If you're looking for healthier snacks, you might consider exchanging your buttery popcorn for sunflower seeds. They are low in fat and offer a host of nutrients. Take those little seeds one step further by sprouting them, adding them to salads or trading them in for lettuce on your sandwiches. When sprouted, sunflower seed nutritional value explodes with vitamins B complex, D, E and A. They are also full of iron, phosphorus, potassium, protein, zinc and calcium. The best news is that sunflower seeds are easy to sprout.
Choose unsalted, raw, hulled sunflower seeds for sprouting. You can find these in the health food department of grocery stores or in health food stores.
Fill a wide-mouthed jar a quarter full with sunflower seeds. Pour in enough water to cover an inch above the seeds. Let them soak for approximately 10 hours.
Pour the seeds into a large strainer and rinse them well. Return them back to the jar. Cover the jar with a piece of cheesecloth or other lightweight material. Use a rubber band around the rim to hold the cloth onto the jar.
Place the jar in a semi-dark, cool location--away from the stove, microwave, refrigerator, heating element or sunny window.
Rinse and strain the sunflower seeds about every five hours. Remove any seed skins that have worked their way loose, as will happen during sprouting.
Pour the sprouted sunflower seeds into a colander (pasta strainer) at the end of 18 hours. The seeds should have sprouted tails of a quarter- to half-inch long. Rinse the sprouts, in the colander, thoroughly. Remove any additional seed skins. Rinse out the jar.
Place the sunflower sprouts back into the jar, covered as before, and put the jar into the refrigerator. Your sprouts will stay fresh and edible for one to two weeks. Rinse the sprouts every 24 hours, until they are all used.