I have been obsessed with finding ways to incorporate microgreens and sprouts into my daily diet ever since discovering a new grower at my weekly farmers’ market. And there’s good reason to include these tiny plants.
Just days old, microgreens and sprouts have higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and important phytonutrients than their adult counterparts. In a 2012 USDA study microgreens such as red cabbage, cilantro, amaranth and daikon radish were found to be higher in vitamins C, E, K, and carotenoids—a family of powerful antioxidants that protect us from chronic disease and aging.
Compared to mature plants, sprouts are also lower in “anti-nutrients” that interfere with vitamin and mineral absorption, and higher in particular enzymes that facilitate nutrient absorption, thus promoting healthy digestion.
This easy spring salad recipe makes microgreens the star of the show rather than a supporting garnish. Try to use a combination of mild tasting sprouts that provide good crunch and texture. Using a variety of sprouts also provides a good range of nutritional benefits. Here I used sunflower (containing phytosterols to support healthy cholesterol levels), buckwheat, pea, and mung bean sprouts (high in protein). Look for growers that use organic seed and soil, and filtered water. Or, try growing your own. (hmm… I’m already tasting a summer version of this salad using watermelon!)
1 cup diced strawberries
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (can substitute champagne vinegar)
1 tsp raw honey
2 tsp lime juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp mineral salt (Celtic or Himalayan pink)
6 oz combined mild microgreens and sprouts
1 handful sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
2-3 radishes, chopped
In a small bowl add diced strawberries and vinegar, stir and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
While the strawberries are macerating, combine honey, lime juice, olive oil and salt in a measuring cup and whisk until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine microgreens/sprouts, snap peas and radishes.
Strain strawberry liquid into honey mixture and give a few more whisks. Pour about ¼ cup of the finished vinaigrette onto microgreens and gently toss until combined. Using your clean hands works great! Add more vinaigrette if needed. Taste for seasoning. Enjoy!