Sunday, October 18, 2009
Sprouts - Grow Your Own
If you haven’t tried to grown your own sprouts at home you should consider giving it a try. I started sprouting last winter and did it all winter and spring until the local produce started coming in. Now that the weather is growing cold I started sprouting again late last week.
All you need to make sprouts at home is a few mason jars, cheesecloth, rubber bands, filtered water and seeds or legumes to sprout. The process is the same no matter what you are sprouting.
Start with a very clean quart jar and either 2 tablespoons of small seeds (radish, clover, alfalfa, broccoli) or ¼ cup of beans or lentils (garbanzo beans, lentils, mung beans) and cover them with plenty of filtered water. Allow the seeds, legumes, or beans to soak for between 8 to 12 hours.
After the time has elapsed completely drain the water from the jars and sit the jars on the counter (out of direct sunlight). Rinse the seeds/beans/legumes at least twice a day and drain the water completely. Continue rinsing and draining at least twice a day until the sprouts have leaves that are beginning to green. At this point you need to put the sprouts in light so the leaves will develop chlorophyll.
Now refrigerate the sprouts until you are ready to eat them.
If you are wondering why you should grow your own sprouts I can think of a number of reasons. Growing your own sprouts is ridiculously cheap. A mere two tablespoons of alfalfa seeds will fill a quart jar in about 5 days. Those seeds might cost 25 cents. You will pay $2 for the sprouts at the grocery story. Additionally growing your own sprouts ensures that the sprouts are fresh and that means they probably have more nutrition. When you grow your own sprouts you can decide with variety you want (not what is in the store) and can ensure the seeds are organic. I found that we ate many more sprouts when I started growing them last year. Last, growing your own sprouts is fun.
If you like sprouting and decided to do it regularly they sell plastic lids that fit on a wide mouth quart jar and allow the water to drain easily. The lids come with varying drainage sizes. I have also read that some people use fiberglass screen (like for windows) to cover the top of the jars. I find cheesecloth works just as well as the plastic lids.
If you like to have sprouts on your sandwiches, salads or in Asian food why not try to grow them yourself at home. I purchase my seeds at our local health food store from the bulk area.