Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Shout Out for Sprouts

Broccoli seeds in a jar.
Seeds. Nature's powerhouse. Tiny capsules filled with all the nutrients a plant needs to begin its life and take hold in the world. Sprouts give you a great way to capture a nutrient burst for yourself! Sprouting your own seeds is inexpensive, economical and pretty darn easy.

Soaking broccoli and alfalfa seeds for sprouting.
It is my goal to keep sprouting seeds in the cupboard at all times, so we can make a batch whenever. We purchase our seeds from the St. Peter Food Co-op's bulk section; when our jars get low on seeds we simply bring them in a fill them up (no packaging!). I'll go in fits and spurts, growing sprouts all the time, then forgetting for a while, but it's an easy skill to learn and have in your toolbox to use when you want.

A wide variety of seeds can easily be grown to eat as sprouts including radish, pea, chick pea, mung beans, alfalfa, fenugreek, sunflower, lentil, and broccoli. Each has its own unique flavor and can be eaten on its own or used to top salads, or other dishes. We regularly use them for salad and sandwich toppers. (We had a friend in Bemidji who used to grow sprouts for her chickens on a regular basis - they loved it!)

Growing Sprouts 

Grab a pint jar with a canning ring, and some cheesecloth. This is my preference, but any small-medium jar will do, as long as the lid allows breathing and drainage (without loosing seeds); there are also specially made screens for this purpose.

Place 2 teaspoons of seeds into the jar and fill the bottom couple inches of the jar with water.

Soak the seeds for 10-12 hours. After soaking drain all of the water off of the seeds, simply by pouring out the top of the jar. The cheesecloth will hold the seeds in the jar.

The next step is rinsing. Rinse 2-3 times per day until the sprouts are ready to eat. This will be about 3-5 days. If some seeds stick to the cloth, just tap to knock them down.


Storing Sprouts 

When the sprouts are finished you will want to let them dry before storing them in the fridge, they will keep longer this way. Transfer to a paper towel, or new container, to let them dry to the touch.

When they are dry, refrigerate in a closed container and use within about 4 days. A clear, preferably glass, container will let you keep any eye on them and remind you to use them!

Finished sprouts, dried and headed to the fridge.


6 Easy Steps to Sprout Heaven (includes directions for making a sprouting jar) Health Benefits of Sprouts

Ten Reasons to Eat Sprouts

Sprout People

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