Shoots, Sprouts & Microgreens - What’s the Difference?

Shoots, Sprouts & Microgreens - What’s the Difference?

Are they all the same? Nope. It can be confusing for sure and you’ll often hear the names tossed around interchangeably.  Read on to learn some of the main differences -- not only with the taste but the growing and harvesting methods, as well. 

You can think of “shoots” as basically synonymous with microgreens. They are the young, green stems that grow out of the ground or from a plant’s root system. They are usually grown in a soil medium and require several days of sunlight or other light source after seed germination. Their leaves or foliage is intensely green or red -- the leaves are consumed along with the stems. Microgreen shoots have a robust, earthy flavor. They are firmer and crunchier than sprouts. 

Sprouts, on the other hand, are the tiny tender growths of germinated seeds that do not require sunlight or soil to grow. After many days, they “sprout” in a container or tray without any growing medium. The entire plant is eaten, including the roots. Note that vigilance is needed with commercially grown sprouts because they are grown in water or other liquid media conducive to bacterial growth. For this reason, sprouts have different health regulations and food safety protocols for growing, packing, and shipping.

Both microgreens and sprouts are considered highly nutritious and offer a range of culinary and health benefits. In a Maryland study, microgreens were shown to contain up to 40 times more nutrition than their mature plant counterparts.

Microgreens to cherish

Microgreens are also incredibly versatile—you can eat them on or with almost anything. More than simply a beautiful garnish on a plate, they can add flavor and texture to a variety of dishes. Add to salads, soups, sandwiches or smoothies for a serious nutrition boost. Try Vinaigrette Pea Micros as a quick and easy side dish or gluten-free pasta salad made with Sunflower Microgreen Pesto.

There are so many recipe options and we bet you’ll be hooked after trying the different varieties available.  It’s amazing the flavor punch packed into such tiny plants!

 About our Producer

Located just outside of beautiful Longmont, Fringe Farm is a microfarm in an urban setting. We produce microgreens, edible flowers, herbs and complimentary products. We are a year-round farm utilizing a modern approach to agriculture. Our mission is to connect with our community while providing folks with nutrient-dense produce to improve your health and quality of life—-all while utilizing natural and regenerative techniques to achieve the highest quality produce possible! We are a chemical and pesticide-free farm which only uses organic seeds and soil medium. Our hygienic processes ensure you get safe produce of the highest quality, every time. While providing you with fresh, delicate, crisp “micro baby greens” takes a bit of extra effort, we are committed to using the “reduce/compost” packaging model and always striving to do better. Ask us about our efforts using vermicomposting! You can feel good about feeding your family Fringe Farm produce. Give us a try and learn how easy it is to incorporate fresh, delicious greens into your busy lifestyle.

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