Have you ever eaten sprouts? Maybe you had some tiny seedlings added to your sandwich or topped on a salad at a restaurant and wondered to yourself, what is this? You can purchase them in the fresh produce section at most grocery stores. They may seem inexpensive at the time, but compared to growing them yourself you may think again. A tablespoon of seeds will produce 1 1/2 cups or more of sprouts. Alfalfa is the most commonly used and grown seed for sprouts for their fresh mild taste, but did you know that you can sprout many types of seeds which can provide spicy additions such as mustards or an additional crunch that would come from mung beans? This indoor growing project is easy enough for children and gives the whole family an affordable, quick, fresh, and nutritionally beneficial addition to meals during the winter months.
Each seed has its own requirements, but they follow these few simple steps and you will have sprouts in 3-5 days at temperatures averaging around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Experiment with different types of seeds. Make sure you are using seeds specifically for sprouting from a reputable seed supplier. They should be certified organic and tested negative for E-coli and salmonella.
I use a quart Mason jar. You can also use special containers for sprouting. See links at the end of this post.
Here I measured 1 tablespoon of alfalfa seeds into a quart Mason jar, covered it with a screened lid (you can use cheese cloth) and filled it half full with lukewarm water. Allow to sit overnight.
The next day drain off the water. Fill the jar back up. Drain again and then swish the seeds around the jar. Lay tilted with the lid in a bowl to catch any draining water. Cover with a towel and keep in the dark. Do this about 2-3 times per day for the next few days until the sprouts have grown and you can see the little cotyledon leaves. At that time you can expose them to light which will allow the leaves to green up a bit.
After a final rinse, I allow them to dry a bit on a paper towel and then place in a loosely sealed storage baggy or container and keep in the veggie part of my fridge. They stay good for a week or more. Use on sandwiches, salads, wraps, or anything you desire to add freshness to this winter!
Click on the links for sprouts, books and supplies. Remember to click your browser button to return back to My Urban Farmscape!
The Sprout House Dozen Organic Sprouting Seeds Mixes Sampler Small Quantities of Each Seed Mix Holly’s, Mix the Two, Rainbow Bean Mix, Wisdom Blend, 2 Wheats Together, Salad Mix, Veggie Queen Mix, Dill Salad Mix, Hi Power Protein Mix, Bean Salad Mix, Fennel Salad Mix, Lentils Together – contains these and more: alfalfa, radish, clover, broccoli, mung, green pea, fenugreek, garbanzo, adzuki, hard wheat, fennel