Wholesale Microgreens for Restaurants: 7 Uses of Microgreens

Joanna Okedara
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    Microgreens are young and tender seedlings of edible plants that are harvested at an early stage of growth, usually within two weeks of germination. These miniature plants have become increasingly popular in the culinary world for their vibrant colors, unique flavors, and nutrient-dense properties.

    Key Takeaway: Wholesale microgreens have gained immense popularity in the restaurant industry, where chefs use them to enhance the taste, texture, and appearance of their dishes. Their small size and delicate structure make them ideal for use as garnishes, adding a pop of color and flavor to a variety of dishes.

    In this article, we will discuss the benefits of microgreens seeds for restaurant businesses, specifically in the context of wholesale purchases. We will highlight seven ways in which microgreens can help restaurants enhance their menu offerings, improve the nutritional value of their dishes, and ultimately increase their bottom line. 

    By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of why microgreens are a valuable addition to any restaurant's kitchen.


    7 Benefits of Wholesale Microgreens for Restaurants

    Let’s explore seven benefits of microgreens for restaurants, including their nutritional value, versatility, and appeal to customers. Whether you're a fine dining establishment or a casual eatery, microgreens are sure to enhance the quality and variety of your dishes.

    1. Flavor and Texture

    Microgreens are a delicious and nutrient-rich addition to any dish. These tiny, edible plants are harvested just after their first true leaves have developed and are packed with flavor and texture. 

    Here are some of the ways microgreens can add unique and intense flavors and textures to dishes, along with examples of popular microgreens and their flavor profiles:

    Intense Flavor

    Microgreens are known for their intense and concentrated flavors. They can add a burst of flavor to any dish, from salads and sandwiches to soups and entrees. Here are some examples of popular microgreens and their flavor profiles:

    • Radish Microgreens: These microgreens have a peppery, spicy flavor that adds a kick to any dish.
    • Arugula Microgreens: These microgreens have a nutty, slightly bitter flavor that pairs well with cheese, meat, and eggs.
    • Mustard Microgreens: These microgreens have a sharp, tangy flavor that adds a bold flavor to any dish.

    Unique Texture

    Microgreens can also add a unique texture to dishes, ranging from tender and delicate to crunchy and crisp. Here are some examples of popular microgreens and their texture profiles:

    • Sunflower Microgreens: These microgreens have a tender texture and a nutty flavor that adds crunch to any dish.
    • Pea Shoots: These microgreens have a delicate, crunchy texture and a sweet flavor that pairs well with seafood and salads.
    • Beet Microgreens: These microgreens have a crunchy texture and a slightly sweet, earthy flavor that pairs well with roasted vegetables and meats.
    1. Nutrition

    One of the main benefits of microgreens is their high nutrient density compared to mature vegetables. Research has shown that microgreens can contain up to 40 times more vitamins and minerals than their mature counterparts. 

    For example, red cabbage microgreens have been found to contain 6 times more vitamin C, 69 times more vitamin K, and 22 times more iron than mature red cabbage. In addition to their high nutrient density, microgreens have been linked to numerous health benefits. 

    A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that some microgreens, such as red cabbage, cilantro, and radish, contain high levels of antioxidants. These antioxidants help protect against oxidative stress and chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

    Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences found that consuming broccoli microgreens helped reduce inflammation in the body, which is linked to numerous chronic diseases. Additionally, research has shown that microgreens may help improve digestion, support healthy weight management, and even enhance cognitive function.

    For restaurants, incorporating microgreens into dishes can not only enhance the flavor and visual appeal of a dish, but also add a powerful nutritional punch. By using microgreens, chefs and catering businesses can offer their customers a unique and healthful dining experience, while also boosting the nutritional value of their menu offerings.

    1. Versatility

    Microgreens are versatile ingredients that can be used in a variety of dishes, adding flavor, texture, and nutrition. They can be used as a garnish, a topping, or a key ingredient, and their small size makes them easy to incorporate into almost any dish.

    Here are some examples of how microgreens can be used in different types of dishes:

    • Salads: Microgreens are a perfect addition to salads, adding flavor, texture, and nutrition. They can be used as a base, a topping, or a garnish. For example, a salad made with mixed greens, sliced strawberries, goat cheese, and microgreens would be a perfect summer dish.
    • Sandwiches: Microgreens can be used to add a fresh crunch to sandwiches. For example, a turkey and avocado sandwich with a handful of microgreens on top would be a tasty and healthy lunch option.
    • Entrees: Microgreens can also be used in a wide range of entrees, such as pasta dishes, stir-fries, and roasted vegetables. For example, a stir-fry made with broccoli, carrots, tofu, and microgreens would be a healthy and flavorful dinner option.

    Now, let's take a look at some creative uses of microgreens in restaurant menus:

    • Avocado Toast with Microgreens: This dish is a simple yet flavorful breakfast option that has become popular in many restaurants. Toasted bread is topped with mashed avocado, microgreens, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
    • Microgreen Pesto Pasta: Pesto pasta is a classic dish, but using microgreens instead of basil can give it a fresh twist. Microgreens, pine nuts, garlic, and Parmesan cheese are blended together to create a delicious and healthy sauce for pasta.
    • Microgreen Tacos: Tacos are a great way to incorporate microgreens into a savory dish. Grilled chicken or shrimp is topped with microgreens, avocado, and salsa for a tasty and healthy meal.
    • Microgreen Smoothies: Microgreens can also be added to smoothies for a boost of nutrition. For example, a green smoothie made with spinach, kale, banana, almond milk, and microgreens would be a healthy and energizing breakfast option.
    1. Aesthetics

    One of the key benefits of microgreens is their ability to enhance the presentation of dishes. Microgreens come in a wide variety of colors and textures, making them a versatile ingredient for creating visually stunning plates.

    Microgreens can add an element of freshness and vibrancy to a dish, making it more visually appealing to customers. The delicate size and shape of microgreens make them perfect for garnishing dishes or adding a pop of color to an otherwise plain plate.

    Chefs have been known to use microgreens to create intricate and artistic designs on plates, taking the presentation of dishes to a whole new level. Microgreens can be arranged in patterns or used to create a focal point on the plate, adding to the overall visual impact of the dish.

    Some examples of visually stunning dishes featuring microgreens include:

    • Seared Scallops with Microgreens: This dish features perfectly seared scallops served on a bed of microgreens. The bright green color and delicate size of the microgreens make the dish look fresh and light.
    • Beet Salad with Microgreens: This colorful salad combines earthy beets with a variety of microgreens for a beautiful and healthy dish. The different colors and textures of the microgreens make the salad visually appealing and add depth to the presentation.
    • Microgreen Stuffed Ravioli: This dish features homemade ravioli stuffed with a mixture of microgreens and ricotta cheese. The microgreens give the pasta a vibrant green color and add a unique texture to the filling.
    1. Shelf Life

    One of the key benefits of microgreens for restaurants is their longer shelf life compared to many other fresh produce items. Microgreens can typically last up to two weeks if stored properly, whereas mature vegetables and herbs may only last a few days.

    Microgreens have a longer shelf life than many other fresh produce items, making them an ideal choice for restaurant kitchens. Unlike mature vegetables, which can quickly spoil and require frequent restocking, microgreens can stay fresh for several days, allowing chefs to use them over an extended period.

    The longer shelf life of microgreens offers several benefits for restaurants, including reduced waste and cost savings. Because they last longer, restaurants can purchase larger quantities of microgreens without worrying about them going bad before they can be used. This means less food waste, which is not only good for the environment but also saves money for the restaurant.

    Additionally, longer shelf life means that restaurants can take advantage of bulk purchasing opportunities for microgreens. Wholesale purchases of microgreens can be more cost-effective than buying smaller quantities of mature vegetables, allowing restaurants to save money on their ingredient costs.

    For busy restaurants with high volume kitchens, the longer shelf life of microgreens can also save time and effort. Chefs can prepare and portion out microgreens in advance, reducing the need for frequent restocking and cutting down on prep time during busy service hours.

    1. Sustainability

    Microgreens are a sustainable food option for restaurants, offering a range of benefits to the environment and the bottom line. This means that restaurants can reduce their environmental footprint by sourcing microgreens from sustainable producers.

    In fact, microgreens can be grown using up to 90% less water than traditional crops. This is because microgreens have a short growth cycle and do not require as much water to produce the same amount of biomass as mature plants.

    Microgreens are grown in trays or containers, they can be produced in urban environments, reducing the need for large agricultural areas. This means that microgreens can be produced closer to the point of consumption, reducing transportation emissions and ensuring fresher produce for customers.

    Incorporating sustainable eCommerce practices into a restaurant's operations can also benefit the business's brand and reputation. Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their food choices and are actively seeking out restaurants that prioritize sustainability. 

    By sourcing microgreens from sustainable producers, restaurants can showcase their commitment to reducing their environmental footprint. This will appeal to customers who value sustainable practices.

    1. Local Sourcing

    Another major benefit of wholesale microgreens for restaurants is the ability to source them locally. Unlike many other fresh produce items, microgreens can be grown in urban areas, reducing transportation costs and making them an ideal choice for local sourcing.

    In recent times, a lot of business owners have ventured into starting a microgreens business. You can easily buy wholesale microgreens from these businesses.

    Here are some of the key benefits of sourcing microgreens locally:

    • Fresher product: When microgreens are sourced locally, they can be harvested and delivered to restaurants within a day or two of being picked. This means that they are much fresher than microgreens that have been shipped from far away. Fresher produce not only tastes better but also has higher nutritional value.
    • Reduced transportation costs: Transporting fresh produce can be expensive, especially when it is shipped from far away. By sourcing microgreens locally, restaurants can reduce transportation costs and potentially save money on their overall food budget.
    • Sustainable practices: Sourcing microgreens locally is also more sustainable, as it reduces the carbon footprint associated with transportation. Consumers are increasingly valuing sustainable practices in restaurants, and local sourcing of microgreens is a great way to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability.
    • Community connections: Local sourcing also allows restaurants to develop relationships with local farmers and other wholesale food distributors and food producers. This can help to build a sense of community and support for local businesses.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Benefits of Microgreens for Restaurants

    What are Microgreens?

    Microgreens are young, edible plants that are harvested shortly after germination. They are smaller than baby greens and larger than sprouts, typically measuring 1-3 inches in height.

    What Types of Microgreens are Popular in the Restaurant Industry?

    Popular microgreens in the restaurant industry include arugula, basil, broccoli, chives, cilantro, kale, mustard, radish, sunflower, and wheatgrass.

    How can Restaurants Incorporate Microgreens into Their Menus?

    Restaurants can incorporate microgreens into salads, sandwiches, soups, entrees, and even desserts. Microgreens can be used as a garnish, mixed into dishes for added flavor and nutrition, or used as the main ingredient in a dish.

    Where can Restaurants Source Microgreens?

    Restaurants can source microgreens from local farms, farmers markets, or through wholesale distributors in the microgreens industry.

    Are There any Food Safety Concerns with Microgreens?

    Like any wholesale produce, microgreens can carry foodborne illness if not grown or handled properly. Restaurants should ensure that they comply with food safety system regulations when sourcing microgreens from reputable growers and handling them in a way that minimizes the risk of contamination.

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