Updated: Apr 27
Popcorn shoots microgreens are increasing popularity, they grow from seeds that a lot people use for popcorn. The shoots are useful for ingredients and garnishing dishes, as they are golden yellow and have a uniquely flavor and are super sweet tasting. After selecting the right seeds to grow at home, soak them before planting. Using burlap medium, plant your seeds in a 10 x 20 tray designed for growing microgreens, keep the burlap moist, and cover your shoots with a humidity dome or place in a black garage bag.
Selecting your Seeds
Use your popcorn kernels from the kitchen cabinets. Yes, you can grow them! There are more specialized popcorn seeds that are meant for shoot production, but your standard popcorn seeds will grow shoots too! The seeds meant for movie night, tasted just like the popcorn snack you’re used to, with an added sweetness that lingers in your mouth.
Purchase seeds specifically for shoot productions. These seeds come in separate colors, although you’re more likely to find the white and yellow seeds work better than the red variety. Do a fast online search for popcorn seeds or visit a nearby health store to see if they carry them.
Estimating the amount of seeds to use. To help establish the correct amount, spread dry seeds into the bottom of an empty 10 x 20 tray. They should be evenly but densely spread. As a rule of thumb, use 2-3 cups for a 10 x 20 tray.
Sprouting the Seeds
Soak the seeds for 8-12 hrs. Place the seeds you’ll be germinating in a plastic kitchen container. Fill the container with enough water to rise above the seeds ¾” to 1”. The seeds will swell as they absorb water, and you’ll want to be sure they stay below the water line. As they soak, keep the seeds out of direct light.
Planting your Seeds
Choose grow medium. Keep in mind that your medium’s job is to hold your shoot in place and provide them with water and nutrients. Soil is a traditional example, and may be the easiest to work with for most first time growers. Microgreens pads comes in 10” x 20" pre-cut and can be use in a 10" x 20" tray. Before placing the microgreens pad in the tray PRE-SOAK THEM in a tub of warm water. This helps them lay flat in the trays, which makes planting a lot easier and helps give the seeds a germination boost. Plan to soak the mats the day before you plant.
Spread seeds evenly on top of the wet medium. If you have issues with mold or fungus growing between your shoots, use fewer seeds the next time around and cut back how often you water them.
Growing the Shoots
Cover the seeded tray. Use a cover that will be lightweight but impermeable to light. Keep the tray indoors with no light and a constant temperature.
Water your shoots lightly. Keep the medium moist, this will likely require a little amounts of watering. Use a spray bottle, and make sure to spray each sprouting shoot each time you water. Once roots set, focus on keeping the medium moist. This no longer requires spraying every shoot. Pour water in from the sides to avoid damaging the young shoots.
Harvest your shoots when they’re 2-4 inches tall. Once shoots are dry to touch, simply cut the shoots just above the growing medium’s surface. Store shoots in a sealed container in your refrigerator.
The bright color and popcorn flavor adds to almost any dish. They can also be enjoyed in a salad with grilled sweet corn, cherry tomatoes and lola rosa lettuce.
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