Hulled (out of shell) Sunnys are a very quick crop. Though some lots germinate fast enough that we grow them longer, we generally grow them as
Soaks around our house. These are so delicious we just can't wait - and why should we?!
These are hard to find in great condition as the hulling process usually results in a high percentage of broken seeds. We have however, for the past few years, had access to consistently great seed. That's not to say there aren't broken seeds - there's no way around that,
but they are great. We like to think we know - we sprout a whole bunch of seeds around here =;-)
Eat them straight from the sprouter, on salads, cereals, sandwiches or any place at all!
Note: This seed is for Sprouts ONLY. If you want to grow Greens go here: Sunflower Greens
Yields approximately 1 Cup (1/2 lb.) of Sprouts.
Measure out 2/3 Cup of seed*
Pick out anything you don't think should be there (shell or plant pieces, imperfect seeds if you wish (we don't), etc.).
Rinse your seeds to remove dust or debris.
Note: Sunnys tend to be a bit on the "dusty" side (it is a byproduct of the Hulling process) so rinse and rinse some more - until the water runs clear.
Transfer your seeds into your Sprouter, or a bowl.
Add 2-3 times as much cool (60-70 degree) water.
Mix seeds up to assure even water contact for all.
Allow seeds to Soak for 1/2-2 hours.
We Soak for 30-60 minutes when growing these straight.
We stop here when growing straight sunny sprouts. We eat our crop as Soaks.
You can continue to grow your crop, but in our opinion they are at their best - when grown alone - just after their Soak. We eat them all within a few hours - they never even go into the fridge.
If you insist on continuing, here is the method:
Empty the seeds into your Sprouter (if necessary).
Drain off the soak water.
You can use it - it has nutrients in it.
Rinse thoroughly with cool (60-70°) water.
Set your Sprouter anywhere out of direct sunlight and at room temperature (70° is optimal) between Rinses.
This is where your sprouts do their growing. We use a counter top - in the corner of our kitchen, but where the sprouter won't get knocked over by cats, dogs, kids or us.
We don't mind the indirect sunlight or the 150 watts of incandescent light, because light just does not matter much.
A plant can only perform photosynthesis when it has leaves, and these sprouts are definitely not going to have leaves. Until a plant has leaves, light has little if any effect.
Sprouts also happen to like air-circulation, so don't hide your sprouts.
Rinse and Drain again in 8-12 hours.
And, perhaps one more...
Rinse and Drain in 8-12 hours.
We stop here. There is no real point in sprouting further.
These sprouts are not intended to germinate fully. At most their germ is meant to bulge - but don't try to grow a
root. That is why they are called Soaks.
As always, we suggest that you taste your crop at Every Rinse - including the very first - just after the Soak period.
The soaked seeds are already alive and are now super-nutritious - and - they now have no enzyme inhibitors (a very good thing indeed) so they'll digest themselves and nourish you.
Your sprouts are done 8-12 hours after your final Rinse.
Be sure - if you plan on storing your crop - to Drain them as thoroughly as possible after that final Rinse.
The goal during the final 8-12 hours is to minimize the surface moisture of your sprouts - they will store best in your refrigerator if they are dry to the touch.
Transfer your sprout crop to a plastic bag, our shelf life extending Produce Storage Bags, or the sealed container of your choice (glass is good too).
Whatever you choose - put them in your refrigerator - if you can keep from eating them all first.
*Seed to Use
If using Sproutpeople's Single Harvest Pack - use the whole bag.
These seeds will yield approximately 1.5:1 (you get 1.5 pounds for every pound of dry seed), so in theory you can start with up to as 2/3 as much dry seed as your Sprouter has capacity.
We generally advise maxing out at 1/2 capacity, until you get used to growing a particular crop.
If there is anything unique about our current crop, we will tell you about it here.
Sunflowers are best stored in a cool location - we keep ours in a freezer, but a refrigerator works well too. If you plan on storing these for more than 3 months you should use one of these cool locations. Also, Sunflowers are pleasing to a particular pest - the Indian Meal Moth, which can appear out of
nowhere when conditions are right (hot). These are organic seeds after all, so there is no other way to keep your seeds absolutely safe, except to freeze them. Consider yourself warned =:-}
Follow links for detailed information about - and a purchase point for - each Sprouter....