Have you ever wondered what the differences were? Visually they look kind of the same, no?
There is sometimes a misconception on the differences between microgreens and sprouts. Usually people think they are the same thing. However, there are some key differences which I'll try and point out:
1) Time at harvest/consumption
- Microgreens - Usually 7-14+ days
- Sprouts - Usually 3-5 days
2) What kind of medium are they grown in
- Microgreens - soil or hydroponic growing mediums
- Sprouts - just water/moisture (the roots are not embedded in anything)
3) How they are consumed
- Microgreens - needs to be harvested above the soil line or hydroponic growing medium
- Sprouts - eaten in its entirety w/roots (possible because roots are not embedded)
4) Light requirements
- Microgreens - natural sun or supplemental grow lights
- Sprouts - None, can be grown in the dark
5) Air requirements
- Microgreens - requires good air circulation/ventilation
- Sprouts - no air circulation/ventilation needed
So as you can see, there are some distinct differences in the way both are grown and consumed.
Sprouts generally don't have as much flavor or nutrition as microgreens. So then why bother growing them?
Cost. At least it's one of the reasons.
Since sprouts require no light, no soil and can be eaten extremely quickly, they are easiest things to grow.
The most common sprouts you have probably encountered are bean sprouts - it has a white crunchy stalk and a pair of small yellowish leaves. They are usually very cheap. However, there's a limited amount of choices for sprout varieties.
There are a lot more varieties, flavor profiles and nutrients in microgreens. But depending on what kind of food you are adding them to, sprouts and microgreens are both great. If you haven't tried any yet, go get some!