Sunday, May 3, 2009

Growing sprouts

I was recently inspired from a calendar I have on how to grow sprouts. It's one that is put out by the ministry called, No Greater JoyThey gave some information on their March page on how to do this easily. They also shared a link that you could go to for more information. Go here to check it out. Between those two sources, as well as the information on the seed packet itself, I felt like I was ready to venture out into doing this. 

There are several kinds of sprouting seeds to choose from: garbanzos, mung, lentils, peas, alfalfa, barley, broccoli, sunflower, cabbage, clover, flax, and pumpkin. My regular grocery store didn't carry any of these, so I went to a health food store instead (Vitamin Cottage). I bought alfalfa seeds there. Alfalfa sprouts are great--but you'll come across in your research on that they sometimes carry bacteria. You can soak alfalfa seeds in a 2% bleach solution (1 tsp. bleach to 1 cup hot water,then rinse well). I didn't do this, as I don't use bleach anymore, so I just soaked the seeds for a while in water and rinsed them well. 

The first thing to do is to wash the seeds and pour them into a jar. It's recommended to use a wide-mouth glass jar, quart-size or larger. Put 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of seed for a quart-size jar. I used less seed because my jar was a little smaller. Use cheesecloth (I used flour sack cloth and it worked just fine) to cover the opening and secure it with a rubber band. Each day, you need to rinse the seeds 2-3 times. Just add some water through the cloth, swirl it around, then empty it. Keep the jar laying on its side in a dark place (like a cupboard). After a couple days, they'll look like the picture above. The sprouts are just starting to come out!

Continue rinsing the seeds at least 2 times a day. My cloth started turning yellow, but there are no worries about that! I can put on a new piece of cloth each time I want to sprout some seeds.

After 4-6 days, the sprouts should be between one and two inches. It's time to get them in the sun for "greening" (to get chlorophyll into them). About a day before harvesting, place the jar on a windowsill to get some sunshine. It's amazing to see them transform from white to green in a matter of hours. The jar can be kept there for a few hours or even a whole day. After this step, rinse the sprouts and drain well. Place them in an air tight container, like a zip lock plastic bag. Leave some room for air circulation and refrigerate.

Don't they look just lovely sitting in this bowl? This new batch of sprouts can be kept for up to a week in the refrigerator. They can be rinsed every day or so to keep fresh. They shouldn't stay too wet-- just moist. Yesterday, we enjoyed turkey sandwiches with some friends. We all added some sprouts inside and it was great! Sprouts are so healthy for you, so try to think of ways you can incorporate them into your diet. They are wonderful in salads, soups, sandwiches and other dishes. Enjoy!


Tania said...

I have been wanting to grow my own sprouts for a while. I can't wait to try this. Thanks for the tutorial. Do you know how long they last?

We had our baby early on April 30th. Joseph Dillan. (-:

Theo-Ann said...

Congrats on your new little boy.:) When was his due date? Both my sisters and Q's sister had their babies early, too. All were born within a two week period! The sprouts last a week in the refrigerator. Have fun growing them.:)

Tania said...

He was due May 15th.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Theo I always wanted to know how to grow sprouts, I will give it a try now since you made it look so easy:)

Theo-Ann said...

Let me know how it goes, Christina. Post pictures of it when you're done, too.:)