Vegetable Confetti

Microgreens Don’t Look Anything Like Vegetable Confetti

The other day a friend asked me, “what do microgreens look like?”

At first, I was puzzled.

Until George said, “I heard they look like vegetable confetti.”

“Where did you hear that?” I asked.

This post will show you what microgreens look like.

And what they don’t look like.

What do microgreens look like? Microgreens look like green two-leaf clovers. They are the embryonic leaves of seeds that appear after they pop out of the ground. They are white at first. When exposed to light, they undergo the biosynthesis of chlorophyll and become green.

Have you ever shredded carrots to make muffins, carrot cake, or just a fancy addition to your latest dish?

Shredded carrots look like confetti, don’t they?

And carrots are bright orange, yes?

Don’t you want to know why carrot microgreens don’t look anything like carrots or strings of carrot confetti?

Vegetable Confetti or Clovers? You Decide

I could just show you a picture of what corn microgreens look like.

But how would you know what fruit, vegetable, or herb you’re looking at?

Does that mean all harvested microgreens look like that?

I hope you caught what I just said – harvested microgreens.

Let me tell you what’s the difference.

Cotyledons and Microgreens

Next time you get your hands on some raw peanuts or beans, peel the coat and split the seed in two.

Inside you will see these two tiny leaves – embryonic leaves.

Inside the skin or coat of a seed is what’s called a cotyledon. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, it’s the “seed leaf within the embryo of a seed.”

You probably learned all this in fourth grade.

And if you’re like me, you forgot.

The Basic Anatomy of a Seed

By the way, seeds like corn seeds are called monocots, monocotyledonous plants.

They only have one cotyledon.

Dicots like carrots, dicotyledonous plants have two cotyledons.

Microgreens Hypogeal and Epigeal Germination

Microgreens Germination

Cotyledons are the first plant parts to show up above the soil.

Seed DiagramThey look like fat leaves.

These embryonic leaves are what appear from a germinating seed.

Cotyledons feed the seedling until the seedling can make its own food.

If the cotyledons remain in the seed below the soil, they are hypogeal. If they emerge above the soil, they are epigeal.

Epigeal Microgreens:

  • common garden bean,
  • onion,
  • sunflower,
  • pumpkin, and
  • cucumber.

Hypogeal Microgreens:

  • corn,
  • grass family: maize, etc.
  • green pea, and
  • legumes.

The True Leaves: What Microgreens Look Like

Remember photosynthesis, the activity that generates oxygen, and the green chlorophyll?

Once the microgreens seeds germinate (about 1-2 days), they’ll need about 8-10 hours of light a day.

Plants that are epigeal grow relatively fast, especially in the first phase when the cotyledons unfold.

Leave them uncovered.

They wilt in humidity as I learned from my first few growing attempts.

The developing chlorophyll is what transforms edible broccoli seeds into tasty broccoli microgreens.

These cotyledons promote seedling growth through photosynthesis.

While direct sunlight fosters the most succulent growth, indirect sunlight can suffice.

They look very different from the leaves that follow, called “true” leaves.

Microgreens Look Like Clovers

The second phase of plant growth is when the “true leaves” first appear.

They start popping out between the cotyledons 2-3 days after germination.

Four to five days later, the microgreens with their first leaves will be 2-4″ tall and ready to harvest.

It is important to remember that sprouts are not microgreens. Sprouts are the unopened cotyledons, the stems, and the roots of young plants.

Don’t let them get much taller than that, or they’ll lose their sweetness.

This brief video, courtesy of the University of Illinois Extension Service, shows you the difference between cotyledons and true leaves.

So there!

Microgreens don’t look anything like vegetable confetti.

They look more like two-leaf clovers.

Harvest them with clean scissors or shears. Cut the stems just above the soil line.

What Are Vegetable Confetti?

Well, it might be a stretch, but a handful of microgreens might look like confetti, maybe.

First, what exactly is confetti?

In many ancient traditions, people used to throw grains and sweets during special occasions like births, deaths, weddings.

Seems this ritual goes back to thousands of years.

Over the years, sweets and grains have become streams of paper, plastic, even metallic material.

We throw them at sports events, parades, and weddings too.

Although I can’t remember the last wedding that I went to where we threw rice. Do you?

Confetti comes in all shapes and sizes.

Streaming Birthday Confetti

When I think of vegetable confetti, I think of shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, even shredded red, green, and yellow peppers.

Vegetable confetti looks more like birthday streamers.

So, How Did Microgreens Become Vegetable Confetti?

To tell you the truth, I don’t really know.

Allow me to speculate.

Dine at any top restaurant in a world capital, you will see microgreens on many dishes.

And visit a high-end grocery store. You will find fresh boxes of arugula microgreens.

So how do these miniature greens “celebrate” these fines dishes as a garnish.

Sure, microgreens add texture. They are crunchy and delicate.

They add flavor. Some are sweet, fruity, and spicy.

Where does the color come from if they are all green?

Their color comes from their stems.

Purple Kohlrabi microgreens have purple stems. Guess what color purple orach microgreens are?

Three type of microgreens

And what about beetroot microgreens stems? Red cabbage?

  • Ruby mustard microgreens have green leaves with reddish-purple stems
  • Nasturtium microgreens stems have a reddish-orange hue.
  • Dark Opal Basil stems are purple and green.
  • Red-veined Sorrel has just that, red-veined stems and leaves.
  • And Red Garnet Amaranth has fuchsia stems and leaves.

And monocotyledonous microgreens like Sweet Corn microgreens are the brightest of yellow.

So yeah, if you mix up some red, purple, and yellow, they might pass as confetti.

Cotyledons Are Microgreens

However, some microgreens you harvest at the cotyledon stage, and some you harvest at the true leaf stage.

Taste and nutrient content are the most important factors when choosing the harvesting stage.

Examples of microgreens harvested at the cotyledon stage include:

  • broccoli,
  • cabbage,
  • kohlrabi,
  • radishes, and
  • sunflowers.

These cotyledon stage microgreens have true leaves that are slightly bitter.

Microgreens harvested at the true leaf stage include:

  • Cilantro,
  • basil,
  • leeks, and
  • mustards.

These true leaf stage microgreens mostly have better flavor than their cotyledons.

Harvested microgreens at the true leaf stage still have their cotyledons.

We know that microgreens nutrition can also decrease as the plant matures, so it’s best to harvest when the plant is still in the cotyledon stage.

A Microgreens and Avocado Recipe

You can add microgreens to salads, stir-fries, and sandwiches. Experiment with different mixes, adding the varieties you like best. They’re deserving of a spot in your garden and, if you’re limited on space, they grow great in containers.


Broccoli Microgreens And Avocado Bruschetta

The broccoli microgreens and avocado spread is a well-balanced snack.

It has good fat and proteins, low carbohydrates, and plenty of nutrients.

  • Author: Andrew Neves
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 3 min
  • Total Time: 8 min
  • Yield: 4 pieces 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Fresh Raw
  • Cuisine: Universal
  • Diet: Vegetarian


  • 2 oz Broccoli microgreens
  • 2 slices of date nut bread
  • ½ whole avocado
  • 1/8 oz broccoli microgreens
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Cut two slices of old-fashioned date nut bread.
  2. Trim the borders to remove the crust. Put aside.
  3. Cut each slice in half for four pieces
  4. Cut the avocado in half.
  5. Peel the avocado and place it in the small bowl.
  6. Use the fork to crush the avocado into a light paste.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste, and mix.
  8. Remove and wash a small handful of microgreens.
  9. Use the fork to spread the avocado on each slice of bread.
  10. Add microgreens on top.
  11. Press lightly with the fork.
  12. Serve and enjoy with your favorite drink


Tools: fork, small bowl

Keywords: broccoli microgreens, microgreens nutrition

Related Questions

What do microgreens taste like?

Did you know that carrot microgreens taste just like carrots?

Microgreen Taste Aroma Flavor Intensity
Bok Choy Sweet Juicy Earthy Mild
Carrot Sweet Fruity Earthy Mild
Cucumber Slightly Sweet Fruity Slightly salty Mild

I think they are even sweeter.

Learn how your “taste buds” work. See how the different parts of your tongue function. Read more about “What Do Microgreens Taste Like?

How can I grow my own microgreens at home?

Microgreens are convenient to grow. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You can grow them on your windowsill, in your kitchen, and in your garden.

My post,  Growing Microgreens at Home in Containers, shares instructions on how to grow microgreens in your home that are delicious, tasty, healthy, and safe to eat.

How do I start incorporating the health benefits of microgreens into my nutrition?

I’ve learned a lot about microgreens, how good they are for you, and what you can do with them. Check out my guide, “The Beginner’s Nutritional Guide to Incredible Microgreens.”


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