Microgreens are tiny, brightly colored and boldly flavorful veggies, larger and more mature than sprouts, but much younger than fully grown edible plants. They're harvested around one to two weeks old and are hailed as a superfood based on significantly higher levels of nutrients than their ripe counterparts. A study by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that on average, microgreen plants contain five times greater levels of many nutrients than mature plants do.
However, microgreens can play hard to get. Freshness and viability can be an issue because they're harvested and must be consumed quickly, and factors such as oxygen and carbon dioxide exposure and packaging also affect the vitamins and minerals in the greens.
Fortunately, New Orleans' own Southern City Farm (www.southerncityfarm.com) is a local resource for the goods. The urban farm's offerings include microgreens, shoots, sprouts and edible flowers, and they can be used for everything from tea leaf blends to a pizza topping. You can find Southern City Farm's greens perched atop your entree at restaurants such as Cafe Adelaide and Peche, or at grocery stores such as Robert Fresh Market and Rouses.