Borage microgreens are an exciting new superfood bursting with flavor and nutrition. These young seedlings of the borage plant contain up to 40 times more nutrients than their mature counterparts, making them a true nutritional powerhouse.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about borage microgreens – from their stellar nutrient profile and associated health benefits to how to grow and enjoy these delightful greens.
Whether you’re new to the world of microgreens or an experienced grower looking to diversify your harvest, read on to discover why you should add borage microgreens to your diet!
Key Takeaways on Borage Microgreens
If you only remember a few key points from this comprehensive guide, they should be:
- Borage microgreens offer an incredibly dense source of nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds that benefit whole-body health.
- Research shows borage microgreens help reduce inflammation, support heart and digestive health, boost immunity, and combat signs of aging due to their unique nutritional profile.
- These greens have a pleasant mild cucumber-like taste that makes an easy addition to salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and more. Their petite size works perfectly as garnish too.
- Growing beautiful emerald borage microgreens at home is simple using basic supplies like shallow trays, soil, and seeds. Expect harvest in just 10-15 days!
- Always rinse and properly store freshly snipped microgreens in Airscape containers in the fridge to retain texture and nutrients for 5 to 7 days.
The bottom line is borage microgreens punch far above their weight class when it comes to nutrition and versatility. So do your mind and body a favor by incorporating these petite nutrient powerhouses into your cuisine and growing regimen today!
What Are Borage Microgreens?
Borage (Borago officinalis), also known as starflower, is an edible flowering herb originally from the Mediterranean region. It has been used for centuries for both its culinary and medicinal properties.
The plant is recognizable by its beautiful cornflower blue star-shaped flowers and slightly prickly leaves that lend a cool, cucumber-like flavor. However, we’re interested in borage primarily for its highly nutritious sprouted seedlings known as borage microgreens.
Borage microgreens refer to immature borage plants that are harvested just after the first true leaves have developed, typically 1-3 inches tall. At this infant stage, the seedlings are overflowing with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds.
In fact, research shows microgreens can contain up to 40X higher levels of nutrients than their mature counterparts, ounce for ounce!
So although tiny in size, microgreens deliver an outsized nutritional punch. And among the various microgreen varieties, borage stands out for its stellar nutritional profile.
Borage Microgreens Product Checklist
Enhance Your Sustainable Home Garden with Borage Microgreens
Borage microgreens are not only a delight to grow at home but also a nutritional powerhouse. Packed with essential vitamins and offering a host of health benefits, these young greens can enrich your diet and your garden. To help you embark on this green journey, here’s a curated list of items you’ll want to consider for a thriving microgreen setup.
Starting Your Microgreen Garden:
- Borage Seeds: Start with premium borage seeds from trusted suppliers for a successful harvest. [Buy borage Seeds here from True Leaf Market]
- Organic Potting Mix: Ensure your microgreens get the best start with high-quality organic soil. [Get it now]
- Microgreen Trays: Select shallow trays designed for microgreen cultivation. [Find the best tray]
- LED Grow Lights: Boost your microgreens’ growth with efficient full-spectrum LED lights. [LED Grow Lights Review]
- Watering Tools: A fine mist spray bottle is crucial for delicate watering. [Shop spray bottles]
After Harvest Care:
- Airscape Containers: Keep your microgreens fresh longer with Airscape storage solutions. [Buy containers]
Enhancing Your Culinary Experience:
- Microgreen Recipe Books: Discover new ways to enjoy borage microgreens with a recipe book full of ideas. [Check Out Our Favorite Book]
By using these products, you’ll not only elevate the sustainability of your gardening but also step into a world of enhanced flavor and nutrition right in your kitchen. Each purchase supports the journey towards a greener lifestyle!
Nutrient Profile of Borage Microgreens
So what exactly makes borage microgreens such a nutritional rockstar? Here’s an overview of the key nutrients these seedlings provide:
Borage microgreens are loaded with vitamins, especially immune-boosting vitamin C and blood-clotting vitamin K. They also contain decent levels of vision-protecting vitamin A, and B-complex vitamins like folic acid, plus small amounts of vitamins E and B6.
Here is the vitamin content in 100g borage microgreens, according to USDA data:
- Vitamin C: 110% DV
- Vitamin A: 42% DV
- Vitamin K: 31% DV
- Folic acid: 14% DV
These seedlings likewise deliver a cocktail of important dietary minerals:
- Potassium: Help regulate fluid balance and nerve transmission
- Calcium: Essential for bone health
- Iron: Oxygenates blood to energize the body
- Magnesium: Supports muscle and nerve function
Plus, they contain small amounts of phosphorus, zinc, manganese, and selenium.
Table 1: Comprehensive Nutrient Profile Per 100g Borage Microgreens
|Vitamin C||110%||Immunity, collagen production, iron absorption|
|Vitamin A||42%||Healthy vision, cell growth, immunity|
|Vitamin K||31%||Bone health, blood clotting|
|Folic acid||14%||DNA synthesis & repair, red blood cell production|
|Potassium||10%||Fluid balance, nerve signaling, blood pressure|
|Calcium||5%||Bone strength, muscle & nerve function|
|Iron||5%||Oxygenate blood to energize body|
|Magnesium||4%||Muscle & nerve health, protein synthesis|
In addition to vitamins and minerals, borage microgreens house beneficial plant compounds like carotenoids and polyphenols which act as antioxidants in the body.
These help counter free radical damage and oxidative stress which can lead to chronic inflammation, disease development, and accelerated aging down the line. So eating antioxidant-rich foods is key for maintaining wellness and longevity.
And ounce for ounce, microgreens like borage contain higher antioxidant activity than mature greens or even some fruits!
Notably, borage microgreens also deliver anti-inflammatory omega fatty acids:
- Gamma linolenic acid (GLA): An omega-6 fatty acid beneficial for heart health, brain function, and healthy skin. It’s unusually high in borage.
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): An omega-3 fatty acid with similar health benefits as GLA. It’s found in smaller amounts.
GLA and other fatty acids contribute to cell membrane integrity and intercellular communication. They help reduce systemic inflammation which underlies most chronic diseases today like autoimmunity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
So needless to say, the combination of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats make borage microgreens a uniquely healthy addition to one’s diet.
But what specific benefits can you expect to gain by eating these nutritious seedlings? Let’s find out!
5 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Borage Microgreens
With their stellar nutritional profile, incorporating borage microgreens into your diet or smoothies can benefit your health from head to toe. Here are some of the top researched-backed ways these seedlings can help:
1. Reduce Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is the root cause behind most modern diseases. So foods with natural anti-inflammatory properties are highly prized in any healthy diet.
As mentioned, borage microgreens contain GLA and other fatty acids that help reduce systemic inflammation. They’ve been shown in studies to minimize inflammatory conditions like arthritis, eczema, and asthma.
The antioxidants present also combat inflammation by neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise damage cells and trigger widespread inflammation.
So by regularly consuming anti-inflammatory foods like borage microgreens, you reduce your risk of developing inflammation-based health conditions down the line.
2. Support Heart Health
With magnesium, potassium, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory fats, borage microgreens deliver a cocktail of nutrients that benefit cardiovascular health.
For one, foods rich in potassium and magnesium help moderate blood pressure levels by relaxing blood vessels. One study found magnesium helped lower BP as effectively as hypertension medication!
These minerals also support proper nerve signaling so the heart can contract and pump blood efficiently to oxygenate tissues throughout the body.
Additionally, the GLA found abundantly in borage helps reduce LDL and triglyceride levels. This keeps arteries clear of inflammatory plaque buildup that can lead to heart attacks and stroke over time.
So sprucing up meals with these yummy microgreens is a tasty way to keep your heart ticking strong for years to come!
3. Boost Immunity
To stay resilient against infections, having a robust immune system is key. And nutrition plays a critical role.
In particular, vitamins A, C, and E and certain trace minerals like zinc and selenium help nourish and regulate immune cells so they can respond appropriately against foreign invaders.
Lucky for us, borage microgreens deliver decent levels of immune-enhancing nutrients like vitamins A and C. The latter is notably packed into these seedlings at over 100% DV per serving!
So adding them to your daily plates and smoothies helps arm your body with the vital nutrients it needs to fight off illnesses and infections more effectively throughout the year.
4. Improve Digestion
Many of us deal with unpleasant digestive issues like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or reflux. But diet can play a big role in promoting healthy digestion day-to-day.
In particular, foods containing probiotics, prebiotics, and fiber feed the beneficial bacteria in our gut microbiome which allow us to properly break down foods, absorb nutrients, and maintain bowel regularity.
And guess what? Borage microgreens offer a decent amount of fiber to help move things along your digestive tract. This soluble fiber also feeds probiotics for better nutrient absorption.
So sprinkling these tasty microgreens onto meals helps optimize digestion in multiple ways – keeping you regular and comfortable throughout the day!
5. Slow Signs of Aging
Who doesn’t want to look and feel younger for longer? While aging is inevitable, what we eat can profoundly impact the rate at which our body and appearance change over time.
In fact, research now shows that consuming antioxidant and vitamin-rich foods can help deter age-related changes by combating cellular damage from free radicals and inflammation, preserving skin elasticity and organ function, and supporting tissue regeneration.
And we’ve seen borage microgreens check off all those boxes, providing antioxidants like carotenoids and polyphenols along with vitamins A, C, and E – nutrients shown to help maintain youth and vitality as we age.
So do your future self a solid by working these yummy sprouted greens into smoothies, salads, and sides whenever you can! Your mind and body will thank you for years to come.
Eating borage microgreens regularly offers anti-inflammatory, heart-healthy, immune-boosting, digestion-optimizing, and anti-aging benefits that enhance wellness from head to toe!
Blackout Period for Optimal Germination of Borage Microgreens
Once you have evenly sown your borage microgreen seeds onto the moist soil, an important next step is to give them a blackout period for optimal germination.
This involves completely blocking out light from reaching the newly planted seeds for 2-3 days. Light can dry out the seeds before they fully germinate, hindering your success rate.
To black out your seeded trays, simply place them in a dark area like a pantry or cover them tightly with a reusable germination dome, thick cloth, or blackout tent. Some farmers will stack trays and put weight on top to gently press seeds into the soil as well.
This blackout period allows time for tender roots to establish anchorage while remaining shielded from light.
After 2-3 days, you can uncover your borage microgreen trays to reveal tiny white sprouts emerging from the soil beneath. Now they are ready for light exposure to fill seeds’ stored food supply via photosynthesis!
Be sure to give new borage seedings a 48-72 hour blackout period for optimal germination success before bringing them into your grow light setup. Doing so will reward you with vigorous green microgreen growth in no time!
How To Grow Borage Microgreens
Now that you know all about why you should eat borage microgreens, let’s look at how to grow them right at home for a convenient nutritious addition anytime.
Growing microgreens generally requires minimal effort and supplies compared to mature vegetables. And borage microgreens are relatively easy!
Table 2: Lighting Tips for Growing Borage Microgreens
|Light Source||Height Above Trays||On/Off Cycle|
|Sunlight||Rotate trays, keep out of direct sun||Natural cycle|
|LED Grow Light||4-6 inches||16 hours on, 8 hours off|
|Fluorescent Grow Light||6-8 inches||12-16 hours on|
Here is a simple step-by-step overview of how to grow borage microgreens:
- Shallow growing trays
- Organic potting soil
- Borage seeds
- Water spray bottle
- Grow light (optional)
Step 1. Fill Trays & Plant Seeds
Fill your growing tray with moist organic potting soil. Smooth out the surface then sprinkle your borage seeds evenly across the top.
Soaking seeds is unnecessary and may increase the chances of mold growth.
Step 2. Mist & Cover Trays
Lightly mist the seeded trays with water to moisten them. Then place another empty tray on top to block light.
Step 3. Uncover & Provide Light
After 2-3 days when seeds have germinated, remove the top tray and expose them to sunlight or grow lights about 4 inches above.
Step 4. Water When Needed
Mist the soil daily to maintain even moisture. Avoid overwatering which can invite mold growth.
Step 5. Harvest Microgreens!
In 10 to 15 days when the first true leaves emerge, use kitchen shears to snip your fresh microgreens right above the soil!
Then simply rinse and enjoy your homegrown bounty! Store leftovers in the fridge for 5 to 7 days max.
And that’s really all there is to it! As you can see, growing ultra-fresh borage microgreens at home is easy, fast, and fun. And you’ll gain the richest source of vitamins, minerals, and health-enhancing compounds nature has to offer in return!
So get growing and start reaping the many rewards today!
Next, let’s explore all the mouthwatering ways you can incorporate them into your cuisine. Your tastebuds are sure to thank you!
Using Borage Microgreens In Your Cooking
It’s simple to integrate hearty borage microgreens into your daily menu. Their pleasantly cool, cucumber-like taste and dainty green foliage make them ideal:
As Tasty Garnishes
Beautify and nutrify any dish by using microborage as edible confetti! They add vibrant color, crunch, and a refreshing herby accent to complete plates.
Get creative garnishing soups, grain bowls, tacos, flatbreads, meat dishes, baked goods…you name it! Your food will both look and taste even more appetizing.
In Salads & Wraps
Toss them solo or into mesclun for a cool zesty kick. Borage microgreens also make wraps and sandwiches next level by replacing boring lettuce.
Blended In Smoothies
Blitzing them into green smoothies adds richness plus lovely melony sweetness. They mask stronger flavors of leafy greens like kale or spinach too!
As Cocktail Accents
Fancy up drinks by rim-dipping glasses into micro borage for vibrant detail. Infusing them into lemonades, teas or mocktails imparts thirst-quenching character as well.
And since these seedlings bear edible flowers, try crystallizing borage blooms to create magical ice cubes too!
However you decide to eat them, borage microgreens seriously amplify nutrition, aesthetics, and taste to whatever you add them to!
So take your pick of the inventive ways to enjoy these mighty greens at their flavorful best.
Storing Borage Microgreens
Like most living greens, fresh borage microgreens are highly perishable. To preserve their texture, nutrients, and signature zing for as long as possible:
Rinse & Dry Properly
Before storage, gently rinse microgreens then spin or pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Leftover water speeds up decay.
Refrigerate In Airscape Containers
Next, transfer dried microgreens to a clean airtight container and chill in your fridge’s coldest zone, the bottom shelf.
An Airscape container works beautifully since it removes air exposure while sealing in moisture. This slows microgreen decay significantly.
Table 3: Storing Borage Microgreens Based on Use
|Planned Use||Storage Tips||Shelf Life|
|Topping dishes||Pat dry, store in airscape container||5-7 days|
|Adding to smoothies||Leave moist, seal in produce bag||3-4 days|
|Infusing into liquids||Dry completely, freeze||6 months|
Use Within 5-7 Days
Stored properly, borage microgreens should retain optimum freshness for 5-7 days in the fridge.
Beyond that, expect pronounced wilting and flavor deterioration as sugars convert starch making them unpalatably bitter.
So plan to finish refrigerated microborage within a week to enjoy them at their nutritional and taste peak!
Native to Europe and the Mediterranean region, borage is now grown worldwide for culinary and ornamental use thanks to its edible leaves and beautiful summer flowers.
Today, farmers across Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and the UK cultivate borage plants for commercial use. Dried leaves and flowers are sold in tea blends or supplements touting various health benefits.
The plant has also become popular in North American gardens for its vibrant cornflower blue star blossoms that attract pollinators. Leaves and flowers add whimsical flavor to summer cocktails as well.
However, borage remains lesser known as far as microgreens compared to varieties like broccoli, kale, or arugula. But its uniqueness can work to your advantage if seeking an unusual addition to grow and eat!
And thanks to their hardiness, borage microgreens can be grown successfully either outdoors or right on your kitchen counter pretty much year-round.
Traditional Medicinal Uses
While largely valued culinarily today, various cultures historically used borage preparations to treat health ailments thanks to their medicinal chemical constituents.
For starters, ancient Greek and Roman civilizations considered borage a holy elixir, believing it possessed mystical healing powers able to restore strength, joy, and courage.
This isn’t surprising given borage’s high nutrient density and mood-lifting compounds shown to ease nerves, anxiety, and sadness in users.
In traditional Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, borage tea was administered to reduce fevers and treat symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders like diarrhea or constipation.
During the Middle Ages in Europe, borage leaves were commonly mixed into medicinal wines and herbal concoctions used to comfort mourners and treat heart conditions stemming from stress and grief.
And, dried borage flowers infused into drinks were thought to minimize depression while invigorating passion and courage. Hence the monikers “cool tankard” and “herb of gladness”.
Today science confirms many of borage’s ancient therapeutic uses, particularly as an anti-inflammatory and cardio-protective aid. We understand it’s the abundance of soothing GLA fatty acids, combined with antioxidants and vitamins that confer these wellness benefits.
So our predecessors definitely had it right about borage’s healing prowess as a nutritional panacea! Continuing to incorporate it into our diet via microgreens allows us to keep harnessing those gifts of health and happiness passed down through generations.
Fun Borage Facts
Beyond health considerations, this visually stunning “starflower” herb offers additional points of intrigue:
- Borage flowers and leaves bear tiny fuzzy hairs, giving them a cool prickly texture against one’s tongue
- Tea made using borage blossoms creates a beautiful blue-hued brew resembling the summer sky
- Bees flock to the plant, feasting on sweet nectar and spreading abundant pollen – making borage a wonderful garden addition for improving honey production and crop yields
- All parts of the borage plant contain medicinal compounds used to make German Echinaforce herbal supplements
- The seed oil has been investigated as sustainable biofuel thanks to its resilience and high seed productivity per plant
- Borage microgreens offer unusually high levels of rare Gamma linoleic fatty acids compared to other plants
So beyond packing a powerful nutritional punch, this unique “starflower” continues sparking botanical curiosity through its centuries-old history and visually captivating presence.
Borage deserves the spotlight as the next big nutritional superstar to enter the microgreens scene. These young sprouted borage plants deliver a powerhouse of vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds for whole-body wellness.
Research shows that eating microgreens like borage can better arm our bodies against chronic inflammation, heart disease, infections, digestive issues, and other health conditions down the line due to their uniquely rich nutrient densities.
What’s more, incorporating them into your cuisine couldn’t be easier thanks to their pleasant mild cucumber-like flavor. Borage microgreens make salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and plated dishes more nutritious while adding a tasty accent.
Cultivating trays of them right at home is simple enough for anyone to tackle in their kitchen or garden.
So if seeking an out-of-the-box microgreen variety that’s both nutritious and delicious, look no further than borage sprouts.
Start boosting wellness from seed to table by growing and eating this antioxidant-rich new superfood today! Your mind, body, and tastebuds will thank you.
To get started enriching your health with homegrown microborage greens right away, check out TrueLeafMarket’s microgreen growing supplies.
Wishing you an abundant borage microgreen growing and eating journey ahead! Let us know if you have any other questions that come up along the way.