Chia microgreens may not be the first thing that springs to mind when considering what crop to plant next. But, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be top of your list.
In fact, once you’ve read the benefits of growing chia microgreens you’ll be eager to start straight away.
Growing microgreens is an excellent introduction to gardening. It is small enough to do in any space; inside or out and gives you results in a very short space of time. Most microgreens will be ready to harvest in less than 15 days.
The fact that it is very easy to grow microgreens this way will help to ensure any gardener can enjoy success, as well as the fruits of their labors.
Chia Microgreens Health Benefits
If you’re already familiar with the benefits of chia seeds then you won’t be surprised by the number of health benefits that chia microgreens can offer you. What may surprise you is that they offer even more benefits than the seeds.
- Bone & Cardiovascular Health
These microgreens are high in calcium which is essential for strong bones and teeth. But calcium is also beneficial for your cardiovascular system; improving your heart health and the ability for nutrients and oxygen to get around your body.
You’ll also find plenty of phosphorous in chia microgreens which aids the above process.
- Promote Brain Health
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to improve brain and cognitive function. In fact, they have even been linked with helping to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s.
The good news is that chia has plenty of omega-3 fatty acids
- Boost Blood Health
The presence of chlorophyll is good for your blood. This compound is full of vitamins; including K, E, C, and A. It also has potassium and iron which will boost your platelet count
In short, chia microgreens are a great way of improving the overall health of your body, allowing it to grow stronger and resist disease better.
How to Grow Chia Microgreens
- Soak: No, it’s not necessary to soak the seeds before planting.
- Rinse/drain: No, the soil needs to be kept moist while they germinate.
- Time to germinate: Signs should be visible in 2-3 days.
- Time to harvest: Between 8-12 days, when the shoots fall over.
Follow this step by step guide for how to grow chia microgreens and you’ll be enjoying their taste in less than 2 weeks!
Step1 – Prepare Your Grow Area
You’ll need a growing tray of some description, a 10×20 tray is a good starting point. It will then be important to choose your growing media. Chia sits on top of this media, not in it. This means it needs to be able to retain moisture without drowning the seeds.
The best growing medium is a soil mix or even a paper towel (folded over 3 times).
Once you’ve chosen the medium and placed it in your tray, you can sprinkle your seeds across it. Approximately 4 tablespoons, evenly spread, should suffice. Mist the seeds after you have sprinkled them in the tray. Cover it with a lid to retain moisture. You can place them in a dark place but you don’t need to. Having them in a darker place while germinating will create higher stems.
Step 2 – Watering
The seeds will start to germinate within the first 2-3 days. During this stage it is important to keep the soil moist without creating pools of water, a spray bottle is the best solution for this.
After they have germinated you can continue to spray the tray daily, poling water is less of an issue at this stage.
Step 3 – Growing
Your plants will now grow and should show their first shoots within 4-5 days. As soon as they reach ¾ inch high they will be unable to support their own weight, they’ll fall over.
This shows they are ready to harvest.
Step 4 – Harvesting
Simply cut the stalks as near to the growing medium as possible and take your chia microgreens inside. It is a good idea to rinse them lightly in cold water before immediately serving.
If you’re planning to store these microgreens you must minimize their water intake for 8-12 hours before you harvest them. The dryer they are the better they will store.
How long do chia microgreens take to grow
The first signs of life will be within 2-3 days. You’ll be able to harvest and enjoy them in less than 15 days.
How to eat chia microgreens
Raw is best, this ensures all the nutrients are retained. The simplest way of including them in your diet is to add them to a sandwich or salad. In fact, they are an excellent replacement or addition to any time you’re tempted to use lettuce.
You shouldn’t cook chia microgreens as this will destroy their nutrient profile.
How to harvest chia microgreens
Simply wait until the little plants start to fall over. Then cut the stems as close to the growing media as possible.
How to store chia microgreens
It is best to consume chia microgreens fresh, they don’t always store very well. If you’re growing the plants yourself then you should be able to harvest them on different days to avoid the need for storage. This will also help you to decide at which age they taste best, their flavor will change slightly every day.
The trick to storing them is to make sure they are as dry as possible; hence the reason for stopping watering them in the last 8-12 hours of growing.
You can place them between two pieces of paper towel; this will help to absorb all excess water. Then they can be kept in a plastic bag or container, which is sealed and stored in your refrigerator.
What do chia microgreens taste like?
Delicious! They are actually slightly bitter in taste which makes it advisable to add a little sweetness to your food, such as orange in your salad.
Of course, the fact that they are extremely healthy and homegrown will help you to enjoy the chia microgreens even more.