Friday, May 20, 2016

Sunflower Lettuce

When I saw these on another mom's healthy kids food blog, I knew I wanted to try and grow them with my kids. My mom was way into sprouting when I was growing up and I think they are so delicious. (And they are really hard to find at the store - due to safety issues). 

I really want to teach my kids where food comes from. I think that is one of the most important things that we can do to help our growing generation to Want to make better food choices. 

So we set out on the wild adventure to sprout some sunflower seeds and watch them grow and then munch them up.   We succeeded, and the kids thought they were fun and delicious. I an still undecided on whether this will be something that we continue to do. If so, I am going to buy "stuff" to do it, because I missed having my colander be used and I really missed the counter space. 

 Soak a cup of unhulled sunflower seeds for 8 hours or overnight, and then rinse and drain them. -

Leave in a warm dark cupboard and rinse twice a day until they start to sprout. 

You will see small white 'roots' growing out of the sunflower seeds shells.

Prepare a seed tray, or other container, with a good quality potting soil or compost. Make sure that you gently push the soil right into the corners of the tray. Tip the sprouted seeds into the middle of the tray, and gently spread them out evenly. It's fine if they touch, but try not to overlap them.

Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil taking care not to disturb them, and leave in a warm place out of direct sunlight.

For the first few days I spray them with a water bottle and keep a damp paper towel on top of them. The kids loved taking turns squirting them, and it was a chore to keep the cat from snacking on them. 

Once they started to peek through the dirt, I started watering them more deeply with the faucet and more deeply, so I didn't have to do it so often.

They are ready to harvest when their smooth seed leaves are large and green, and the second hairier leaves have not yet grown. Most of the husks will have fallen off the sprouts by this point, but you will need to pull a few off by hand.

When you are ready to eat them, snip them off close to the dirt with some scissors and give them a good wash.   Enjoy!  They are so incredibly good! You can actually taste the sunflower-ness. You'll be a fan.