Thursday, April 11, 2013

Guide to Sprouting

Lately, the warmer weather has led to a profusion of little seedings in our garden. Nothing is ready to be transplanted yet, so we have turned to sprouting instead to satisfy our craving for some greens. Sprouting is a quick and easy way to harvest some nutrient-rich food. Sprouted alfalfa, for example, is rich in B vitamins, vitamins C, E, and K. It is also high in protein, helps with digestion, lowers bad cholesterol levels, detoxifies the blood and liver and regulates blood sugar levels. But you only want to eat organically-grown sprouts. Conventionally-grown and genetically modified sprouts are very likely to be contaminated and eating them can make you seriously ill. Stay away from store-bought sprouts!

Sprouting at home is fun and easy. And there are so many varieties of seeds and beans to choose from if you don't fancy alfalfa. We're sharing the simplest way to sprout. If you would like to learn more, a great online resource is

Here we go ...

Day 1 - Measure out 2 tablespoons of seeds. Soak for 8-10 hours.
(To keep things simple, we used a mix of alfalfa and red clover seeds and a sterilized mason jar for sprouting)

Day 2 through Day 4 - Rinse and drain every 12 hours. 
Keep jar in a dark spot (out of direct sunlight) in the kitchen. You want to avoid putting your sprouts in cupboards because they have to be in a well-ventilated space.

Draining is an important step in the process. You want to make sure there is very little water left in the jar so your sprouts don't grow moldy. You can use a piece of cheesecloth secured with rubber bands around the lip of the jar, or you can buy these really handy sprouting jar lids (that fit most standard canning jars).

Day 5 - Your sprouts are ready for the sun!
Drain and rinse as usual, but instead of hiding them in a dark corner, set your jar in a sunny spot. The little leaves will start turning green!

Day 6 (last day) - Your sprouts are ready to eat!
Drain and rinse in the morning. De-hull in the evening.

To de-hull, loosen your sprouts in a large bowl of cold water. The hulls should rise to the surface, and you can then skim them off. Repeat this step a few times.

sprouts are even good for cats!

You can store your sprouts in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Just make sure they are really dry when you put them away. To do that, we use a simple salad spinner and dry the sprouts on some paper towels before we store them.

Next up in our sprouting jars, broccoli sprouts!

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