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Microgreen Power

When it comes to plant-based nutrition, most people envision long rows of organic farmland with luxurious stretches of leafy lettuces, kale, and other greens. But there’s another type of crop that offers nutritional density and a surprisingly zesty taste. Behold the power of microgreens. These diminutive greens — harvested when they’re only a few inches tall — are the first stages of growth in plants like beets, arugula, and chard. Smaller than a pinky finger, they can vary widely in terms of color, shape, and leaf size, and they tend to pack quite a bit of flavor. The Asian mustard varieties, for example, can hit the tongue like a ball of wasabi paste.Microgreens have been grown in the United States for only about 20 years, and at the beginning, the varieties were limited. As their popularity grew, however, so did the options, and adventurous cooks and gardeners now can choose from dozens of varieties. Combining multiple types in one blend can result in a profusion of color and flavor. Beautiful to behold, chefs often use them as garnishes in fine restaurants. Nutritionally, the greens pop with vitamin …

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