Sunflower seeds have a tough hull. Becasue of this, you’ll need to soak them for a little bit longer than a lot of other microgreens. You’ll want to soak them, if possible, for 24 hours total. Soak them for 12 hours in warm water, drain them, and soak them for another 12 hours.
A minimum of four hours will do, but the longer you soak (up to 24 hours) the better your microgreens will come out.
There’s a lot to know about sunflower seeds and soaking microgreens! If you want to learn more and get the scoop on how to sprout the best sunflower seed microgreens, read on!
The soaking and growing process
The preparation process for sunflower sprouts is quite easy.
First, soak two cups of seeds in a large bowl filled with warm water. Cover the bowl and leave it for 12 hours. When these 12 hours are up, drain the bowl and rinse the seeds thoroughly.
Next, put the seeds back in a bowl with warm water, cover it, and allow them to soak for another 8-12 hours. Watch carefully, as they should begin to sprout soon. After 12 hour intervals, drain and rinse again until they’ve sprouted. Repeat this process if they do not sprout.
Once the seeds have sprouted, get a nursery tray and fill it with seed-starting potting mix. Sow the seeds across the entirety of the tray (don’t be afraid to put them close together!). Invert another nursery tray and put it on top in order to block out the light.
Water the tray from the bottom by putting it in water for a couple of minutes, twice daily. Once the sprouts begin to push up against the top tray, remove the tray and give them some light. At this point, move them somewhere where they can get consistent light and water them regularly.
Once the shoots reach four inches in height, cut them off down by the soil! Use sharp scissors for a cleaner cut.
The minimum soak
If you’re in a rush, sometimes a four-hour soak can be enough for sunflower microgreens. It’s a bit risky since they have a thick hull, but with no other options, oftentimes four hours is enough.
The maximum soak
Try not to soak your sunflower seeds for any more than 48 hours. This is because if too much water gets into the seed, it can drown, killing it and rendering it unusable. Since you obviously want to avoid this, take the seeds out at around 40 hours.
How to take care of sunflower sprouts
Once the sprouts have been cut, you’ll want to gather them up and place them in a sealed plastic bag. Make sure there is as little air in this bag as you can manage, as air will quicken the process of the sprouts going bad.
Place the bag in the fridge for up to five days. If you want to use some, take them out, reseal the bag, and run them under cool running water.
Are sunflower seeds among the healthiest microgreens?
Yes! Sunflower seeds are extremely nutritious, even in the context of other microgreens. Sunflower shoots contain a surprising amount of protein, amino acids, and minerals like iron, potassium, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Like many other microgreens, they are also exceptionally vitamin-rich, particularly in vitamins A, B, D, and E.
This all means that sunflower microgreens pack a pretty serious nutritional punch, making them a great option even as far as microgreens are concerned!
Other great microgreens
There are other fantastic microgreens as well. The following microgreens aren’t just delicious but are as nutritious as sunflower microgreens as well.
Radish sprouts, wheatgrass, and pea shoots are all exceptional choices as far as microgreens go. Similar to sunflower microgreens, they are delicious and nutritious, with plenty of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are extremely important for your overall physical health.
Health benefits of sunflower seeds and other microgreens
As mentioned above, microgreens (especially sunflower seeds) have a high number of health benefits for those who choose to eat them.
Firstly, it should be noted that they give mostly the same nutritional benefits as other vegetables. However, they are more nutrient-dense, which means that you can get more of those healthy vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other nutrients into your body in a single meal!
The main benefit of microgreens is the vitamins and minerals they provide. Each microgreen provides its own unique set of vitamins and minerals, making it important to partake in a number of different ones to get the best nutritional profile you can!
Can you eat too many microgreens?
Nope! Unless you eat so many that you get too full, there’s no way to eat too many microgreens. They are like vegetables in that way. Microgreens are packed with nutritional content and have no negative health effects, which is why they are considered a superfood!
Should you wash microgreens?
Yes. It is important to wash your microgreens just like your vegetables. This is because the soil they’re grown in isn’t necessarily healthy for human consumption. It’s best to wash them before you eat them, put them on a dish, or use them for cooking.
To wash your microgreens, simply take them out of the fridge, remove them from their sealed bag, and run them under cold water. Microgreens are quite small, so be careful not to lose one in the water and let it fall down the drain!
Ways to eat sunflower sprouts
There are a number of great ways to eat sunflower sprouts and other microgreens. You can eat them raw or cooked.
When eating them raw, they can be eaten on their own as a little snack. They taste like a vegetable with a hint of sunflower seed flavor! You can also place them on top of or in a salad or another dish.
You can also cook them. This makes them lose just a tiny bit of their nutritional benefit, but it allows them to be added to a wider variety of dishes such as meat dishes, stirfries, and other cooked dishes. The possibilities with sunflower microgreens in cooking are endless!
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.