Microgreens vs. Baby Greens – The Differences

by RightFit Gardens | Last Updated: April 27, 2021

Compared to baby greens, microgreens have more intense flavors and taste more like mature vegetables. They are harvested after two weeks, whereas baby greens are harvested after four. Microgreen plants are planted more densely than baby greens.

This post will help you understand the difference between microgreens and baby greens.

Do Baby Greens Have More Nutrients?

baby greens and microgreensThe concentrations of vitamins A, C, E, and K in arugula, swiss chard, and amaranth are all very rich in these foods. Vitamin K reduces the risk of osteoporosis and helps to prevent inflammatory diseases. A large number of B vitamins can also be found in broccoli, bok choy, and mustard.

Furthermore, these vegetables are also an excellent source of carotenoids, lutein, and flavonoids, which promote cell growth, prevent macular degeneration, and work to thwart signs of cancer at an early stage. Vegetable greens provide a high level of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, as well as minimal levels of carbohydrate, sodium, and cholesterol.

Do Microgreens Have More Nutrition Than Regular Greens?

Dark green leafy vegetables make for a great source of essential nutrients and they make for great microgreens as well. But it seems that baby greens do not have an entirely different nutritional punch from mature greens.

Only one independent study on microgreens vs. baby greens vs. mature greens was found, and it was based on kale. In recent years there have been a variety of studies examining the effects on the levels of nutrients of microgreens, including microgreens compared to greens.

Microgreens contain considerably higher levels of vitamins and carotenoids than their mature plant counterparts because they contain 5 to 40 times as many nutrient levels. One of the most cited studies on microgreen nutrient content was conducted at the University of Maryland.

Baby Greens or Microgreens?

Researchers even compared microgreens to baby greens in another study. Baby greens, on the other hand, controlled for dietary fiber, contained about 20% more chlorophylls, carotenoids, phenols, and anthocyanins than their microgreen cousins (2.2 mg/g FW).

Mineral Content

Microgreens and baby greens have different mineral content. Minerals are essential for your body to stay healthy. As you age, your body needs more minerals. There are two kinds of minerals: macrominerals and trace minerals.

It is necessary to take in more macrominerals, including:

You only need trace minerals in small amounts. They include:

Compared to microgreens, they lack the amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese found in baby greens. Iron, copper, and zinc concentrations were greater in microgreens.

In comparison to microgreens, baby greens were typically more mineral and antioxidant dense. It is germination that activates the energy stored in a plant’s seed. The phytochemical content of these leaves increases during leaf development and reaches the maximum level in mature leaves. Moreover, it is believed that it results from the differences in the harvest stages of the two products.

Kale baby greens have been shown to contain more minerals than the same species’ microgreens. Scientists consider microgreens to be a functioning food source due to their outstanding nutritional make-up. A new superfood, they’re dubbed, by marketers. Microgreens and baby greens add nutritional value to meals in addition to enhancing aromatic flavor, texture, and color.

Microgreens: Why Are They Tastier Than Other Greens?

Salad recipes can be found for microgreens and baby greens. Various baby salad greens such as kale, spinach, swiss chard, romaine, and arugula make up the basis of salads. Microgreens are used by today’s chefs as a color, texture, and seasoning additive in restaurant dishes.

A salad containing only microgreens might be unfeasible, though. They can be expensive. For instance, five 2.65 oz (75 gm) boxes of microgreens arugula are priced at $14. About $4.00 will get you five ounces (142 gm) of baby arugula from Amazon. Make a tasty salad by combining lettuce with broccoli, red cabbage, and kale microgreens.

Microgreens Types

Baby greens are thought of as green leafy vegetables. The carrot leaves, the leaves that are atop carrots, are just as tasty as the carrots themselves. The rainbow can be tasted by eating microgreens. Microgreens can be made from hundreds of vegetables and herbs. Most edible vegetables or herbs can be grown from good-quality seeds, even microgreens.

Which Microgreens Have The Best Tasting Flavor?

Each microgreen has a different characteristic flavor and potency compared to the adult plant counterparts. Arugula microgreens taste much more like arugula. Cilantro microgreens have a strong flavor compared to fresh cilantro. Basil microgreens taste lemonier than basil.

The taste of your food can sometimes be altered by them. Some microgreens may be very popular because of their appearance, taste, or the conditions under which they grow. Among them are sunflower, broccoli, kale, arugula, and basil. Microgreen radishes, mustard greens, and buckwheats are the less common ones.

As the leaves of microgreens begin photosynthesis, they develop stronger flavors. The leaves can have a different taste than the stems. Many microgreens and baby greens are made from brassicas, such as kale, arugula, amaranth, spinach, bok choy, and others.

People do not find mature kale leaves pleasant. Some find them tough and bitter. The baby green variety has a milder flavor and texture. However, Kale microgreens have a mildly bitter flavor and are crunchy. Microgreens or baby greens can be grown from a wide selection of plants. Microgreens and baby greens have vastly different textures, tastes, and colors. In its pre-adolescent form, you can eat all types of greens. You can incorporate them into a variety of dishes, including wraps, sandwiches, and salads.

Are Microgreens Merely Baby Plants?

Growing baby greens takes twice as long as growing microgreens. The baby greens are three to four times larger than microgreens. When harvesting baby greens, thirty to forty leaves are harvested. The root system of a plant is established, unlike microgreens, so it can resprout. In addition, if the stems are cut carefully above the point of growth, they can easily re-grow.

Growing Baby Greens vs. Microgreens

The sprouting process happens without a soil medium for the first few days after seedlings are sown. The entire plant – root, stem, and seeds can be eaten as is. True leaves first appear when the microgreens have reached their second stage of development. Around 5-8 days after seeding, they start poking through between the cotyledon leaves 2-3 days after germination. After 5 days of exposing the stem, cotyledon, and the first leaves to the light, you can eat them. The harvest time for microgreens from a seed raising mix to harvested varies depending on the plant. The microgreens grow between 1 and 3 inches tall.

Harvesting Baby Greens vs. Microgreens

Plants that are grown from young shoots are called baby greens. They are usually the harvested leaves of plants such as spinach, kale, and arugula. Microgreens are older than fresh greens but younger than adult greens. Even though they fall off first (cotyledon leaves), these leaves are the next stage of the germination process.

The baby greens are about 3 to 4 inches tall. Popular baby greens are technically microgreens as well. Microgreens are more like teenagers in comparison to baby greens. Baby greens are harvested after 15 to 40 days of growth; whereas immature leaves are harvested after 45 to 60 days.

Baby Greens vs. Microgreens: Soil and Trays

Growing common microgreens is less time-consuming and less nutrient-intensive than soil-grown plants. Growing microgreens in any kind of plastic container is also a possibility.

The types of seeds don’t need to be rich. The rich soil only needs to be light and delicate to sow them. You can use garden potting soil. You will need about an inch of soil depth. Make sure it’s healthy by spraying hydrogen peroxide solution on the soil.

To grow past the cotyledon stage, baby greens will need some key nutrients intake from the surface of the soil. Buy some organic seedling mix at Amazon or use some organic potting soil. The soil mix should be added to a tray or other container about two inches (5 cm) deep. Baby greens are usually grown in trays or pots. The trays do not need drainage holes as long as they are not overwatered.

Yields of Baby Greens vs. Microgreens

They will take up almost twice as much space as microgreens. Because baby greens have five to six leaves, you have to plant them less densely. You will need about a teaspoon of seed for a tray. As an example, growing kale microgreens on a 1020 tray at 20 to 25 grams (0.70 – 0.90 oz). A 1020 tray yields on average 120-300 grams (4.25-10.5 ounces). We grow about four infant plants per square foot for baby kale greens, which is about six plants for a 1020 tray.

There are about twice as many baby greens in a 1020 tray as there are microgreens: 8.5 to 21 ounces per square. For one kale baby green to harvest you can harvest two to three microgreens. A full-sized, mature plant of kale would only require one tray that could hold three mature greens. Baby greens must be harvested before they can be sold, which is one of the significant differences between microgreens and microgreens. Microgreens can be bought in their trays and harvested yourself. Because of this, microgreens are a better option if speed to market is what you are looking for. The yields will differ due to harvesting at different stages.