Beetroot cultivation started around 6000 years ago in the region of the Middle East. Originally the plant was grown for its green, juicy stems and leaves. It’s similar to chard and spinach, which also come from the same family of plants.
In the 1st century AD, Romans began harvesting the plant for its purple ball-like roots. But also for its leaves and stems.
Beetroot is valued for its spectacular nutritional properties. Not to mention the versatility when it comes to cooking. Today, all beetroot parts are readily available worldwide in grocery stores and farmers’ markets.
Colorful beetroot sprouts and microgreens
With this being said, not many know about the benefits of beetroot microgreens and sprouting seeds.
Easily grown at home, they can provide a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. And they add a sweet, earthy flavour with a fresh crunchy texture.
Beetroot sprouts and microgreens will undoubtedly brighten any salad, smoothy, stir-fry, or soup. This is thanks to the bright red stems that later grow emerald green leaves.
Grow your own beetroot sprouts
Usually, the seeds of a beetroot germinate in 5-7 days. Do you like to eat them at the stage of sprouting? Then the process of growing the crop will differ compared from the one used for growing microgreens.
Did you know? The seeds are not placed in soil. Instead, you must soak them in water and rinse them throughout the process. This way, you minimise the risk of contamination.
It’s possible to grow the seeds in a jar if you don’t want to invest in specialised equipment. Once the seeds have sprouted red stems, they are ready to be consumed.
Let’s make a fantastic beetroot sprouts salad
Try your harvest of beetroot sprouts in this super-nutritious salad.
- Clean and cut 200 g / 2,25 cups of carrots in 4 cm / 1,5 inch size chunks. Then parboil for 4 minutes.
- Transfer the chunks to a roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil and a spoonful of runny honey. Roast in a pre-heated oven at 180 °C / 360 F oven for 15 minutes, turning the carrots halfway through.
- Rinse 200 g / 2,25 cups of sprouts. Place them in a bowl and mix with a finely cut bunch of parsley. Add 70 g / 1 cup of toasted hazelnuts to the same bowl, followed by the roasted carrots.
- An easy dressing for this salad can be made with a zest of 1 orange or lemon, 1 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tsp runny honey.
The difference between beetroots’ sprouts and microgreens
Microgreens should not be mistaken for sprouts. The sprouting stage stops when the leaves of a baby plant appear. At this stage, you no longer consume the seed with the tiny stem. Instead, the stem and the baby leaves become your harvest.
Microgreens are further grown in soil. The taste of beet microgreens is also stronger compared to when seeds only start to germinate.
Use beetroot microgreens to top an avocado toast for a splash of colour. And to boost your vitamin and antioxidant intake.