Germinated seeds : instructions for use

Graines germées - Alfafa (c) Thierry Kennes CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

They deserve our attention because on the one hand they offer a real palette of flavors and on the other hand because they have interesting properties for our health (many vitamins in particular).

One distinguishes

germinated seeds

Graines germées (c) Julie Gibbons CCBY20 (obtained after a few days of germination out of the ground) from

green shoots

which are obtained just a little later: The germinated seed gives a shoot which grows and turns green under the action of light.

If we find in organic stores or in some department stores of large surfaces, trays of germinated seeds ready to consume, we can also start at home, it’s easy and much cheaper:

In a first step you will have to choose the seed. You can germinate cereals (wheat, barley, …), pseudo-cereals (buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth), legumes (mung bean which is sometimes found under the name of soybean sprout, lentil, alfafafa, chickpea), vegetable and aromatic plants (radish, leek, fennel, pea, mustard, …) or oil seeds such as sunflower or flax.
The selected seeds must be whole and untreated. You will find them in organic stores.
Method 1: In a jar

This is the simplest method that suits most seeds and is perfect for small quantities:

Day 1: Pour 1 tablespoon of the chosen seeds in a glass jar, cover them with water and soak for a few hours.

  • Day 2: Close the jar with a tulle fitted with an elastic. Turn the jar over the sink to remove the soaking water. Rinse the seeds and drain the water until it is clear and odourless. Then tilt the jar on a dish to allow excess moisture to drain away and place it away from direct light.

Rinse the seeds 3 times a day from the second day and the following days until the germ appears. The germination time depends on the selected seeds. If you want to develop the sprouts and make them green, just place the jar in front of a window and wait 24 hours.

Graines germées - Alfafa (c) Thierry Kennes CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Germinated seeds – Alfafa (c) Thierry Kennes CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

With a tray germinator :

You will find some in the organic stores. That allows you staggered cultures to have germinated seeds every day or to cultivate different varieties. Just put 1 or 2 tablespoons of seeds on each large tray and cover them with water 3 times a day. A system allows the water to flow from tray to tray which rinses the seeds.

With a watercress germinator or on cotton.

There are several types of watercress germinators that allow the cultivation of mucilaginous seeds (basil, mustard, watercress, arugula, flax). These seeds in a conventional germinator are surrounded by a gelatinous substance that tends to mould.  If you don’t have a watercress cup, mix these seeds with esparto, which will absorb the mucilage.

Another solution for occasional crops is to sow the seeds on organic absorbent cotton, spread on a plate and moisten it. Check daily whether the humidity is sufficient. Remember to rinse the sprouts before eating them.

Harvest and conservation:

The germinated seeds are strong in taste and very dense from a nutritional point of view. 1 or 2 spoonfuls per person are enough to enjoy them. To keep them 1 or 2 days, place the jar in the refrigerator, which will stop the development of the plant.  Remember to always rinse the seeds before serving them.

Graines germées (c) Luxomedia CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Sprouted seeds (c) Luxomedia CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

All sprouted seeds can be eaten raw in small quantities. They decorate and mix in salads, raw vegetables, sandwiches or mixed plates.

You can also choose to cook them: lentils and chickpeas for example can then be prepared as usual, significantly reducing their cooking time. Sprouted seeds can also be added nicely to gratin dishes or stuffed vegetables.

Sprouted grain breads can also be prepared. (source l’Atelier Bio)

Click here to discover my recipes using germinated seeds .

Salade sucrée salée croustifondante aux pommes et graines germées Sweet and salty crispy salad with apples and germinated seeds

The germinated seeds have already been involved in bacterial contaminations.  These can occur at different stages, from the seed level to the harvest to the crop. Therefore, be extremely vigilant.

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