We’re all looking for a little magic these days—but did you know you could get some right in your kitchen? That’s right, sprouting is mother nature’s way of saying abrakadabra, thanks to the magical and mystical process of germination.
From Sleeping Seed to Sprout
When you buy seeds for sprouting, they look hard, dry and lifeless. But in reality, they’re full of life just waiting to be unlocked! Sprouting seeds are simply sleeping (i.e. ‘dormant’), and waiting for you to wake them up. Seed dormancy is an incredible evolutionary adaptation that prevents seeds from germinating in unfavorable conditions when growth potential is low.
To get your seeds germinating, all you need is the golden trifecta: just the right amount of water, air flow, and a good temperature. When all three are present, the seed’s cells expand and break open its hard seed coat (shell), exposing it further to oxygen and water for growth. Some seed coats are especially durable, so pre-soaking seeds helps to ensure successful germination.
5 Incredible Things That Happen When a Seed Germinates…
#1 Nutrients are broken down and simplified, increasing nutrition and improving digestion. Germinating turns proteins into amino acids, fats into essential fatty acids, and starches to sugars and minerals chelate with protein in a way that increases their utilization.
#2 Proteins, vitamins, enzymes, minerals and trace minerals multiply from 300 – 1200%!
#3 Chlorophyll begins to develop in green plants.
#4 Acids and toxins (“anti-nutrients”) that interfere with human digestion are reduced and/or eliminated.
#5 Size and water content increases exponentially!
Did you know that seeds are one of the greatest sources of protein in the plant kingdom? Seeds are storehouses of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and essential fatty acids. When sprouting, a seed unfolds and starts to multiply and develop its nutrients in order to provide nourishment for the maturing vegetable. This miracle of nature means that a little sunflower seed contains the basic formula for nourishing a six foot plant. Talk about protein power!
Sprouts are incredibly high in protein when compared to common leafy greens. Alfalfa and sunflower sprouts are richer in protein than spinach or your average store-bought lettuce. Alfalfa can clock nearly 39.8% protein (reducing in concentration as it grows). And while mature greens like lettuce supply nutrients that have been sprouted from just one seed, a salad of sprouts serves up the nutrition from thousands of seeds!
When Germination Just…Doesn’t Happen
With all this talk of how magical germination is, it can be a real downer when seeds don’t sprout. If you’re having trouble getting tender green shoots, you should look to the quality of your seed. If your seeds aren’t healthy, your sprouts certainly won’t be. If your supplier is trusted and tested, then look to the ‘trifecta’ for troubleshooting. Did you over- or under-water? Are the seeds getting enough air? Or did you leave them on an icy/sweltering windowsill? Give your seeds what they need and they’ll give you some of the most nutritious greens on the planet!
The next time you sprout your sleepy seeds, be sure to take note of their magical transformation!