What are sprouted seeds?
It’s all in the name! These are seeds that are germinated. It is very easy and fun to make it yourself at home, but you can also find it already sprouted in store, except that it is much more expensive and much less fresh!
Why germinate seeds?
You should know that a seed does not grow thanks to the earth, and the water only serves to activate the sleeping seed. In order to develop, the seed relies only on itself, and on a reserve of necessary minerals, vitamins, and enzymes. The seeds therefore have an energy that allows them to stay asleep for a long time, and which allows them to wake up and grow as soon as they are planted.
Germinated seeds are so-called “activated” or “awakened” seeds.
By germinating seeds, we will consume a truly living food, with a greater nutrient supply than the seed alone.
In addition, the germination process allows a better assimilation of nutrients by the body. Indeed, some seeds contain phytic acid in their shell which inhibits the absorption of certain minerals such as iron, calcium, zinc, etc. This is also the case for oilseeds such as almonds, hazelnuts, etc., which are strongly recommended to eat once soaked . Soaking and germinating helps rid the seed of this acid.
By germinating the seed, we also bring to the body benefits that do not exist with the inert seed, such as chlorophyll, which helps fight against the acidity of the body, which is essential for good health.
This is the main reason for eating sprouted seeds: they are better for you!
Some examples of nutrient increase during germination:
- the vitamin C content of soybeans increases by more than 500%
- the vitamin B2 content of soybeans increases by more than 300%
- the vitamin A content of soybeans increases by more than 300%
- soybean vitamin B6 content increases by more than 200%
- The vitamin B2 content of sprouted oat seeds increases from 1300% from the start of germination to 2000% as soon as the leaves are formed
Here are some other loose reasons, in addition to their virtues, which should eventually convince you to eat sprouted seeds:
- very nutritious, they are very economical if you make them yourself
- you have quality fresh food all year round and regardless of the season, because you are growing them indoors
- It’s easy and quick to grow
- it’s delicious, and the number of seeds to germinate is so large that it is easy to vary the tastes and colors
Germinating seeds: 5 tips for germinating seeds
1 – Germination in cotton
Germination of seeds with cotton or damp paper towels is probably the most common.
How it works.
On a plate, spread the seeds between 2 pieces of cotton wool, moistened with mineral water.
Avoid toilet paper or make-up remover cotton which contains chemicals.
Cover everything with another plate and let it germinate at an ambient temperature of 22 to 26 ° C.
The seeds will be ready to plant 1 to 3 days later when they are opened, with a germ of up to a few mm up to 1 or 2 cm.
You can also use an airtight box.
2 – Germination by soaking
This method promotes the appearance of the germ and the formation of future roots.
It can be even more effective if you add a stimulating root fertilizer.
How it works
Soak the seeds in a glass of non-chlorinated water at room temperature, pouring a few drops of a root complex stimulator into the water.
First the seeds will float and then, having become heavier, they will sink.
After 12 hours, discard those that are still floating because germination will not take place.
If the soaking of your seeds lasts several weeks, change the water every day.
3 – Germination in a germinator
In the garden center you will find various germiners: inclined jars, cups, multi-storey germiners, electric germiners… they can be made of earth or clay, glazed or not, ceramic, glass, plastic or plexiglass.
Opt for a multi-storey germinator.
How it works
Roll out about 15 g. seeds per tray, without squeezing them too much, as they will take up more space when growing.
Pour a large glass of water twice a day on the lid or the top of the germinator.
Thanks to the perforations, the water will moisten the seeds of the upper tray and will then flow into the next to the last, evenly watering each level of the germinator.
It will then be recovered in the basin. Empty the water from the tank.
The first 2 days put the germinator in a dark place.
Then move it under indirect lighting.
Harvest the seeds at maturity which may take 4 to 12 days.
4 – Germination in the soil
Planting the seed directly in the substrate is possible, the ideal being to soak them in water for a few hours.
Otherwise, always plant more seeds than expected.
If they all grow, so much the better!
How it works
Make a hole in the potting soil with your finger, about 5-10 millimeters deep moisten it, then drop the seed in the hole.
Lightly press the seed into the soil.
Cover it with a thin layer of soil and add a little more water, but not too much. The seed must not become moldy.
What soil for seed germination
Opt for a special seedling soil.
These soils are composed of peat, perlite or vermiculite and sand.
Do not hesitate to add a little fertilizer.
5 – Germination in a germination bag
The germinating bag or sprouting bag or sprout bag is an airy fabric bag, most often in linen which allows effective drainage and ventilation.
This method can be used the very first few days. The seeds will be there in the dark, as if they were underground in nature.
Then they can be planted.
How it works
Place the seeds in the bag, close it and then immerse it completely in water first, then twice a day just to moisten the seeds.
After immersion, drain the bag by hanging it somewhere in the kitchen.
To make the germs come out faster, leave them in the dark and, when they have come out well, put them in the light to activate photosynthesis and develop chlorophyll.
Don’t hesitate to get a germinator, it’s still easier and more efficient than a deep plate.
Be careful not to germinate too many seeds at once, because when they germinate, they take up more volume, and if they do not have enough space they will develop less well.
Here is some soaking time before germination, but again, refer to the seed packet to get the exact time:
- Broccoli, chia seeds, squash seeds, lentils, alfalfa (alfalfa) , flax seeds, quinoa, radish, buckwheat, sesame, sunflower, etc. : 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.
- Garlic, oats, wheat, coriander, green or black lentils, barley, leek, rice, rye, etc. : 12 h
- Mung beans, chickpeas, broad beans, etc. : 12 hrs to 24 hrs
- Corn, etc. : 24 h
- Basil, hemp seeds , watercress, mustard, arugula, etc. : does not require soaking
What to eat the sprouted seeds with?
Sprouted seeds can be used absolutely everywhere!
Add them in your salads, raw vegetables, but also in your rice, your pasta, potatoes, or as an accompaniment to meat or fish, consume them in your soups or soups, omelets, as additional ingredients for your sandwiches, etc.
In order to retain the maximum amount of nutrients, avoid cooking them.