Are you ready to discover the power of microgreens and even start growing corn microgreens yourself?
The first thing you need to know is that it’s not as difficult as you may think.
Secondly, it’s important to understand that corn microgreens are also known as corn sprouts; as they are harvested shortly after they sprout. But, if you leave these small plants to grow for an extra two to three weeks, they’ll be referred to as corn shoots.
Corn microgreens became popular in the 1990s, they have a slightly sweet flavor which makes them a great addition to virtually any meal and they are generally appealing; even if someone doesn’t normally like vegetables.
Top Tip: While growing microgreens is a straightforward process, corn microgreens are slightly more labor intensive than many other types of microgreens.
Corn Microgreens Health Benefits
All microgreens seem to pack in the goodness of the full-grown plant several times over, corn microgreens are no different:
- Bone Strength
Corn microgreens are full of calcium and other minerals which will help to ensure you have strong bones and teeth.
- Disease Control
There is a high level of vitamins A, B, and E, alongside Iron, Thiamin, and Niacin. These and other minerals in the microgreens help your body to regulate blood sugar levels which can help to control diabetes.
They also prevent anemia, reduce hypertension; reduce cholesterol absorption, and even lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Improved Immune System
Corn microgreens are also very effective at boosting the strength of your immune system, resolving constipation issues and are full of antioxidants for overall health.
- Reduces Cancer Risk
You’ll also be pleased to note that these microgreens can reduce the risk of colon cancer, liver cancer, and even breast cancer.
- Healthy Vision
Finally, the beta-carotene in corn microgreens has been shown to help prevent the degeneration of eye tissue. In short, they will help to maintain your quality of vision as you age.
How to Grow Corn Microgreens
- Soak: Yes, for a minimum of 12 hours
- Rinse/drain: No
- Time to germinate: Within 2-3 days
- Time to harvest: Between 8 and 12 days
Here’s your step by step guide for how to grow corn microgreens:
Step 1 – Soaking
It is essential to soak your seeds in water for around 12 hours before you plant them. You won’t see them sprouting at the end like wheatgrass does. Make sure there is air circulation in the sprouter and you don’t have a closed lid.
Top Tip: The seeds like air-circulation. Keep them in an open place where there is plenty of air flow. Prior to shoot growth, indirect sunlight is not an issue.
Step 2 – Planting
Corn microgreens actually grow very well in a potting mix (peat moss + vermiculite). It is important to note that corn microgreens are not happy in puddles of water. You should, therefore, make your soil approximately 1-2 inches deep. with drainage holes in the bottom.
Water the soil thoroughly and make sure there are no puddles of water before planting. You can put as many as 2 cups of seeds in a 10×20 tray, being packed together is not an issue for these plants.
Once planted the seeds need to be covered in the dark. Keeping them dark will ensure they have a yellow color, making them sweet like popcorn. Restaurants prefer sweet corn for microgreens and they are yellow instead of green.
Step 4 – Watering
Spray the plants once a day until their roots are established in the soil. Then you should only water the soil, not the plants (bottom watering – make sure the water is only touching the roots, not the seed kernels to prevent mold growth). If there is little soil visible then add water to the drip tray under the planting tray; this will allow them to access the water they need.
You’ll need to monitor them and water them daily for the next 5-9 days.
Bonus Tip: Keeping them covered will give you yellow stalks which are sweeter.
Once they reach between 2-4 inches tall they’ll be ready to harvest depending on your taste preference.
Check out the most commonly asked questions and, if you can’t find the answer you need, contact me.
When to harvest corn microgreens
As soon as the shoots are between 2 and 4 inches tall they’ll be ready to harvest. The exact time you harvest them is up to you, the flavor will change slightly every day; test them until you find your perfect flavor.
How to get rid of mold on corn microgreens
Mold can quickly kill any crop and is an issue when your crops are covered. To avoid this make sure all your equipment is clean before you start and keep a good airflow around your plants. You might want to try misting them with a diluted bleach solution.
How to eat corn microgreens
You can eat these with your salad, as a garnish, in your sandwiches, or even by themselves as a snack.
The one thing not to do is to cook them as they will lose their nutrition and flavor.
How to harvest corn microgreens
As soon as the corn microgreens are tall enough to harvest you can cut them as close to your soil as possible. Wash them gently and enjoy.
How to store corn microgreens
Of all the microgreens corn is one of the easiest and most effective to store; simply because it is a little harder than any of the leafy greens.
Before you harvest them it is a good idea to avoid watering them for approximately 12 hours. This will keep them from being too wet, which can attract bacteria and mold while being stored. Excess moisture can also make the plants lose their crunch after being stored.
Place the corn microgreens between two sheets of paper towel and dab them gently. This will remove any excess water. You can then store them in a plastic bag or container in your refrigerator.
Don’t forget it is possible to grow these all year round, you don’t need to store too many of them.
What do corn microgreens taste like?
They have a very similar flavor to sweet popcorn. Some people have described them tasting like artificial sweetened grass.