Sunflower microgreens are sometimes known as sunnies, are extremely popular because they are tasty, juicy, and nutritious. Sunflower shoots have a delicate, mild, nutty flavour that complements salads, sandwiches, and other dishes. They retain all flavours while adding a crispy texture and a healthy dose of nutrients. They are also fast and straightforward to grow.
Sunflower microgreens nutrition elements
Sunflower microgreens supply a significant portion of the body’s daily dietary needs and critical elements. Vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6 are abundant in these small greens. Sunnies are high in iron and protein. They include beneficial lipids for the brain, such as omega-3s and omega-6s. Sunflower shoots also contain all of the essential amino acids.
Notice: Sunflower shoots are suitable for individuals following a plant-based diet because they are high in iron. Because iron from plants is more difficult to absorb, some dieticians advise vegans and vegetarians to consume double the recommended amount.
Sunflower shoots benefits
Sunflower shoots have several health benefits when consumed regularly. The following are a few of these advantages:
Healthy skin, hair, and brain
Sunflower microgreens are high in vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids, which help support healthy skin from the inside out. Riboflavin aids in the growth of lustrous hair and is essential for maintaining a healthy brain.
Alzheimer’s disease prevention
Vitamin E-rich diets may assist in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin E also prevents damage to cells, lipids, and vitamin A.
When vitamin E is combined with vitamin C and selenium, vitamin E decreases blood pressure, protects arteries from injury, and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Immune system booster
Vitamin C concentration is beneficial for maintaining a healthy immune system and collagen production.
The dietary fiber in these sunnies aids in the maintenance of a healthy digestive system. Usually, sprouted seeds are more straightforward to digest than non-sprouted seeds. Sunflower microgreens are gentler on digestive system than sunflower seeds.
Preparation/Germination Process of sunnies
Now that you have learned about the advantages of sunnies, you are probably wondering how to produce these gorgeous microgreens. We will go over the processes for preparing and cultivating sunflower shoots in the following sections.
Take your sunflower microgreen seeds and weigh them. Place a bowl on the scale and drop seeds into it, weigh between 140 and 170 grams for a 10×20-inch tray.
Step2: pre-soaking the seeds
To enhance early germination and a more uniform growth rate:
- Soak sunflower seeds overnight to weaken the seed casing and facilitate early germination.
- Fill your bucket with seeds, then cover them with water.
- Fill the container with enough water to cover the seeds.
- Cover the bucket with a lid and set it aside for 12 hours.
You can soak your seeds in tap water, although bottled steam distilled water is preferable. Your sunflower microgreens seeds will not absorb the additional chemicals in the tap water if you use steaming distilled bottled water, resulting in a healthier harvest.
Place a gallon and a half of soil in trays with holes on a table. Spread the soil evenly, then press it down with a soil press to leave about 1/2 inch of space between the soil and the tray’s top for your sunflower microgreen seeds. After that, add your seeds to the trays, spread them out evenly, and add sterile potting soil to cover the seeds. After sowing the seeds, water them a little. Maintain the soil moist but not soaking wet.
Step4: temperature and humidity
Place the trays under lights after the germination period of 3-5 days. The temperature in your growing environment should be at or above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, but not too hot. Because the soil dries out quickly, and your seeds will require additional watering. Maintain a temperature of less than 90 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity of 50-60 percent.
How to grow sunflower microgreens
Now that you have completed the germination phase, it’s time to learn about the growing process.
Step 1: light
For 3-5 days, keep your sunflower shoots under lights. (Keep in mind that lights should be 8 inches above your plants.) It’s critical to maintain good airflow and keep an eye out for mould. Mould will grow in areas with poor ventilation and excessive humidity, so use your fans. It is common for fans and lights to be turned on for 12-16 hours a day.
Step 2: mould issue
It is simple to get rid of mould. Turn on your fans and check the humidity levels in your space if you sense or smell mould. Another suggestion is to spray them with diluted hydrogen peroxide (1/2 teaspoon per quart water). If you see apparent mould, throw away the crop and re-sanitize the tray unless you observe mould growing into the tray, in which case both the crop and the tray should be thrown away.
Harvesting sunflower microgreens
Harvesting is the last step in growing sunflower shoots. To successfully harvest sunnies, you must take the following steps:
Step 1: cleaning
Shake any dirt or hulls off of your microgreens with your hands. When it comes to holding on to their hulls, corn microgreens are the best and Sunflower Shoots are the worst. If you want to eat the hulls, that’s OK, but you will need to remove hulls for chefs if you want to sell sunnies.
Step 2: washing
A large strainer makes washing easier. Although not all microgreens require washing, it is recommended to do it. Before packaging, make sure the sunnies are completely dry.
Step 3: Sanitization
Tray sanitization: It is critical to clean your trays after each harvest. You will need food-grade hydrogen peroxide, water, and vinegar to solve this problem. Use food-grade hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of 35%. In a bowl, combine hydrogen peroxide and water. 3 % hydrogen peroxide to 97 % water ratio would be ideal.
Seed Sanitization: Sanitize seeds by mixing 1 cup organic apple cider vinegar with 1 gallon of water. Soak the seeds for 10 minutes before properly rinsing them.
Removing sunnies hulls
Special Instruction for Sunflower shoots:
- In 10 to 14 days, when the shoots have grown to a height of 3 to 4 inches, harvest them. Allow them to grow no taller since the shoots will turn tough and lose their flavour.
- Be sure to buy the seed marked for “shoots,” as some hybrid sunflower seeds are more expensive.
Sunflower microgreens, sometimes known as sunnies, are popular because they are tasty, juicy, and nutritious. They have a mild, nutty flavour, making them an excellent addition to salads, sandwiches, and other foods.
Humans can benefit from sunflower shoots in a variety of ways. They can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, boost the immune system, lower the risk of heart disease, and enhance the digestion system. They are simple to grow indoors.