Sunflower · Helianthus annuus
TASTE • EDIBLE PARTS
Sunflower sprouts taste of fresh sunflower seeds with a salad-like touch. They have a little sharp edge in flavor when the sprouts are quite small and have just unfolded their leaves.
But when the plants have had time to transform the sugars in their leaves and stems within 1-2 days after they have grown leaves, the sunflower sprouts in contrast are sweet with a soft taste.
You will quickly notice that sunflower sprouts form root hairs – extra small roots on the main root. When these roots are small, they look much similar to mold. As the sprouts grow, the roots will also grow stronger and longer. You can eat the whole sprout including the white roots. The thick black shells can not be eaten, but should be disposed as green bio waste.
It is important not to use sunflower seeds sold for birds. These are often sprayed with pesticides that the sprouts take in during the cultivation. Instead, choose organic sunflower seeds with shells/hulls on them. These will give you good, healthy sprouts.
A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, E
Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus, Selenium, Zinc, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese
3% – measured in relation to sprouts consisting of 75% water.
SIZE • LOOKS
To get beautiful sunflower sprouts, they must be grown from sunflower seeds with shells/hulls on. as sunflower seeds without shells typically rot.
Sunflower sprouts grows to a hight of up to 17 cm, and their leaves are 1-1.5 cm long and quite thick. The stem is usually completely white at the root and becomes greener further up the stem. The leaves are dark green. If you experience that your sprouts are light/white, they just need a little more light, so they may form chlorophyll in their green parts.
Sometimes sprouts turn beautifully pink in the stem. This is normal and is due to the sprouts being a bit stressed, for example due to heat, too little moisture and/or rinsing. It may also be caused by a fast switch between heat and cold.
SUNFLOWER SPROUTS IN RECIPES
Sunflower sprouts have a sweet taste reminiscent of fresh sunflower seeds. Their flavor is light and delicious in raw salads and green smoothies.
If I serve salads with sunflower sprouts to guests, I cut the roots off. The long, strong roots are beautiful from a botanical point of view, but not always from a gourmet perspective. Instead, I save the roots and use them in green smoothies or blend them into dips.
The stems and tops are beautifully green and looks great in all sandwiches, salads or wraps.