Kale microgreen is the young version of kale, somewhere between a kale sprout and full-grown, mature kale. It has light green stems and dark green leaves. Kale microgreens are considered more nutritious compared to adult, full-grown kale. Of the many kinds of microgreens, kale microgreens are considered as among those easy and fast to grow. This is why this is a great choice for those trying their hand at growing microgreens for the first time.
Species: B. oleracea
Cultivar group: Acephala Group
Kale Microgreens Trivia
- Kale is formerly known as “peasant’s cabbage”.
- We think “milk” when we think about calcium, but actually, a serving of kale has more absorbable calcium pound for pound with a small carton of milk.
- Kale is high on the nutrient density scale.
- You can also grow kale microgreens using hydroponics
- The microgreens market is expected to continue growing in the next five years.
Kale Microgreens Buying Guide
Kale microgreens are sold in groceries, supermarkets, farmers markets, and other specialty stores. Ask around for local growers so that you can source your kale microgreens locally. When buying kale microgreens, buy just enough that you can eat until the next grocery day, since kale microgreens do not keep for longer than a week even if stored in the refrigerator. If this is the first time you are buying kale 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 kale microgreens to dispose of and you are not being wasteful. When buying, make sure to inspect it thoroughly. See if the leaves and stems are of good quality. It is ok if one or two are wilted, but if most of the bunch are wilted and do not appear fresh, do not buy it.
If you are buying seeds so that you can grow your own kale microgreen, 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
Kale Microgreens Production & Farming in Texas
Growing kale microgreens is easy. Put soil on your growing tray. Moisten the soil if it feels dry but do not overwater it because if this happens, you need an extra hour just to make sure the excess water has fully drained. The next step is sprinkling the seeds on the growing medium. If you are unsure how many seeds you need, 1.25 ounces of seeds are enough to cover a 10×20 tray without the problem of overcrowding. Lightly mist the seeds using a spray bottle. Cover the tray with a lid and keep it somewhere dark with a room temperature ranging from 60°F to 70°F. Remove the lid and mist them lightly every day. Expect signs of germination in 48 to 72 hours. The next step is exposing them to sunlight. You can use grow light, artificial light, or indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight is not recommended because the microgreens will easily dry.
- Buy kale 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.
- Maintain water in the water tray.
- Give it a full 12 days before harvesting. But feel free to sample a few each day starting from day 8. You’ll notice the subtle difference in flavor as the microgreens continue to grow.
- Rotate crop once it is exposed to light to avoid “bending” microgreens.
There are farmers and growers in Texas who grow kale microgreens. Some examples are the Grand Prairie Microgreens LLC, a major producer in the Dallas Fort Worth area; Hoss Microgreen Farm is also located in Dallas Fort Worth. 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. Urban Veg is another business selling microgreens including kale microgreens. They are located in San Antonio, Texas.
Pesticides are not generally used in growing kale microgreens. They have less than two weeks planted on the growing tray, not enough time for pests to encroach on the plants and attack them. If there are insects in your kale 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 kale 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 producing countries of microgreens.
Kale microgreens are not as widely and commonly available in all supermarkets and groceries compared to full-grown, mature vegetables. But in places where these are sold (including farmers markets), you will find them in transparent plastic clamshell packaging.
Enjoying Kale Microgreens
When you eat kale microgreens, you will notice that it is tender. It has a nutty, slightly sweet taste. Some say it tastes like broccoli and smells like mustard. However, do not eat too much kale because it can cause hypothyroidism in iodine-deficient people. You should also consider asking your doctor first if you can eat kale microgreens if you are taking blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin) since vitamin K in kale could be interfering with the medicine. Those with a cruciferous vegetable allergy should also refrain from eating kale microgreens.
If you have to store kale microgreens, make sure to wrap these in damp paper towels before you put these inside a resealable plastic bag or food container. They will last for a week this way. 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.
If you are eating kale microgreens you planted yourself, make sure to cut these from the base of their roots. They are less bitter than sprouted kale. They are best eaten raw, mixed in vegetable salads. You can also use this as an ingredient for soup or topping for savory baked goods.
Kale is packed with antioxidants, including beta-carotene, vitamin C, polyphenols, and flavonoids. It has vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, manganese, calcium, copper, thiamin, folate, iron, riboflavin, and potassium. Kale is known for its many health benefits. It has cancer-fighting properties and also helps against oxidative damage. Eating kale helps the body improve its immune system and maintain strong, healthy bones.