Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grow your own sprouts

Here's the thing, sprouts at the grocery store are expensive and not exactly at their freshest.  Sprouts grown at home are still growing when you throw them on a sandwich or salad, and considerably less expensive.  Sprouting is very easy to do, and a great way to garden in the winter or if you are an urban dweller.  Nutritionally,sprouts are packed with vitamins, minerals and trace elements.  And they are yummy!

You will need a mason jar, a piece of screen or cheese cloth, and a rubber band or ring for the mason jar.  Plus seeds, of course.  My favorite sprouting seeds at the moment are alfalfa and broccoli.  I have amaranth seeds, which I'm going to try out later this week.  You can purchase sprouting seeds at most health food stores.

Add one or two tablespoons of seeds to your jar, screw on the cheesecloth and lid, and rinse and drain with tap water.  Then fill the jar with water, and let the seeds soak either over night or for the number of hours recommended on the package.  For example, I soak alfalfa seeds over night, but broccoli seeds only need to be soaked for two hours.  Once you have soaked your seeds, drain and rinse them, and then drain them really well.  Then tip the jar in a bowl so they can drain a little more if necessary, and put them in a dark spot.  Like your pantry or cupboard. 

Every day take your sprouts out and give them a rinse and drain.  Do this a couple of times a day.  In three days your sprouts will have grown about as much as you want them to.  Take them out for a last rinse and drain, and then leave them on a sunny windowsill or countertop.  In a few hours they will be bursting with green color, and ready to eat!  Keep them tightly covered in the refrigerator, and use within a couple of days.

Here's the breakdown, a container of sprouts at our grocery store costs $4-5 dollars.  I bought a big bag of alfalfa seeds for $7, and use one tablespoon at a time, it should last me for months.  Everything else I already had laying around.  Very cost effective, very good for you, and very tasty!

This is a great gardening project for beginners and for children as well.  Try sprouting, there's lots of seeds to choose from - alfalfa, mustard, broccoli, radish, sunflower, wheat, you name it!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds great and surprisingly simple :)

    Do you worry about E.Coli bacteria though? Here in Europe, we've had quite the scare with a very dangerous form of E.Coli ('EHEC') that made about 3000 people sick and killed about 30. One of the sources of contamination was sprouts due to bacteria accumulating in the water.

    Any thoughts on that?

    This Good Life