Sunflower Sprouts: A Crunchy Quick-Fix
For a quick shot of something green but different, try sunflower sprouts. Often, their delightful crunch and excellent flavor may be readily available locally—at least to the fortunate. If not, and you're the industrious type, you can still have them at least occasionally by growing them yourself. (More on that later.)
In fact, a sunflower-sprout patch might be well worth cultivating. Why? Because, in addition to their wonderful taste, these crunchers are almost 25 percent protein.
Plus, they give you vitamins A, D, E, and B complex as well. Moreover, they also yield a bunch of minerals: potassium (quite a lot), calcium, magnesium, and iron. All this without a big load of calories, thanks to the germination process.
In a nutshell, these sprouts have fewer calories (not to mention fat), yet more vitamins and minerals than the dry seeds from which they develop. Yet, they also provide the benefits of greens—and how cool is that?
New to sunflower sprouts yourself? Then perhaps you’re wondering how to eat them. No worries there: they’re even delicious “naked” right from your hand. But you can also add them to sandwiches and wraps in place of lettuce or spinach for awesome taste and crunch.
Or toss them into salads for a real wake-up. One of our own favorite recipes combines these sprouts with raw or blanched sugar snap or snow peas, orange sections, and feta cheese. Gorgeous in the bowl, delicious, and fairly quick to make: how can you lose? If you use your imagination, you’ll come up with many ways to use these greens yourself.
So, you’ve heard the good news; now, alas, I must tell you that sometimes getting hold of sunflower sprouts can be tricky.
If you’re extraordinarily lucky, as are my husband and I, you can buy them at a local farmer’s market. Just to the left is our sprout guy's stall, which is generally mobbed every Saturday morning.
This option not available to you? Then check your grocery stores—although that can be a long shot unless you have a Trader Joe or Whole Foods nearby (and live in the USA).
If you have a local health food store that carries produce, you may find sunflower sprouts there. Even if you do, though, their quality may sometimes leave a lot to be desired.
BUT, if you simply must have sunflower sprouts and you also tend to be on the adventuresome side—a useful trait if you’re pursuing a vegetarian diet—you can actually grow these yourself. (Yes, you can. Really.)
And, as you might expect, you can find growing instructions at many sites. One that I particularly like belongs to the Sprout People. This site, based in the United States, provides printable directions and also sells sprouting supplies. Although they appear to ship to other countries, transport charges could be significant.
But please don’t give up these sprouts just because you live elsewhere. You’ll likely find them worth far more than the effort (and possible initial hassle) it takes to grow them. Best of luck and bon appétit!
Return to A Fruit and Vegetable Diet from Sunflower Sprouts
Return to A Vegetarian Diet from