Microgreens vs Sprouts – Similarities and Differences

Microgreens are frequently confused with sprouts, although the two are not the same. Microgreens offer more nutritional value and a higher concentration of antioxidants than sprouts.

They take longer to grow and are more difficult to harvest, however. They’re high in vitamin A, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), and vitamin E, as well as iron. Sprouts are a great source of protein and have many of the same health benefits as microgreens.

Here are some pointers on how to tell the difference between microgreens and sprouts so you can make a more informed decision.

Common Misconceptions

Microgreens and sprouts are picked at the beginning of their life cycle, a few days after the germinated seed has sprouted. As a result, they’re frequently lumped together as one. However, they are not exactly the same thing. To comprehend this, you must first comprehend the contrasts between the two.

I’ve published a quick and to-the-point introduction to microgreens here.

Microgreens vs Sprouts Similarities

The similarities are:

  • They’re both grown from the identical seeds and require water to break the dormancy of the seeds.
  • If done incorrectly, they are both subject to mold.
  • Soaking the seeds ahead of time before planting is a good idea.
  • They’re both great for a low FODMAP diet.

Read Here: What greens are low FODMAP?

Microgreens vs Sprouts Difference

The differences are as follows:

  • Sprouts take 3-5 days to harvest, whereas microgreens take 7-14 days.
  • Sprouts are shorter (2-3 inches); microgreens, on the other hand, are longer (4-7 inches).
  • Sprouts are grown hydroponically (without the need of soil), whereas microgreens can be grown in either hydroponic or soil media (preferred).
  • Sprouts produce only the seed leaves (cotyledon), whereas microgreens produce full leaves. See the list below.
  • Sprouts are eaten whole (root, seed, stem, and seed leaves); microgreens are only consumed the stem pat and leaves after being cut off above the soil level. Find out more.
  • Sprouts are less nutritious than microgreens; find out why here.
  • Raw sprouts aren’t any safer to consume than raw microgreens. Find out why in this article.
  • Sprouts don’t need light to grow (they don’t do much photosynthesis); microgreens do.
  • Sprouts do not require air ventilation; microgreens, on the other hand, do.
  • Sprouts are great for stir-frying and crispness; microgreens can be used in salads, soup garnishes, sandwiches, and a variety of other recipes.
  • Sprouts have a restricted selection; microgreens, on the other hand, have over 100 varieties, as we learnt before.
  • When compared to microgreens, sprouts have less fiber.
  • Sprouts are often less expensive than microgreens.

Microgreens vs Sprouts Growth Period

The main difference between microgreens and sprouts is the length of time they take to grow. Sprouts are typically grown for 3-5 days before being harvested, however some sprouts are grown for a bit longer, up to day 6-7.

It normally takes 7-14 days for microgreens to mature. For a greater flavor, some growers like to grow them for up to 25 days, or until the first set of genuine leaves has expanded. Herb-type varieties, such as lovage and oregano, in particular, are usually slow growers.

If you let your plant to grow for a longer amount of time, it will turn into baby greens, which take 3–4 weeks to mature. Baby greens are more of a leafy vegetable when cooked.

What is length of a Microgreen?

The length of Microgreen is determined by the species, the length of time it takes to grow, and the method used.

If you need to leave microgreens in the blackout dome for a longer period of time, the seedlings will naturally seek for light. As a result, the shoots will appear more thin and longer. However, there is a limit.

Growing Medium for Microgreens and Sprouts

Sprouts do not require additional nutrients to thrive. Instead, it grows by utilizing the nutrients stored within the endosperm. The only thing left to do is get some water. As a result, hydroponic medium is the ideal medium. It’s not uncommon to see sprouts being grown in a paper towel or a mason jar.

Microgreens, on the other hand, require additional nutrients from the soil to thrive. The soil approach, such as potting mix with coconut coir or peat moss, is therefore favored. While you can still grow them in a hydroponic environment, such as on a growing mat, you should also provide a nutrient solution.

Physiological features

The cotyledon leaves, or seed leaves, are the first set of “leaves” to emerge from the seed. Sprouts are picked before the real leaves have formed.

The real leaves of microgreens can sometimes be seen expanding. Some seed leaves can be identified by their size and form.

Varieties to Grow

When compared to sprouts, cultivating microgreens allows you to grow a wider range of plant species. Sunflower microgreens, with their distinct nutty flavor, and radish microgreens, which provide a terrific zesty flavor to a meal, are two popular restaurant favorites.

Sprouts, on the other hand, are available in smaller quantities. Alfalfa sprouts, pea shoots, lentil sprouts, and even mung bean sprouts are some of the most popular to grow.

Growing Environment

Sprouts are typically developed in a poorly ventilated, moist, and low-light environment, which encourages the growth of mold and bacteria. This is why sprouts should not be consumed uncooked. As we said in the other post, consuming raw sprouts has resulted in some cases of foodborne infection.

Because the environment for microgreens is not soggy but moist, with excellent light and ventilation, there are only minor health issues. People prefer to eat them raw. This is a safer practice to briefly heat them before serving.

Read Here: Are Microgreens Safe to Eat? (During Pregnancy, Home Grown, Raw)

In conclusion

It’s simple to understand that sprouts are newly germinated seeds, whereas microgreens are seedlings that are 1-2 weeks old.

To put it another way, the point is that we supply the sprouts with a contained place, high humidity, and low light environment — for example, the sprouter or a mason jar — and they grow more like a fungus.

Microgreens, on the other hand, grow like plants. It collects nutrients from the soil, seed, and light immediately (photosynthesis).

Microgreens may be an extremely lucrative venture! Take a look at our findings here.

What do Microgreens Taste like? – 28 Best Tasting Microgreens

Microgreens Recipes: 11 Delicious Ways to Eat Microgreens