In this blog post, we will show you how to store, and we will also share some tips and tricks to help your microgreens stay fresh.
Microgreens are high-quality nutritious leafy green vegetables. They have up to 40 times more vitamins and minerals than the same plants when they are fully grown.
“The finding was completely shocking,” said USDA research plant physiologist Gene Lester. “We were aware that greener vegetables tend to be better, but we did not expect them to be so nutrient-dense, especially given the little time they have for development.”
Growers harvest microgreens when they are young vegetable and herb plants and are only a few inches tall. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes, and they can add a burst of flavor and color to your dishes. But how do you store microgreens properly and make them last longer?
Storing microgreens can be a challenge, as they are delicate and prone to wilting, browning, and rotting. Enjoy your microgreens fresh and flavorful for longer, you need to follow some simple steps to harvest, wash, dry, and store them correctly.
How to Use Microgreens
Microgreens are versatile and they can be used in many ways. You can use them as a garnish, a salad ingredient, a sandwich filler, a smoothie booster, or a soup enhancer. You can also mix and match different types of microgreens, such as kale, broccoli, radish, basil, cilantro, and arugula, to create your own unique blends and flavors. The possibilities are endless!
However, to use microgreens effectively, you need to store them properly and keep them fresh and crisp. Otherwise, you will end up with wilted, soggy, or moldy microgreens that will ruin your dishes and waste your money.
So, how do you store microgreens the right way? Let’s learn in-depth
How to Harvest Microgreens
Harvesting microgreens is a vital step in maximizing their quality and shelf life. Follow this guide for optimal results:
1. Timing Matters:
- Harvest microgreens 7 to 21 days after planting.
- Pick the right time when your microgreens have their first true leaves. These leaves resemble the mature plant.
- Harvesting before flowering is best to preserve flavor and nutrients.
2. Consider Height:
- Microgreen heights vary by variety. Generally, harvest when they reach 2-3 inches (5-8 cm).
- Note: Some varieties, like peas, can grow taller, reaching 4-5 inches (10-13 cm) before peak harvest time.
3. Tools You’ll Need:
- Equip yourself with sharp and clean scissors, knives, or snips to prevent damage or contamination.
4. Harvesting Technique:
- Apply gentle pressure to cut microgreens close to the soil, leaving the roots behind.
- Decide whether to harvest the entire tray or only what you need, allowing the rest to grow for later.
5. Optimal Timing:
- Harvest in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler and microgreens are more hydrated.
- Avoid over-harvesting or under-harvesting to capture the peak of freshness and flavor.
How to Wash Microgreens
The next step to store microgreens is to wash them thoroughly and remove any dirt, debris, or insects that may be on them. You need to wash microgreens because it will keep them fresh and safe, and it will also make them look and taste better.
However, washing microgreens can also be tricky, as they are fragile and sensitive to water.
You need some things to wash microgreens, like cold water, a strainer, a spinner, or a paper towel. Cold water keeps them from getting soft or hot.
Put enough water in a bowl and add the microgreens. Then, use a strainer or a spinner to take out the water and a paper towel to make them dry.
To wash microgreens, you can follow these steps:
- Place the microgreens in a large bowl and fill it with cold water.
- Gently swirl the microgreens in the water to loosen any dirt or debris.
- Transfer the microgreens to a colander or a salad spinner and shake or spin them to remove the excess water.
- Spread the microgreens on a paper towel and pat them dry with another paper towel.
When washing microgreens, you want to be careful and avoid excess water, as that will cause the microgreens to lose their crispness and flavor. You also want to avoid using too much pressure, as that will bruise or crush the microgreens. You want to check for any dirt or insects that may still be on the microgreens and remove them manually.
How to Dry Microgreens
The third step to store microgreens is to dry them completely and remove any moisture that may be on them. Drying microgreens is essential, as it will preserve their freshness and flavor, and it will also prevent bacterial growth and mold formation.
However, drying microgreens can also be challenging, as they are prone to wilting or browning if exposed to too much heat or light.
2. Step-by-Step Instructions
To dry microgreens, you will need some equipment, such as a salad spinner, a paper towel, a cloth, or an air dryer. You want to use a salad spinner or a paper towel to remove most of the moisture and a cloth or an air dryer to remove the remaining moisture. Please remember don’t use a damp paper towel.
You also want to use low heat and low-speed settings and avoid direct sunlight or high heat sources.
To dry microgreens, you can follow these steps:
- After washing the microgreens, place them in a salad spinner and spin them for a few seconds to remove most of the water.
- Transfer the microgreens to a paper towel and pat them dry with another paper towel to remove any remaining water.
- Spread the microgreens on a cloth and place them in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
- Alternatively, you can use an air dryer to blow air on the microgreens, using low heat and low-speed settings.
3. Tips and Precautions
- When drying microgreens, you want to be gentle and avoid over-drying them, as that will cause them to lose their nutrients and flavor.
- You also want to avoid exposing them to too much sunlight or heat, as that will cause them to wilt or brown.
- You should check for any moisture that may still be on the microgreens and remove it manually.
How to Store Microgreens
The final step to store microgreens is to keep them properly and extend their shelf life. Different ways to increase microgreen shelf life, such as in the fridge, in the Freezer, or in a dehydrator. Each method has its pros and cons, such as shelf life, quality, taste, and nutrition.
You can choose the way that suits your needs and follow some simple steps to store microgreens correctly.
1. How to Store Microgreens in The fridge
Storing leafy greens in the fridge is the most common and convenient way to store microgreens, as it will keep them fresh and crisp for up to a week.
However, Temperature fluctuations, humidity levels, and ethylene gas from other fruits and vegetables can affect microgreens in the fridge.
To store microgreens in the fridge, you will need some equipment, such as airtight containers, zip-lock bags, plastic clamshell, or glass jars.
Use airtight containers or zip-lock bags. They keep out moisture and oxygen. You can use glass jars instead of plastic ones it prevents plastic leaching and odor absorption.
You also want to label, date, and rotate the containers and check for signs of spoilage regularly.
To store microgreens in the fridge, you can follow these steps:
- After drying the microgreens, place them in a single layer in an airtight container, a ziplock bag, or a glass jar.
- If using a ziplock bag, squeeze out as much air as possible and seal it tightly.
- If using a glass jar, leave some space at the top and close it securely.
- Label and date the container, and place it in the crisper drawer of the fridge, away from other fruits and vegetables.
- Use the microgreens within a week, and discard them if they show any signs of wilting, browning, or mold.
2. Storing Microgreens in the Freezer
Storing microgreens in the Freezer is another way to store microgreens, as it will preserve their nutrients and flavor for up to six months.
However, keeping microgreens in the Freezer can also be tricky, as they can lose their texture and color if frozen improperly.
To store microgreens in the Freezer, you will need some equipment, such as a baking sheet, parchment paper, and a freezer-safe container or plastic bag.
You want to use a baking sheet and parchment paper to freeze the microgreens individually and a freezer-safe container or bag to store them in bulk.
You also want to label, date, and rotate the container and check for signs of freezer burn regularly.
To store microgreens in the Freezer, you can follow these steps:
- After drying the microgreens, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- You place the microgreens on the baking sheet and freeze them for an hour until they are solid.
- Transfer the frozen microgreens to a freezer-safe container or bag, and remove as much air as possible.
- Label and date the container, and place it in the Freezer, away from other foods.
- Use the microgreens within six months, and discard them if they show any signs of ice crystals, discoloration, or odor.
3. Storing Microgreens in a Dehydrator
Preserving microgreens by dehydrating them is an excellent method to extend their shelf life indefinitely and create a crunchy, flavorful snack.
However, this process can be time-consuming and costly, as it requires a specialized appliance and significant electricity consumption.
to keep microgreens fresh in a dehydrator, you will need some equipment, such as a dehydrator, a mesh tray, and a glass jar.
You want to use a dehydrator with adjustable temperature and timer settings. A mesh tray to allow air circulation and prevent sticking.
You also want to use a glass jar to store the dehydrated microgreens in a dark and dry place.
To store microgreens in a dehydrator, you can follow these steps:
- After drying the microgreens, place them in a single layer on a mesh tray and insert it into the dehydrator.
- Adjust the dehydrator to its lowest temperature setting, typically around 95°F.
- Set the timer for 4 to 6 hours, depending on the variety and size of the microgreens.
- Check the microgreens periodically and remove them when they are completely dry and crisp.
- Transfer the dehydrated microgreens to a glass jar and seal it tightly.
- Label and date the jar, and store it in a cool, dark, and dry place, away from heat and moisture sources.
- Use the microgreens as a snack or a seasoning, and rehydrate them if needed.
Microgreens are a great way to add nutrition, flavor, and color to your dishes. But they can also be tricky to store and make them last longer. By following these simple steps, you can harvest, wash, dry, and store microgreens properly and extend their shelf life. You can also choose the best storage method for your needs and enjoy your microgreens fresh and flavorful for longer.
We hope you found this blog post helpful and informative. If you did, please share it with your friends and family, and let us know your feedback in the comments below.
To learn more about how to grow microgreens and how to use them, please follow our blog posts.
Thank you for reading, and happy green life.
I am Gaushoul Agam,
𝐂𝐨-𝐅𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫 & 𝐂𝐄𝐎,
As an experienced SA Horticulture Officer in the Horticulture Wing of the Department of Agricultural Extension, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, I am dedicated to advancing agriculture and farming.
With a mission to address global food safety challenges amid a growing population, diminishing arable land, and the impacts of climate change on agriculture, I founded ToAgriculture. Through this platform, I empower readers with modern agricultural techniques, effective pest and disease control, and sustainable agricultural management, leading to a more secure and prosperous future in agriculture.
With over four years of expertise in field crops and seven years in horticulture crops, my knowledge spans fruit and vegetable farming techniques, adept pest-disease management, proficient irrigation strategies, and the art of grafting. Join me on this journey of discovery as I share insights and experiences to guide readers toward a sustainable future.