Sunday, December 19, 2010

Grow Your Own Sprouts!

2nd batch, Clover Sprouts

I've read about how easy it is to grow your own sprouts, and how delicious, but I'd never tried until now! (and now we are hooked!)

I was searching on for plastic lids for canning jars for our sourdough because the one we had broke. I ran across this strainer lid for growing sprouts. (Although you don't really need a strainer lid if you have cheesecloth, which you can secure with the ring from a canning jar lid). I didn't have any cheesecloth, so I added the strainer lid to my order, along with a sampler pack of Organic Sprouting Seeds!

I did have a large canning jar around, so I was all set there. When the seeds arrived-- 2.5 pounds with 10 different varieties--I let the boys pick which kind they wanted to try first. H-Bomb promptly chose the 5 Part Salad Mix, which contains alfalfa, radish, mung bean, lentil and broccoli seeds. Yum!

I placed 2 tablespoons of the seed mix in my quart jar and covered with 8 tablespoons of warm (not hot) water, and let soak overnight.

The next morning, I drained the seeds, rinsed them and drained them again. I swirled the jar gently to help the seeds separate and coat the sides of the jar, laid the jar on its side and covered it with a towel on the counter.

The recommendations for rinsing vary wildly, so I just followed the instructions on the package, which says "Sprouts MUST be RINSED and DRAINED WELL 2 to 3 times per day during the growing period." They're pretty serious about it, the capitalization is right there like that on the package. Who am I to presume anything different?

I grew my sprouts in this manner for 3 days, keeping track on the calendar because this was the first batch. After that, there were sprouts! They needed to be exposed to light for 3 to 5 hours to develop the green color, then rinsed in a large bowl of cool water to remove the hulls. I covered the sprouts with cold water, then pressed the sprouts down while I removed the floating hulls with a spoon. After that, you can grab the sprouts out of the water, piling them in a colander to drain (and leaving any unsprouted seeds at the bottom of the bowl).

Store sprouts in an air tight container in the refrigerator and rinse 2-3 times per day to maintain freshness. And that's it!

We have already made the 5-part Salad Mix, a batch of Clover Sprouts, and are now on Green Lentil sprouts! It is so fun to see the seeds actually sprouting. As soon as one batch is ready to eat, we get another batch growing. So far we've only needed to grow one jar at a time, but I could see growing two jars of sprouts when the boys get older.

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