Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Welcome to our big product test 2021. Here we present all the products we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best product for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy the product.




Summary

  • Sprouts grow from seeds of various grains, vegetables and legumes
  • They provide many nutrients and vitamins in higher concentrations than vegetables or grains.
  • You can easily grow them yourself at home and benefit from these little health boosters all year round.

The best Seedlings: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying seedlings

What are seedlings?

The popular cress pulling at Easter time probably accompanied many in kindergarten. Although for the children it was probably mainly the joy of creating something of their own that was in the foreground, the sprouts themselves are also wonderful little heroes. Namely for our health.

The little green sprouts can grow into tasty vegetables surprisingly quickly. (Image source: unsplash.com / Francesco Gallarotti)

Seedlings are the fresh little plants that have just hatched from their seeds. The term covers both the underground root and the above-ground part of the young plant. In addition to seedling, you have probably also heard similar terms such as sprout or seedling. In order to avoid potential confusion, all these terms are defined in more detail below.

Term Explanation
Shoots Shoots are the stem and leaves of a plant. The roots are not included. In sales, however, some seedlings are called shoots. This is because some seedlings are sold very young and thus no roots are visible yet.
Seedling seedling can be used as a synonym for sprout. It is therefore the underground and above-ground part of the plantlet.
Seed Seeds give rise to seedlings and later to plants. If seeds are harvested very early, for example between day 7 and day 12, they are often called 12-day her bs or green herbs.

What makes sprouts so healthy?

But now back to our topic. As already mentioned, sprouts are super healthy. Why is that?

Sprouts as vitamin bombs

The young plants may be small, but they are big! They are true vitamin and nutrient bombs. They are particularly rich in vitamin B1, B2, vitamin C and vitamin E. In addition, they not only provide valuable fibre and amino acids for the body, but also the omega-3 fatty acid linolenic acid. Substances previously present in the seeds that can trigger flatulence are broken down. The same applies to tannins, protease inhibitors, haemagluttins and phytic acid. The reduction of phytic acid, which is more concentrated in the seed, ensures that our body can better absorb and process minerals.

Seedlings and their secondary plant compounds

Secondary plant compounds are primarily responsible for the appearance and taste of the seedling. Besides their anti-inflammatory effect, they stabilise blood sugar and cholesterol levels and our immune system.

Who are sprouts suitable for?

Sprouts are the health booster par excellence - and for everyone! Since sprouts come in a variety of flavours - spicy, tart, sweet, mild or nutty - there's bound to be something for everyone. However, caution should be exercised with regard to one thing: Imported seeds. Seeds from Germany generally pose fewer problems. However, if they have been transported a long way from Egypt, for example, they often become susceptible to bacteria due to a lack of cleanliness. These harm our health instead of promoting it. Although transport conditions improve from year to year, seeds from faraway countries should be treated with caution. Pregnant women, the elderly, young children and people with immune deficiencies should therefore not consume them in their raw state.

How much do sprouts cost?

Sprouts are really cheap for what they have to offer in terms of health: in most cases you don't have to spend more than 3 to 10 euros!

How many sprouts should I buy?

Fresh sprouts that are ready to eat should be bought in small quantities. In any case, only buy as much as you can eat within the next 2-3 days. Otherwise, the freshness and nutrients will gradually be lost. The situation is different with seeds. If you are planning to start your own small seedling farm at home, you can go ahead and buy them.

Seeds can be kept for months - so you can sprout them whenever you want.

What are the alternatives to sprouts?

Sprouts are a thing in themselves. If you can't get them anywhere and still want to give your body a health boost, turn to leafy green vegetables. Although the nutrient density per calorie is not as high as in sprouts, broccoli, kale, spinach and the like still provide you with a lot of vitamins.

Decision: What types of sprouts are there and which are the right ones for you?

Broadly speaking, a distinction is made between two groups: on the one hand, there are sprouts from cereals, and on the other, those from legumes. Of course, you can also grow sprouts from vegetables and herbs.

What distinguishes cereal sprouts and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

The most popular cereal sprouts can be obtained from oats, wheat, barley, rye and millet, with those from wheat bringing the most benefits.

Just 50g of wheat sprouts alone cover the daily requirement of vitamin B1 and half of the daily vitamin C requirement of an adult.

But the other cereal sprouts also have a lot to offer. After all, cereals are an extremely important and present dietary component in almost every country in the world. Most dishes containing cereals are heated in one way or another, whether by baking or cooking. This has an advantage, but also a disadvantage: Soaking the grain before cooking ensures that the phytic acid and some other substances contained in it are broken down. However, the great loss of vitamins and high-quality protein is problematic. Both are lost during heating. However, the latter is not the case with cereal sprouts, which is why they are so valuable for us humans.

Advantages
  • Vitamins are retained
  • proteins are retained
Disadvantages
  • Danger of bacteria when growing sprouts

What distinguishes legume seedlings and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Lentils, beans, peas and co turn out to be real energy stores for iron, zinc, magnesium and protein. However, doctors advise against eating pulses raw, as toxins could be absorbed by the body. For this reason, all legume sprouts should be blanched before consumption. This reduces the risk of toxins, increases tolerance and kills harmful germs and bacteria. The healthiest sprouts are those of peas, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, mung beans and adzuki beans.

Advantages
  • Vitamins are preserved
  • proteins are retained
Disadvantages
  • Danger of bacteria in sprouts
  • raw consumption is not advisable

The following plants and vegetables that are suitable for sprouting should not go unmentioned:

  • Cress
  • Broccoli
  • Alfalfa
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Radish
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Fenugreek

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate sprouts

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate sprouts. This will make it easier for you to decide whether certain sprouts are suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • Quality
  • Total set
  • Duration of germination
  • Compatibility
  • Ease of handling

Quality

Differences in quality can have a strong influence on the taste, tolerance and also the health-promoting effect of sprouts. Therefore, it is always better to go for verified organic products than for the cheapest offer. If you are unsure, you can ask a salesperson in the shop or use the question-answer function under the product of your choice on amazon.de.

Complete set

If you want to grow your own seedlings for the first time, it makes sense to buy the necessary accessories as well as the seeds. In this case, it is worth asking for sets or doing some research. If you buy complete packages, the individual components are usually not only cheaper than individually, but also fit together perfectly. This way you kill two birds with one stone.

Duration of the germination process

The germination time varies from seedling to seedling. It can last from one day to one week. It is important to be aware of the germination time of your seed. Here is a brief summary of some varieties:

variety germination duration
alfalfa 5-6 days
quinoa 1-4 days
buckwheat 3-5 days
quinoa 1-4 days
buckwheat 3-5 days
broccoli 3-5 days
chickpeas 5 days
lentils 2-4 days
mung bean 3-5 days

Tolerance

Raw sprouts can cause intolerances in some people. These usually manifest themselves in the form of digestive complaints. You are always on the safe side with the blanched variety. If you still want to eat your sprouts raw, make sure to wash them thoroughly beforehand.

Ease of handling

Some seeds are more robust and easier to germinate, making them perfect for beginners. These include cress and alfalfa. Here is a linked video that explains how to germinate alfalfa step by step.

Facts worth knowing about sprouts

Have you now got the urge to include sprouts in your diet, or even to grow your own little vitamin and nutrient bombs at home? Then here's more information and practical tips for you!

What do I need to grow sprouts?

You need:

  • Seeds
  • one germination jar
  • a sieve
  • Sun
  • good air
  • Water
  • a little patience

How do I grow seedlings properly?

First, take about three to four tablespoons of your seeds and rinse them clean under running water. A kitchen sieve is best for this step. However, make sure that the holes are fine enough so that the seeds do not flow through. Next comes your germination jar. You can simply use a canning jar or an empty jam jar and put your seeds in it, then pour water over it until all the seeds are covered. After the seeds have soaked for about 10 hours, carefully empty out the remaining water. You can discard all seeds that have not swelled. On the one hand, they damage the cleanliness of the jar, and on the other hand, they are not very digestible for us. In the next few days it is important to rinse the seedlings regularly. The frequency varies from variety to variety, but a good average would be twice a day. The excess water should now run off through a sieve. Place your germination jar in a bright place at an angle - for example on the windowsill. Avoid direct sunlight.

After one week at the latest, your sprouts are ready to harvest! You can store them in the fridge for the next two to three days.

How can I use sprouts?

The most popular way is to add sprouts to salads or bread. However, you are allowed (and encouraged!) to get creative with the use of sprouts.

Sprouts look particularly good as a dish decoration. (Image source: unsplash.com / Fran Hogan)

Sprouts are suitable for garnishing stir-fry and oven dishes, for example. They also make a great decoration for soups and stews. Not only visually, but also in terms of taste. Cereal sprouts can, for example, decorate your morning muesli or dessert in the evening.

Why do my sprouts go mouldy and how do I avoid it?

Moulding of sprouts can have different causes. The most common triggers are:

  • Too much humidity
  • Too much heat (due to direct sunlight)
  • Stuffy room, poor ventilation
  • Inaccurate rinsing
  • Poor quality seeds

How can you eliminate the risk of mould now?

  • Water seeds regularly, but not too often
  • Precise rinsing
  • Work accurately
  • Move the germination jar during the hottest hours of the sun
  • Aerate well and regularly

Common problems with seedlings

As easy as the care of most no-tillers may be, there can be some problems when growing these plants. Below we have listed the most common ones and practical solutions to get around the problem.

Problem Solution
Plantlets bend/fall over They are sown too densely, the roots of each get in each other's way. Leave space between seeds!
Leaves turn brownish A sign of lacking nutrients! A fertiliser is needed.
Small white flies buzzing around the germination container This could be a sign of too dry air. Spray your seedlings regularly with a little water.
Maggots or other pests appear Here it is best to dispose of the infested seedlings and start again.

Image source: pixabay.com / Pezibear

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