to Sprout Sunflower Seeds
grow a batch of sunflower sprouts everyday, and in the beginning, I had a variety
of challenges experienced by most people who are new to sprouting. So I decided
to just experiment, and here are my findings.
most sprouts are very hardy, they have a fragile balance with outside elements.
First and foremost, temperature. What you can do in the winter doesn't work in
the summer. Because the germinating process builds a tremendous heat internally,
sprouts need more rinsing and aeration in hotter weather. (Not so much to water
them, but to cool them down so they don't spoil.) That is why people say to get
rid of the sunflower hulls. (They are the first to spoil, because they are not
part of the growing seed.)
personally got frustrated trying to hull, I found no easy way to do this. So
here is what I do, both summer and winter. Before going to bed, set seeds to
soak. In the morning, pour off soak water, and rinse thoroughly. If there are
a lot of obviously loose hulls, put sprouts in a big bowl well covered with water,
and skim out the hulls that are easy to reach. I find it totally unnecessary
to chase down all the hulls. Next step is most important. Empty bowl into a large
strainer (colander, veggie spinner, anything that has small holes works great)
Allow to thoroughly drain for about 10 minutes (you might want to toss the sprouts
once or twice to aerate. At this point, they are ready to eat, or be stored in
the refrigerator. Many people make the mistake to trying to sprout sunflower
seeds too long before refrigerating.
have two choices for refrigeration. Stored sunflower seeds will turn a motley
brown color. They are not spoiled when they are discolored. They have just oxidized.
(If you don't mind the color, you can leave in the refrigerator one more day to
fully develop little tails. If you want the color fresh, then eat them within
about 6 hours.
are two methods for storing in the refrigerator. The first is to put the very
well drained sunnies into the rinsed and dried canning jar they were soaked in,
and simply put the canning lid on. The other method is to store them in the canning
jar filled with fresh water (to prevent oxidation). With either method, the sprouts
continue to grow in the fridge. Canning jars provide a more airtight container
than other storage units, and help prevent oxidation.
you use this method, they are so easy to grow, you can do a fresh batch everyday.
I believe most people have problems sprouting, because they try to grow them too
long outside the fridge, without enough rinsing, and thorough draining. Sprouts
do not like too much water.
sideline thought - I personally like to use canning jars with those little screw
on sprouting lids (If you do not have the lids, a plastic spaghetti strainer
works really well) to soak and rinse for small batches, but when I make a big
batch, I use any appropriate size bowl, and simply rinse in a strainer or colander.
When I make small batches in jars, it is usually unnecessary to hull in a bowl.
I just let drain well, and then cap and refrigerate.
to reiterate with this method, you are basically soaking the seeds overnight,
rinsing and draining thoroughly, and then refrigerating. (Allowing any remaining
sprouting to be done in cold conditions, so it becomes unnecessary to thoroughly
sprouted sunnies contain a complete array of the necessary amino acids, so they
are a complete protein. Plus they contain the very healthy omega 3 oil. They
are wonderful to eat by themselves, add to salads, or grind up with veggies to
make veggie burgers. If you own a dehydrator, after soaking overnight, soak seeds
in either Braggs Liquid Aminos (Note from Chet: We recommend using sea salt.
Because of MSG issues, we do not consider Bragg's Liquid Aminos to be a healthy
seasoning), soy sauce, or water seasoned with any mix of your favorite spice
blends for 1/2 hour. Thoroughly drain, and then dehydrate at the lowest setting
until crunchy. And if you own a dehydrator, you can eat the veggie burgers fresh,
with a sauce, or dehydrate them to varying degrees. When I travel, I dehydrate
till thoroughly dry, and they do not need refrigeration. I make an instant sandwich,
wrapping in lettuce, and adding tomato, avocado, green sprouts, onion, or whatever
I have at hand.
have grown to love sprouting and eating sprouts. They are truly living foods,
that are partially "predigested", and the more you eat, the more "health
benefits" you notice, because they are so full of living enzymes and other
nutritional values. (Sprouts are also the cheapest way to eat both organic and
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