Sunflower Sprouts

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 To create sunflower sprouts, start by soaking 4 cups of unhulled sunflower seeds for 8 to 12 hours.  
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Press one layer of seeds into soil in a sprouting box, sprinkle with water, and cover with newspaper.
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Sunflower sprouts (at lower left) make a delicious addition to lunch or any meal.
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Water the seeds through the newspaper once a day. When the sprouts start pushing the paper up in two to four days, remove the paper but continue with daily watering. Pick the seed hulls off the leaves when the small plants begin to stand up.
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Cut the sprouts with scissors when the first two leaves open.

As far as my tastebuds are concerned, sunflower sprouts are about the most delicious germinated seeds
available … and I’ve tried nearly all of the common
sprout varieties including alfalfa, lentil, radish,
fenugreek, garbanzo, wheat, soy, mung, azuka, red clover,
cress, and chia.

Also–while many of us do know that sunflower seeds
are nutritionally potent little packages–few people
realize that the tasty kernels are almost 25% protein;
contain vitamins A, D, E, and the B complex; provide
incredible amounts of potassium; and are high in
calcium, magnesium, and iron. And since
germination activates a plant’s stored energy, the
sprouts have fewer calories, yet more of
all these vitamins and minerals than do the dry seeds!

However, unlike most sprouts (which can be grown in a
simple screen-topped jar), baby sunflowers are germinated
upon soil. An old drawer with small holes drilled in
the bottom for drainage makes an ideal sprout box. Or, if you prefer, you can simply construct a flat out of
scrap lumber. (In either case, the depth of the growing
container need not exceed three inches.) Then, cover the
drainage holes with pebbles, fill the box to a
depth of about two inches with garden soil, and
place it in a sunny location (a heated greenhouse would, of
course, serve this purpose perfectly, but a good
“southerly” window can provide all the light you’ll need).
Next–in order to have 2 1/2 square feet of these
crisp and tender morsels ready for the table in seven to
ten days–follow this procedure:

[1] Soak 4 cups of unhulled sunflower seeds for 8
to 12 hours, scatter them one layer thick, and press
’em down (firmly) on the soil with your hands.

[2] Sprinkle the box with water and cover it with
newspaper.

[3] Water the seeds– through the
newspaper–once a day until the growing sprouts start
pushing the paper up. It should take two to four
days, depending on the temperature. Then remove the
newsprint and continue to give the seedlings a drink daily,
picking the seed hulls off the leaves only after the small
plants begin to stand up.

[4] Reap your harvest with scissors when the first two
leaves open.  Rinse, shake dry, and–if you
don’t eat ’em all in one sitting–store the excess in
the refrigerator.

[5] Voila! You’re ready for some delicious,
nutritious, “garden”-fresh treats.