We all have seen seeds and are familiar with them but do you know how important seeds are?
- Planting seeds yields new plants.
- Seeds such moong, chana, etc. sprout and such sprouted seeds are very nutritious.
- Take a bowl of chana and add water to them.
- Leave the bowl overnight.
- Next morning, you will notice that the individual chana have swelled and doubled in size by absorbing the water provided.
So, now we know why chana and similar seeds are soaked before cooking. But is that the only reason why foods are soaked?
- Pulses, rajma, chana, soybean, etc are often soaked for long periods of time in order to soften them. This makes grinding the seeds easier.
- Rice is commonly soaked before cooking to clean the rice as well to soften the grains.
- Vegetables are also soaked before cooking in order to remove any chemicals or undesirable materials.
- Take some moong seeds and three separate bowls.
- Add a few moong seeds to each bowl.
- To the first bowl add water to completely submerge the seeds.
- Add a damp piece of cloth or cotton to the second bowl; make sure it remains damp.
- Do not add anything else to the third bowl.
- Bowl 1 —> the seeds swelled but did not sprout
- Bowl 2 —> the seeds sprouted
- Bowl 3 —> the seeds did not sprout
The seeds in the first bowl received water and no air but did not sprout and the seeds in the last bowl received air but no water and did not sprout. The seeds in the second bowl received both air and water. So, we can conclude that seeds require both air water to sprout.
- Take a few different types of seeds and plant each type into a different pot.
- Mark the pots according to the seed that has been planted.
- Water the pots regularly.
- Make sure they are getting sufficient air and sunlight.
If seeds do not get sufficient air and water, they might not grow in the first place
- Plants may dry up or turn yellow if they do not receive proper amount of air and water
- Keep a record of : a. the number of days it took for the plant to come out of the soil b. The increase in height of each plant, everyday c. Number of leaves growing on the plant
Seeds and Their Variety:
Chana and moong are very common examples of seeds. They are used for preparing various dishes and the sprouted seeds are very healthy as well.
But did you know saunf(aniseed) and jeera (cumin) are actually seeds? These are commonly used as spices for cooking.
Make a list of all the seeds that are used as spices for cooking in your home.
Seeds and Their Travels:
Trees and plants are anchored to the ground through their roots and therefore cannot move. But their seeds detach and can travel far and wide.
- Ripe soybean pods burst open and disperse their seeds all around them.
- Coconut trees are primarily found along the coast. The coconut that falls from the tree is carried by the sea to far away lands where the seed then germinates to give rise to a new coconut tree!
- Seeds often have small hooks and spikes on their outer surface. This allows them to readily stick to our clothes or the fur of animals. These seeds travel far and then detach in a place that is completely different from where they originated!
- Many common fruits and vegetables that we consume everyday have actually come from other countries.
Chillies, tomatoes and potatoes were first brought to India by traders from South America.
Coffee beans were brought to India from Africa.
Cabbage and peas were brought over from Europe and are now a staple in India.