To say that a broccoli microgreen is a baby broccoli plant can be confusing because any broccoli plant that hasn’t reach maturity falls in this category, which is incorrect. To be exact, what qualifies as broccoli microgreens are those grown using microgreen growing methods, harvested between 10 to 12 days after germination. We can call them the tiny albeit more powerful version of the full-grown broccoli, considering the flavor, nutrients, and texture it packs in its very small body.
Looking at broccoli and broccoli microgreens can be confusing too, since we are used to calling the flowering head of the plant broccoli, and we might expect to see a miniature version of this tree-shaped vegetable as a microgreen, but that is not the case. A broccoli microgreen has a white or cream-colored stalk and a few small green leaves, similar to how other microgreens look.
Consider a broccoli microgreen as another way to eat broccoli. But don’t confuse with broccoli sprouts, which are younger than broccoli microgreens since sprouts are harvested 2 to 3 days after sprouting.
Species: B. oleracea
Binomial name: Brassica oleracea
Cultivar group: italica
Broccoli Microgreen Trivia
- If you don’t like the smell of broccoli, place a slice of bread beside it.
- Nobody knows who owns the record for eating the most broccoli microgreens, but it was Tom Landers who made a record-setting feat after eating 1 pound of broccoli in just 92 seconds.
- Broccoli was once known as “Italian asparagus”
Broccoli Microgreen Buying Guide
Broccoli microgreens are sold in groceries, supermarkets, farmers markets, and other specialty stores. Ask around for local growers so that you can source your broccoli microgreens locally. When buying broccoli microgreens, buy just enough that you can eat until the next grocery day, since broccoli microgreens do not keep for longer than a week even if stored in the refrigerator.
If this is the first time you are buying broccoli 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 broccoli 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 broccoli microgreens, this will give you an idea of how many seeds you expect to get from a pack. Note that broccoli microgreens are very nutritious and yet the broccoli microgreen seeds are among the cheapest in the market today.
- 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
Broccoli Microgreen Production & Farming in Texas
Fill your growing tray with potting soil. Make sure your growing tray has drainage holes. Run a ruler or cardboard over the soil, slightly pressing and compacting it to make sure the soil is even and there is no depression anywhere. 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. Cover the tray and let them sit in a dark place for two to three days. On the fourth day, 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 broccoli 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.
There are farmers and growers in Texas who grow and sell broccoli microgreens like Greenfin Farms in Denton, Texas, and Hoss Microgreens Farm in Southlake, Texas, which has Broccoli Waltham 29 Microgreens. Bella Verdi Farms in Dripping Springs, Texas, grows and sells broccoli microgreens which are also included in their Rainbow Mix microgreens. If you buy from Farmhouse Delivery in Austin, Texas, you can even have your broccoli microgreens delivered. 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. If you are dining out, there are restaurants in Texas that serve food with broccoli microgreens.
Microgreens are a fast-growing crop. This means there is very little time for pests to be a problem. If there is a pest problem, it will probably involve aphids and whiteflies. If the problem requires the use of pesticides, make note of the following:
- Aphids – Kill aphids using neem oil, insecticidal soap, or horticultural oil. You can also use the pesticide malathion, which is the most commonly used organophosphate insecticide in the United States, or rotenone, a selective, non-specific insecticide typically used in home gardens for insect control.
- Whiteflies – Malathion or Pyrethrins are effective against whiteflies.
Broccoli was grown mainly in Italy. It came to France as a result of a 16th-century royal marriage. Broccoli is native to the Mediterranean area and Asia Minor. Today, California is the major producer of broccoli in the US. Despite its European origins, broccoli as a microgreen began in the US in the 1990s in Southern California and then in San Francisco and its neighboring states in the east. The US, Canada, and Mexico are among the major producers and exporters of microgreens.
Broccoli microgreens are sold in transparent plastic clamshell packaging. Sometimes, you can find broccoli microgreens sold in Styrofoam or plastic tray covered with plastic wrap.
Enjoying Broccoli Microgreens
Just like any microgreens, broccoli microgreens can be eaten raw and it is crunchy. Just make sure it is washed and cleaned thoroughly. When you eat radish microgreens, you will notice the mild, slightly bitter flavor. However, some people are allergic to broccoli. This is rare or uncommon. Nonetheless, if you have this condition, it is best not to eat broccoli microgreens too.
If the broccoli microgreens you bought came in a clamshell packaging, use it to store broccoli microgreens in the ref. If, for some reason, you need to transfer the broccoli microgreens to a different container, choose a plastic container with a lid. The least ideal storage is glass because it has the most condensation when in the refrigerator and the condensation contributes to the degradation of the quality of the broccoli microgreens inside. Avoid putting them near the vent of the refrigerator because if the temperature fluctuates, it will affect the condition of the broccoli microgreens. Put it on the lower shelf where the temperature is more stable. Remember that different microgreens vary when it comes to how long they keep in the refrigerator.
Like any microgreen, broccoli microgreen is an excellent garnish or topping for different foods – pizzas, or soups, stews, and curries, for example. Mix this with other fresh greens to make a salad. If you are making a sandwich, replace lettuce with broccoli microgreens. For picky eaters who difficult to feed with green leaves visible on the plate, use broccoli microgreens to make smoothies. Or mix it with omelets or scrambled eggs.
Among the different kinds of microgreens, the broccoli microgreen is hailed as the king when it comes to nutrients as the vegetable with the most complete nutrient package. It has vitamins A, B, C, and K. It has iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. It has a high level of antioxidants. it has a high amount of sulforaphane which helps the body fight inflammation, prevent cancer, improve heart health, and improve digestion.