quite bounced back from it’s heinous reputation. What’s so great about the stuff, anyway? A lot, actually.
If you read my first blog post on GGG, you’d remember that broccoli is rich in a variety of nutrients, including Sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is responsible for increasing the activity of antioxidants, making broccoli a vital immunity defense.1 Broccoli provides a variety of vitamins and minerals, but many of us aren’t sold yet- especially kids. I hate to sound like an old infomercial, but really- there’s got to be a better way.
There is: Broccoli Microgreens. While I’ve never been a huge fan of the mature vegetable, broccoli microgreens are my favorite of the sort. The flavor is mild and fresh- I swear they pair with everything. I find it easy to add an extra serving of greens to every meal. Broccoli Microgreens prove superior to their mature counterparts in many ways. Don’t believe me? Keep reading...
Safer than Mature Broccoli
In addition to Sulforaphane, Broccoli is chock full of chemicals. Nitrates are common in cruciferous veggies like broccoli, spinach and cauliflower- but not necessarily safe for children. Studies have found that infants and pregnant woman are particularly susceptible to Nitrate Poisoning.2 Luckily, microgreens are very low in nitrates, and therefore safer for kids (and their mothers).3
Better for Your Carbon Footprint
The NRDC laments that although the food industry swallows “10% of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50% of U.S. land, and swallows 80% of all freshwater consumed in the United States...40% of food in the United States today goes uneaten.”4 That means nearly half the food on the shelves goes to waste. What’s worse: produce is the biggest offender. Fruits and veggies require a lot of water during the farming process.
Microgreens are grown sustainably, using less resources than needed for mature plants. Data shows that broccoli microgreens require “158–236 times less water” than mature broccoli and grow “in 93–95% less time, without the need for fertilizer, pesticides, or energy-demanding transport from farm to table”5 You can rest easy knowing that your greens don’t waste any resources.
While we can blame big corporate grocery stores for this injustice, the onus isn’t completely on the “big guys”. As consumers, we need to be conscious about the amount of food we waste. Here are a couple ways Microgreens will reduce your carbon footprint:
They’re Fresh and Local
Instead of getting your produce from a large grocer, see if there are any farms in your area! Buying from local businesses stimulates the local economy and ensures that you are getting the freshest product possible. The farther your food has to travel to get to your plate, the more nutrients it loses en route6. While produce is freshest within three days of harvesting, it’s speculated that many fruits and vegetables travel for three days and sit on the shelf for another three days at the grocery store… doesn’t sound so fresh, does it? Microgreens are packed with nutrition and always sold fresh! You can find a local vendor near you. If you’re in the Boston area, give the Giant Gorilla Greens shop a browse!
You Can Eat Every Part of the Plant
Many of us are quick to peel, chop and discard the skins and stems of our veggies. Most of us only eat the florets but the truth is… broccoli stems are higher in antioxidants than any other part of the plant.5 Broccoli microgreens are so fluffy, you can eat them straight out of the package- stem and all. Not only will you get the most out of your meal, but you’ll save yourself time in the kitchen…
No Cooking Required
If you’re busy (or maybe just lazy, like me), you don’t want cooking to turn into an event worthy of its own segment on the Food Network. As a self proclaimed picky eater, I can promise you that microgreens are soft enough to eat raw. Once again, the cooking process can deplete the nutritional content of your produce7. No matter what you’re cooking, you can be sure that microgreens will pair perfectly- and save you cook time.
40x as Nutritious!
Microgreens have been found to be 7-40 times more nutritious than their mature counterparts.8 Microgreens are harvested when the plant's content of vitamins and mineral peaks - resulting in the most concentrated nutrition possible. Considering they are so small, you get more out of a serving of microgreens than you would from a serving of mature vegetables.
Additionally, you don’t have to worry that your diet isn’t meeting your Reccommended Daily Allowances. Microgreens are so rich with vitamins and minerals, you can be sure you’re doing right by your body.
There’s really no reason not to give these little greens a try! Giant Gorilla Greens sources organic seeds for all of their microgreens. They are grown using organic soil, pH balanced water, and no pesticides! Sustainably grown in Woburn, MA, these microgreens require no extra prep! You can be certain your meals are packed with as many nutrients as possible… and save the struggle with your kid (...or yourself).
1“Effects of Sulforaphane (SFN) on Immune Response to Live Attenuated Influenza Virus in Smokers and Nonsmokers.” ClinicalTrials.gov, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 4 Jan. 2011, clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01269723.
2Mekonnen, Serkalem. “Nitrate and Nitrite Poisoning.” Nitrate/Nitrite Poisoning, Why So Blue?, National Capital Poison Center, 21 Apr. 2020, www.poison.org/articles/causes-and-symptoms-of-nitrate-nitrite-poisoning-174.
3Pinto, Edgar, et al. “Comparison between the Mineral Profile and Nitrate Content of Microgreens and Mature Lettuces.” Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, vol. 37, 2015, pp. 38–43., doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2014.06.018.
4Gunders, Dana. “Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill .” NRDC, National Resources Defense Council, Aug. 2012, www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/wasted-food-IP.pdf.
5Weber, Carolyn F. “Broccoli Microgreens: A Mineral-Rich Crop That Can Diversify Food Systems.” Frontiers in Nutrition, vol. 4, 2017, doi:10.3389/fnut.2017.00007.
6Barrett, Diane M. “Maximizing the Nutritional Value of Fruits and Vegetables.” UC Davis, 2007, ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-780.pdf.
7SRIVASTAVA, G.C., and Vijay Paul. “Post-Harvest Technology of Fresh Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers: Role of Plant Physiology.” Division of Plant Physiology, Jan. 2003.
8Xiao, Zhenlei, et al. “Assessment of Vitamin and Carotenoid Concentrations of Emerging Food Products: Edible Microgreens.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 60, no. 31, 2012, pp. 7644–7651., doi:10.1021/jf300459b.