Pack Extra Power Into Your Diet With Microgreens and Sprouts

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If you’re looking to up the ante with more nutrients and enzymes in your diet in an easy, whole food-based way, try consuming more microgreens and sprouts. I’ve personally been a sprout farmer of late! I’ve been thrilled having a bigger space here in LA, and I’ve been sprouting a lot and got trays to even grow bigger sprouts like sunflower sprouts.

A recent University of Maryland Department of Nutrition and Food Science study showed that the microgreens from 25 nutritious vegetables contained higher concentrations of essential vitamins and carotenoids than fully mature varieties. These healthful plants are also higher in beneficial enzymes and phytonutrients than their full-grown counterparts. In fact, one study showed that broccoli sprouts were high in inducers of enzymes that offer protective benefits against carcinogens. The International Sprout Growers Association also lists some of the benefits of various types of sprouts:

Alfalfa sprouts are high in antioxidants and may prevent menopausal symptoms.
• Broccoli sprouts reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.
• Clover sprouts fight cancer.

What Are Microgreens?

Microgreens are very young seedlings of leafy plants, such as spinach, that are harvested within 14 days of seed germination. They are very tender and have a mild flavor that is similar to their full-grown counterparts.

Since microgreens are at their most nutritious right after harvesting and they can be expensive to purchase, your best bet is to purchase them fresh at farmers’ markets or grow them yourself. Fortunately, because you harvest them when they are small, you can grow microgreens in small containers on a windowsill, even in the winter months.

To grow microgreens:

1. Gather several small, well-drained pots. You can even used clamshell packaging from cherry tomatoes or strawberries.
2. Punch several drainage holes in the bottom of your growing container.
3. Fill the container with potting or seed starting mix and moisten well.
4. Sprinkle seeds over the surface of the container with about 1/8” between seeds.
5. Cover with a very small layer of soil.
6. Set in a sunny windowsill on a drip tray and water.
7. Keep soil most, but not soaked.
8. Harvest at about 2 weeks, when greens are about 1-3 inches high.

Serving microgreens:
Microgreens are delicious by themselves. You can also sprinkle them atop sandwiches or wraps, include them in your Glowing Green Smoothie, or toss them in a salad. Enjoy them raw for the most nutrition. I include them in most all of the dishes I serve to my clients, either tossed in their salad, or topped on whatever they are eating.

What Are Sprouts?

Sprouts come from soaking vegetable, bean, or grain seeds so they begin to root and sprout. There are variety of types ranging from bean sprouts to spicy sprouts from radishes. You can find sprouts at local grocery stores, co-ops, and farmers’ markets, or you can grow them yourself.

To grow sprouts:

1. In a clean container, combine three parts water to one part seed. Mix thoroughly.
2. Soak seeds overnight.
3. Rinse seeds in a colander thoroughly.
4. Place seeds in a jar with cheesecloth secured over the top.
5. Every morning and evening, rinse the seeds with fresh water, drain, and return to the cleaned jar.
6. Serve when seeds sprout.

Serving sprouts:

Like microgreens, you can eat sprouts by themselves, toss them in your Glowing Green Smoothie, or serve atop a salad. Heating the sprouts will affect their nutritive value, so serve them raw, but be sure to wash ones you buy really well.

Happy sprouting!



Last updated: Friday, June 19, 2015
  • Tracy

    Thank you for the article. I’ve just started preparing to grow my own microgreen garden and sprouts after learning how easy it is, and really appreciate finding tips and photos.

  • Kaneez

    How about growing wheat grass? Same procedure?

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Sort of. I’ve grown wheat grass but under the supervision of the master gardener. It turns over in humid climates in about 4 days. I’m not a wheatgrass growing expert, but I’m sure there are good books you can reference if you get serious about it!

  • Dorothy

    Hi Kimberly,I would like to try growing some micro greens, but am not sure where to buy seeds, where would you suggest

  • Glory B

    I have a sprouting jar already & ‘grow’ sprouts, but I’m interested in growing microgreens. (They’re expensive at my farmer’s market, which is now closed for the winter!) Where is the best place to purchase the seeds (for your step #4 above) and which types of seeds are best?


    • Kimberly Snyder

      Hi Glory B and Dorothy,
      If you have trouble finding them locally, there are tons of online resources. Sprout People, Sprout House, and tons more. Look around !

  • Luana Harrison

    Do you recommend juicing microgreens & sprouts?

    • Kimberly Snyder

      No. But blending them in your GGS is great!

  • Senia

    Thanks for the post, it’s like you were reading my mind! I was just looking on Sprout People to start growing my own because they can get pricey. I know you recommend against eating beans and wheat but are they ok in sprout form? They have a sampler pack that has a good variety but it includes the san francisco (bean mix) and amber waves of grain mix . Just wanted to know if i should stay away from those?


    • Kimberly Snyder

      Sprouted beans are a lot more easily digestible than full beans. But I personally sprout and eat only foods that I would want to eat regularly in a mature form, like buckwheat, sunflower, broccoli, etc.

  • Shelley

    This is great info! So you can sprout just about any bean?

  • Ariel

    Where can one purchase a cheese cloth?

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Online or at a health store! I saw some unbleached ones at WF the other day.

  • Arie Rich

    I love Alfafa sprouts, but I’m not too good at growing plants. I’ll give these a try and see how it goes.

    Thanks for the post.

    • Glory B

      I’m not good at growing plants, either. I use a sprout jar by “Now Foods” that I bought at my local Whole Foods store. Here is a link to Now Foods’ sprout jar (They don’t sell directly to consumers, but you can enter your zip code to see where they sell it near you.) I’ve also purchased their sprout seeds and have successfully grown sprouts in their jar.

  • Laurie

    I have done some research on trays to grow sprouts and cost factors imbetween $10-200 depending on the kind of tray you use- could you recommend a type of tray?
    – I tried a plain dish with quinoia and the grains got moldy and didn’t produce much in the way of sprouts

    • Kimberly Snyder

      I’m not into fancy trays. I first learned to grow sunflower, wheatgrass and buckwheat sprouts in Puerto Rico, and the greenhouse there used very basic trays. The ones I got were the same- like $2.99 each.
      Check out online suppliers to see which kind you like – Sprout House, Sprout People, etc. there are lots of different one!

  • Kelly

    I would like to try this! Where can I find seeds??

  • Marisa

    I have been doing the warm water and lemon in the morning and then waiting 30 minutes. After that I drink the glowing green smoothie for 2 weeks now and I am really constipated, is this common? I am ready to stop at this point. Any suggestions?

    • Christi

      Sounds like you could use a magnesium-oxide product like Aerobic Life Mag O7 (this is the brand I’ve seen Kim recommend, vegan capsules), Oxy Powder, or Colosan. I’ve used these products numerous times… they are super effective for constipation and detoxification! You can also just get an enema bag which are very affordable (not the ones with the saline solution, but a real bag that you fill up with pure water) and do some at-home enemas! And there are also colonics, but those are quite expensive.

  • Adelina


    About a week and a half ago, I stumbled across your blog while researching dairy. I never ever thought I’d see the day I quite dairy, but lo and behold! I am a believer. I was a die-hard cheese eater, and my skin has always been very badly broken out and I’m 38 years old! I have scars on my face from all the years of acne. Over the years I have tried really hard to find out why I always broke out, but only recently the light bulb went off! The pieces have come together for me in a big way thanks to you! I never thought my skin could look as good as it does! Yes I have those Ice-pick scars, but the color and tone are so much better, I am hoping the scaring improves as I hopefully improve my bodies ability to make collagen. Thanks to your GGS and quitting dairy! I must say, I am seriously addicted to your blog now instead of cheese. :)
    The other great benefits I see from this quest for better skin…I never expected or even thought about. I thought being tired was a normal state of being. I thought waking up exhausted was just my fate in life. I never realized that my digestion was so slow. Now, what a difference. I have a 5 year old daughter and I am determined to pass this valuable information on to her! Already, I have shown her your videos and gotten her involved in grocery shopping and preparing GGS together. It is taking a lot of coaxing but she is accepting the GGS as of today! I don’t have the blender you use, that is something I will have to make due without. BUT, I have figured out how to make due with my Kitchen AId with a few adjustments to your recipe (just a little more water, and cutting out apple cores more thoroughly) My daughter Penelope will eat the smoothie from a small bowl using a spoon if I call it green apple sauce. She does not like the way it looks, but she is listening to you! Your videos are what have convinced her. I told her we are going to be eating this way from now on. The other day she questioned if something we were eating really was organic. :)
    My next effort will be to get her to eat your zucchini hummus. She’s resistant, but we will see.
    I just have to say, I so love your blog! I am anxious to read your book. Can’t wait! Already, I have gotten so much out out the blog. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!


  • Courtney

    Hi Kimberly! You’ve finally convinced me to try sprouts, I have avoided them because I had always heard that they were unsafe to eat, in terms of contamination and food poisoning. What are your thoughts on that?

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