How Greens are Enhancing your Dining Experience

True leaf microgreen

While vegetables and edible flowers have been known for centuries, the past few decades have given rise to a new development in plant-based food: Organic micro greens.

Organic micro greens (sometimes known as microgreens) are exactly what they sound like: Instead of a fully mature plant, like a red cabbage, a micro green is a much younger version of that plant. While the green is still in its growing phase, the concentration of nutrients can be much higher, providing the consumer with a higher dose of essential vitamins. Studies have shown that micro greens can have as many as five times the vitamin content of mature greens.

Of course, there’s more to it than just the nutrients. One of the primary uses for organic micro greens is as visual accents at fine dining restaurants. These miniature plants often have brighter colors and are used heavily in presentational form at high end restaurants. This may not seem like a big industry, but it is.

Fine dining makes up approximately 10% of the United States restaurant industry and the number of visits to luxury restaurants goes up about 3% per year. These numbers suggest that millions upon millions of dollars are spent on fine dining and that the number of people eating in these establishments is well into the millions. With the average fine dining meal costing almost $30 per person, it’s easy to see that these organic micro greens have a place in a profitable industry.

While red cabbage was the example used above, there are plenty of micro greens that aren’t traditional vegetables and are actually varieties of edible flowers. While some are thought of as being traditional herbs – lavender flowers, basil blossoms, or mint blossoms – others are typically seen as simply being flowers. The curious consumer can eat pansies, marigolds, or even orchids that taste like cucumbers. The truth is that there are somewhere around 100 types of common garden flowers that are not just edible, but palatable too. It’s still not be a good idea to walk out into the garden and start eating everything, but it’s likely that at least something out there might be worth a bite.

An important distinction is that organic micro greens (simply meaning that they were grown organically, without growth hormones or synthetic plant food) are not the same as sprouts or “baby” vegetables. Micro greens are smaller than baby greens but are harvested after sprouts, giving the micro variety a wider range of flavors due to their being packed with nutrients.

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