Wednesday, November 16, 2016

MICRO GREENS

Micro green is a tiny vegetable green that is used both as a visual and flavor component or   ingredient primarily in fine dining restaurants. Fine dining chefs use micro greens to enhance thebeauty, taste and freshness of their dishes with their delicate textures and distinctive flavors. 



HISTORY
Micro greens began showing up on chefs' menus as early as the 1980s, in San Francisco, California, according to a local industry source. In Southern California, micro greens have been grown since about the mid‑1990s. There were initially very few varieties offered. Those available were such as arugula, basil, beets, kale, cilantro and a mixture called Rainbow Mix.Micro herbs have become very popular over recent years. They are generally used as garnish or as a small salad accompaniment on a plate. Micro herbs are suitable  herbs which when large are coarse in texture but when small are tender enough to be used as a salad.Sprouts such daikon radish sprouts, purple radish  and broccoli sprouts are also popular. 





Markets, they are now considered a specialty genre of greens that are good for garnishing smaller than “baby greens,” and harvested later than “sprouts,” micro greens can provide a variety of leaf flavors, such as sweet and spicy. They are also known for their various colors and textures. Among upscale ads, soups, plates, and sandwiches.


HOW TO GROW MICRO GREENS

       Most seeds can be sown dry, but plump seeds, such as peas, will germinate  better if soaked overnight.
       To grow, fill the base of a container with a 2cm layer of vermiculite or compost and firm down gently.
       Next, scatter seeds liberally  over the surface without covering.
       Pour some water on to a saucer and sit the container on top, allowing the water to be absorbed by the vermiculite
       Add more water to the saucer until the vermiculite's surface is visibly wet.
        It is important always to water via the saucer and not directly on to the seeds.
       Avoid putting it next to a draughty window or above a radiator. Keep a close eye on water and add more to the saucer if the top dries out.
       Edible young greens and grains are produced from various kinds of vegetables, herbs or other plants.
       They range in size from 1” to 3” including the stem and leaves.
        A micro green has a single central stem which has been cut just above the soil line during harvesting.
       The average crop-time for most micro greens depends varying on the type of herb or veggies. 

Is there any difference between processed herbs and fresh herbs?
The fresh herbs are bought in a punnet and can be stored only for few days but have much intense and fresh flavor whereas the processed herbs can be stored for long time but vary in flavor and texture.
Are they majorly used anywhere else other than garnish?
 yes, we use it in salads so that it gives a specific taste of a particular herb at every bite. We also make mocktails out of edible flowers. 



What are all the types of edible flowers that are used in your hotel?
We use flowers like snapdragons, pansies, marigold, nester shrimps and cornflower
How has the use of micro greens help in enhancing the business of the hotel?
 Well, I wouldn't say that it was majorly improved but yes it does make it eye appealing and exotic. And that would eventually help us to sell the product. 




NUTRITION
       Micro greens provide more Nutrition than mature leaves.
       A 2010 study published that young lettuce seedlings, harvested 7 days after germination, had the highest Antioxidant capacity .

HARVESTING
       It is a one time harvest and the weather conditions must be cool and the humidity must be properly regulated.
        It can be watered moderately. Must neither be under watered or over watered. 


STEPS TO GROW MICRO GREENS



GROWTH CONDITIONS

       Organically with natural pesticides micro leaves can be grown all year round, but are the perfect crop to raise during winter when there is profitable weather condition
        Light intensity is lower, will take slightly longer to develop then those sown during spring and summer.
        It can be grown which would keep the plant healthy


DIFFERNT TYPES OF MICRO GREENS

       Mustard : spicy, tender and succulent microgreens that add mild horseradish flavor to salads
and blends.
       Amaranth : It has a mild wheatgrass flavor and does not overpower vegetable or meat dishes.
       Pea shoots: pea shoots have a delicate but concentrated fresh pea taste. Crisp and sweet in taste.
       Cilantro: These cilantro microgreens have flavor more intense than adult cilantro leaves
       Beet flowers: these are juicy, earthy and versatile and can be used in various salads for their appealing color.
        Pansy: pansies have slight sweet taste. We get the whole flavor when we eat it along with the stem.
       Chrysanthemum: A little bitter, mums come in a rainbow of colours and a range of flavours range from peppery to pungent. Only the petals are used




        Hibiscus: Famously used in hibiscus tea, the vibrant cranberry flavour is tart and can be used sparingly.

       Violets: Another famous edible flower, violets are floral, sweet and beautiful as garnishes. Use the flowers in salads and to garnish desserts and drinks.




DURATION OF GROWTH


Uses

       Micro greens are used in huge varieties in food industries. 

       They are used in preparing exotic mocktails and are also used to essential flavoring components in cocktails.
       Micro greens are used widely in salads for their rich intense flavor at every bite of the herb. They are also used in making desserts.
       Microgreens are also used in garnishing for an appealing look. 


Storage and Commercial Transport

Microgreens have a short shelf life and better methods of storing and transporting. Commercial microgreens are most often stored in plastic clamshell containers, which do not provide the right balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide for any live greens to breathe


 LIMITATIONS

       As micro herbs are not used majorly at one place we had to visit a lot of places to completely get necessary information
        As they are mainly grown in huge varieties abroad, the information was not easily available.
        The farms that grow micro greens are located out of the city, in open lands. And locating such a place was a task to be mentioned. 

By
BRAND CAI,Faculty