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Can You Freeze Microgreens?

Kristie Leong M.D. is a family practitioner who believes in the power of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to prevent and fight illness.

What Are Microgreens?

Microgreens are basically baby greens or sprouts. They're the first leaves that emerge from seeds, usually between three and 10 days after planting.

You can find them in most grocery stores and farmers markets now, but if you want to grow your own, it's easy to do at home with seeds, soil, and a little TLC. The earliest microgreens were grown in soil, but now it’s common for producers to grow them hydroponically or in some other non-soil medium.

There are many types of microgreens that you can buy or grow at home. Here are some of the most popular varieties:

  • Arugula
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Cilantro/coriander
  • Dill/fennel/anise hyssop
  • Endive/escarole/radicchio/scarole/Belgian endive/curly endive
  • Kale/red Russian kale (also known as lacinato)

Try various types and determine which pleases your palate more. Some have an earthy taste while others have a spicy kick.

Nutritional Powerhouse

Microgreens are a nutritious addition to your diet. According to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, microgreens have up to 40 times the nutritional content of their mature counterparts.

Use them to enhance salads, soups or sandwiches and you can add them to sandwiches and wraps to add more veggies to your plate. Why would you want to? They're packed with nutrients!

Microgreens are a concentrated source of vitamins A, C and K as well as minerals like iron and calcium. In addition to these nutrients, they also contain lutein and zeaxanthin—two carotenoid antioxidants that protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common condition that robs older adults of their vision.

In addition, these greens contain phytonutrients called glucosinolates with antioxidant properties. Glucosinolates give these greens their distinctive bitter taste but may have health benefits for humans.

Microgreens have more nutrients than the mature plant. So, eating them is a great way to add variety to your diet and enjoy the benefits of adding more vegetables to your diet.

How to Freeze Microgreens

Freezing microgreens is simple and they’ll keep up to six months in the freezer. However, it’s best to use them within three months for the best quality.

  1. Wash the microgreens. Then pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  2. Place the greens in a single layer on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or waxed paper.
  3. Put them in the freezer, uncovered, until they are completely frozen (about 1 hour).
  4. Transfer the greens to freezer-safe storage bags or containers and seal or cover.

When ready to use, simply thaw them and add them to your dish. Frozen microgreens will last in the fridge for up to two days.

Where to Buy Microgreens

You can buy microgreens at most farmer's markets and grocery stores that sell fresh produce. Some specialty shops also sell them, including Whole Foods.

You can also buy kits online to grow your own microgreens at home. Growing them yourself ensures you get the freshest greens for your culinary creations. In addition, it can be cheaper than buying them at a grocery store.

Kits are also available for growing them hydroponically at home, meaning they grow without soil. An advantage of this approach is it’s less messy than working with soil.

Now that you know how to freeze them, you don’t have to worry about growing too many and not being able to use them before they rot. Simply freeze the excess and enjoy them later.

Final Words

Freezing microgreens is a great way to extend their shelf life and give you access to fresh, nutritious greens all year long. Whether you buy them or grow them, freezing can help you preserve their nutritional goodness, so you can enjoy them all year!

References

  • "Microgreens: Health Benefits, Nutrition and How to Grow Them." 06 Mar. 2018, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/microgreens.
  • Xiao Z, Lester GE, Luo Y, Wang Q. Assessment of vitamin and carotenoid concentrations of emerging food products: edible microgreens. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Aug 8;60(31):7644-51. doi: 10.1021/jf300459b. Epub 2012 Jul 30. PMID: 22812633.
  • Sun J, Xiao Z, Lin LZ, Lester GE, Wang Q, Harnly JM, Chen P. Profiling polyphenols in five Brassica species microgreens by UHPLC-PDA-ESI/HRMS(n.). J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Nov 20;61(46):10960-70. doi: 10.1021/jf401802n. Epub 2013 Nov 5. PMID: 24144328; PMCID: PMC3915300.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.