Cress Microgreens are very popular due to how easy it is to grow and the fact that it’s one of the most nutrient-dense microgreens. Cress is great for smoothies, juicing, or as an addition to a salad mix to add some extra spice.
You'll be wise to grow cress microgreens as cress is one of the healthiest microgreens to grow due to how many antioxidants they contain.
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How To Grow Cress Microgreens
Now that you know what cress microgreens are let's get into the materials you are going to need to follow along in this guide.
You can grow cress microgreens with just a microgreen kit and a pack of cress seeds right by your window if you have a well sunlit window. If not, then I recommend you get an LED grow light. You'll also need a wired shelf to place the LED grow lights under.
Containers: At Least 3 growing trays
Growing Medium: Such as soil or coco coir
Grow Lights: T8 Grow Lights are the way to go
Misting Water Bottle
First start with some Cress seeds, I personally recommend the Cress Seeds from Organo Republic as they have given me the most success. Cress seeds are very small in size, But are nonetheless still easy to grow.
Step 1. Germinate The Seeds
Add the cress seeds to a jar and add some water to soak the seeds for 24 hours. After 24 hours the seeds will develop into a gel-like substance and are ready to be planted.
Step 2. Prepare The Grow Tray
Start with 2 10 by 20-inch growing trays, one will be beneath the other filled with water. While the one above will have drainage holes so the water can reach the roots of the microgreens. This will prevent mold growth and overall just make the growing process so much easier.
Do not add water to the one below yet, first grab the tray without drainage holes and fill it with coco coir. Then smooth out the surface and mist it well with a spray bottle. If you don't have a spray bottle then just sprinkle water over the coco coir until it is well moisturized.
Step 3. Plant The Seeds
Then transfer the cress seeds from the jar into the growing container on top of the coco coir, including any leftover gel or water.
Do not top the seeds with soil or black out the seeds with any container. Just give your cress microgreens at least 12 hours of light every day and they will germinate just fine by themselves.
Now is the time to use the watering tray at the bottom of the container to avoid any soil from splashing onto the plants and to avoid mold growth. Do not use the spray bottle anymore.
Step 4. Check Daily
After 2 days the cress seeds should develop shoots, the shoots may be yellow but soon they will to green. Your microgreens should have the right balance of water from now till harvest, and have at least 12 hours of light every day.
How To Harvest Cress Microgreens
Cress microgreens are usually ready to harvest 6 to 10 days after sprouting. Move your trays to a cool, shady place. If your microgreens are harvested when it is too hot, they will wilt very quickly after harvesting. If harvested when cool (late evening, early morning), they will tend to stay fresh and crisp.
Once the shoots are about two inches tall they are ready to harvest. If left to grow any further the shoots will topple over and start falling. Just simply harvest the shoots with scissors or a knife and there you go you have now successfully grown cress microgreens. Pretty easy right?
Washing and Drying Cress Microgreens
Use a colander to rinse your cress microgreens thoroughly under cold water. Dry the microgreens completely by spreading them over some paper towels and letting them air dry. You can also speed-dry them by using a fan on a slow setting.
Cut microgreens are best if eaten right after drying, but can be stored loosely in a bowl in the refrigerator for several days. Do not try to refrigerate microgreens that are not completely dry.
How To Store Cress Microgreens
After you harvest your cress microgreens, you might wonder how you will store them. Just simply place them loosely in a bowl or container and put them in the refrigerator.
What Cress Microgreens can be used for
Sunflower microgreens can be used in salads, soups, and sandwiches. You can even juice them and add them to wheatgrass shots or even smoothies.
Health Benefits of Cress Microgreens
Cress microgreens are packed with many antioxidants, which prevent free radicals from damaging your cells. These antioxidants protect you from illnesses including cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
1. Prevents Chronic Disease
Cress microgreens are filled with antioxidants that stop free radicals from causing oxidative stress, as oxidative stress leads to diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Therefore eating cress microgreens will lower your chances of developing chronic diseases. (1)
2. Prevents Cancer
Cress microgreens contain Isothiocyanates such as sulforaphane, these compounds have been found in multiple studies to stop the spread of tumors and protect healthy cells from damage. The Isothiocyanates in cress have been found to specifically prevent colon, lung, prostate, and skin cancers. (2)
3. Enhances Bone Health
Vitamin K is essential for bone health, and cress microgreens contain a lot of it. A lack of vitamin K has been associated with an increased risk of fractures and reduced bone strength. (3) While Vitamin K is great, cress microgreens also contain many other minerals that are important for bone health such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. (4)
4. Supports Immune System
Cress microgreens have a rich amount of Vitamin C, and Vitamin C plays an important role in the immune system by producing white blood cells that fight infections. Being deficient in Vitamin C has been linked to many health problems. (5)
5. Supports Heart Health
Cress microgreens are high in antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids not only protect against the development of heart disease but also lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. (6)
Cress Microgreens Nutritional Chart
Cress Microgreens are rich in beneficial nutrients such as enzymes, antioxidants, protein, and minerals. If you are also looking for vitamins in microgreens, Cress has them all.
Vitamins per 100g of (FW)
Vitamin A, RAE
Lutein + zeaxanthin
(1). The anti-oxidant properties of isothiocyanates: a review - PubMed (nih.gov)
(2). The cancer chemopreventive actions of phytochemicals derived from glucosinolates - PubMed (nih.gov)
(3). Vitamin K and bone (nih.gov)
(4). Osteoporosis prevention and nutrition - PubMed (nih.gov)
(5). Vitamin C and Immune Function - PubMed (nih.gov)
(6). Dietary intake of carotenoids and their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in cardiovascular care - PubMed (nih.gov)