Because of the taste of basil and how it transforms a dish because of its flavor profile, basil microgreens have become very popular among microgreen growers. It also looks more exquisite – the small, whole tiny leaves on soup or sandwiches compared to the sliced pieces of mature basil. It is a popular herb, and now, it is a popular microgreen as well!
Species: O. basilicum
Binomial name: Ocimum basilicum
Basil Microgreen Trivia
- Basil microgreens are among the most popular microgreens grown today.
- The word basil means “royal” or “kingly” in Greek
- In Italy, basil is a token of love.
Basil Microgreen Buying Guide
Basil microgreens are sold in groceries, supermarkets, farmers markets, and other specialty stores. Ask around for local growers so that you can source your basil microgreens locally. When buying basil microgreens, buy just enough that you can eat until the next grocery day, since basil microgreens do not keep for longer than a week even if stored in the refrigerator.
If this is the first time you are buying basil microgreens, try to buy in small quantities first so that you can taste it; should you not like it, you don’t have a lot of basil microgreens to dispose of and you are not being wasteful (you can ask your neighbors if they want it, so someone else can eat it).
When buying, make sure to inspect it thoroughly. See if the leaves and stems are of good quality and appear fresh. It is ok if one or two are wilted, but if most of the bunch are wilted, soggy, and do not appear fresh, do not buy it.
If you are buying seeds so that you can grow your own basil microgreens, this will give you an idea of how many seeds you expect to get from a pack.
- 1-ounce pack contains approximately 8,000 seeds
- 4-ounce pack contains approximately 32,000 seeds
- 1-pound pack or bag contains approximately 128,000 seeds
- 5-pound pack or bag contains approximately 640,000 seeds
- 25-pound pack or bag contains approximately 3,200,000 seeds
Basil Microgreen Production & Farming in Texas
Fill your growing tray with potting soil. Make sure your growing tray has drainage holes. Mist the soil and make sure it is evenly spread on the tray. Using a seed shaker bottle, sprinkle the seeds all over the potting soil on the tray. Do another round of misting but be careful not to overdo it. Remember that basil seeds release mucilage that holds water. Cover the tray and let them sit in a dark place. After four days, it should have grown big enough to start light exposure. Do not expose them to direct sunlight. Use grow lights or the shade from a window. When they are big enough, harvest by cutting them at the base just above the soil.
- Buy basil microgreen seeds from a reputable seed seller or distributor.
- Water from the side of the tray to make sure the weight of the water will not squash the microgreens. Or water it by filling a tray below the growing tray.
- Rotate crop once it is exposed to light to avoid “bending” microgreens.
Unlike other microgreens that grow fast, basil microgreens are among those that are slow to grow. The seeds will germinate in two days, but it will take them at least 20 days to grow big enough for harvest.
There are farmers and growers in Texas who grow basil microgreens. Some examples are the Grand Prairie Microgreens LLC, a major producer in the Dallas Fortworth area which sells basil microgreens. Greenfin Farms in Denton, Texas also sells basil microgreens. There are also initiatives like the Big Tex Urban Farms that help promote the business as well as the attitude of the public towards microgreens.
Pesticides are not generally used in growing basil microgreens. There is not enough time for the potential onset of pest problems. If there are insects in your basil microgreen, it is probably a result of the environment you are working in. Make sure you have a clean space so that insects are not drawn towards where you are growing your basil microgreens.
Because of grow lights and temperature-controlled rooms, it is possible to grow kale microgreens anywhere in the world. North America is a major microgreens market. The US, Canada, and Mexico are among the top microgreen-producing countries.
Basil microgreens are sold in transparent plastic clamshell packaging.
Enjoying Basil Microgreens
Eat basil microgreens the way you eat regular basil. You’d think basil microgreens do not pack the same flavor compared to mature basil but on the contrary, basil microgreens have a stronger taste.
An important thing to remember when storing basil microgreens is to never wash them, not until you will use them. Why? Because they store better if they are dry when you place them inside the refrigerator. Check the storage from time to time and if you see any moisture, use a paper towel to wipe it dry. Make sure the container is air-tight. Freezing is not ideal because microgreens simply do not have the structural strength sprouted greens have to survive being frozen and thawed. Most of the time, freezing and thawing will turn microgreens into slime, and what is left is unappetizing.
You can top your lasagna with basil microgreens. Raw, basil microgreens are a great addition to popular foods like pasta, pizza, and pesto. Add some green to your egg recipes, may it be scrambled, sunny side, or hard-boiled/soft-boiled egg. Any dish with mozzarella and marinara sauce will taste better with basil microgreens.
Basil microgreens have three times more nutrients compared to mature basil. When you eat basil microgreens, your body absorbs vitamins E, A, K, B6, and C, as well as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, copper, phosphorous, and potassium. All of these make basil microgreens anti-Inflammatory and anti-bacterial.