Microgreens are simply small versions of plants, vegetables, and even herbs that you already know about. You may wonder why anyone would want to grow a miniature version of a plant; after all, it’s not going to fill your plate in the same way!
The fact is that microgreens are faster to grow, more nutritious, and can be grown inside or outside; all year round. In many ways, it is the ultimate food for self-sufficiency.
Alfalfa microgreens may not be the first plant you think of growing in this way, but it is an excellent choice.
As this guide to growing alfalfa microgreens will show you; it’s easy and there are a lot of health benefits:
Alfalfa microgreens Health Benefits
Most plants are more nutritious when gown in microform. This is because the nutrients are more concentrated, ready for plant growth. Mature plants have less need for these nutrients and so are not as nutrient rich when eaten.
Here are some great health benefits that the alfalfa microgreens can offer you:
- Reduces signs of aging
Age tends to lead to wrinkled and sagging skin. This is something that many people are concerned about and thousands are spent every day on an array of treatment options.
However, all you actually need is alfalfa microgreens. These plants help your body to produce enzymes and regulate your metabolism. In short, it can help to boost cell health and replace the enzymes that lead to wrinkles and aging skin!
- Illness prevention
There is a wide range of age-related illnesses which can seriously affect your quality of life. Alfalfa microgreens have become recognized as a great option for lowering cholesterol in your body, helping to reduce the risk of several types of cancer, and even helping to prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Skin care
These microgreens have plenty of vitamin K, C, and A; all of which are essential to good skin. It can literally help your skin to glow.
- Blood Glucose Levels
These young microgreens can actually help to regulate your blood sugar levels, reducing the likelihood of you attracting diabetes, and even helping to prevent weight gain.
- Reduced Risk Of Osteoporosis
Brittle bones are a real issue to balance and when are likely to break if you fall. That’s why it is so important to do everything you can to prevent this from being an issue. Alfalfa microgreens are full of minerals, including calcium, zinc, and magnesium, that can help to prevent osteoporosis.
How to grow Alfalfa Microgreens
- soak: You’ll need to soak them for between 8-12 hours
- rinse/drain: Yes, they like water and need to be rinsed 2 times a day.
- Time to germinate: 2 – 3 days
- Time to harvest: Just 6 days!
Get started now with this step by step growing alfalfa microgreens guide:
Step 1 – Preparing To Grow
Because alfalfa microgreens need to be rinsed twice a day you’ll find it best to use a sprouter.
The first step is to soak all the seeds in cold water for between 8-12 hours. You’ll need approximately 4 cups of seeds.
After they have soaked for the required time, drain the water from the seeds and put them all in the sprouter.
Step 2 – Germination
Your sprouter, full of seeds, should be placed away from direct sunlight. Ideally, the temperature should be around 70°F. For the next 2-3 days, you’ll need to rinse and drain your seeds twice a day, once every 12 hours.
At the end of this period, you should see signs of germination occurring.
Top Tip: Draining thoroughly is critical; lack of proper drainage will impede the growth and quality of your alfalfa microgreens.
Step 3 – Getting Ready For Harvest
Once the seeds have started to sprout you’ll need to move them from the sprouter into a tray. As usual, the 10×20 tray is a good starting point. They should also be positioned in a different location where they will get plenty of light, although direct sunlight is best avoided.
Your tray should have a growing medium; a soil mix or coconut coir is a good option because it will retain the moisture for your plants.
It is important to continue with the rinse and drain cycle for the next 2-3 days. To aid with this it is beneficial to place a tray under your growing tray; this can collect the water as it drains through the soil.
At the end of this time, your microgreens should be ready to harvest. The leaves should be green and open.
It is necessary to de-hull your sprouts at this point before you undertake a final rinse. It is okay to leave the leafy hulls in pace although they may reduce the lifespan f your alfalfa; which is only a concern if you’re planning on storing them.
Step 4 – De-Hull
To de-hull, you’ll need to put the microgreens into a large bowl and fill it with cool water. You’ll then be able to loosen the hulls with your fingers or a fork. The hulls will rise to the surface where you can remove them and compost them.
To finish, place the de-hulled microgreens in a salad spinner and spin, removing all excess water.
FAQ for Alfalfa Microgreens
How long do alfalfa microgreens take to grow
They should be ready in as little as 6 days. However, it should be noted that they need to be rinsed and drained twice a day when growing; that makes them one of the most labor-intensive microgreens you can grow.
How to eat alfalfa microgreens
Put them in your salad, add them to a sandwich, or even eat them by themselves. They’ll taste delicious and give you plenty of nutrition.
How to harvest alfalfa microgreens
Harvesting is the process of de-hulling them to remove the outer leaf layer and expose the alfalfa microgreens.
It involves putting the plants in cool water and gently pushing them down, allowing the outer layer to rise up and be removed.
How to store alfalfa microgreens
As usual, it is important to keep your microgreens as dry as possible when storing them. If you used the salad spinner then they should be dry enough to place in a plastic bag and store straight away.
However, if they still feel wet to the touch you’ll need to place them between a couple of sheets of paper towel and gently dry them.
They can then be stored for up to a week.
What do alfalfa microgreens taste like?
Their flavor is actually very mild, allowing them to be a good accompaniment to almost any dish or even eaten by themselves.
Of course, when you grow alfalfa microgreens you can choose to harvest them a little later, the flavor will change each day, choose the day that best suits your taste buds!