Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Growing Your Own Sprouts

According to Dr. Michael Greger from Nutrionfacts.org, "Homemade sprouts are probably the most nutrition-per-unit-cost we can get for our money."  They are an excellent, inexpensive source of antioxidants, protein, essential nutrients, and enzymes.  They taste great on all sorts of foods, yet most people don't eat nearly enough!

I love the taste and flavor that sprouts add to meals, but I often find myself forgetting to use them.  Since Jay and I have started growing our own, I am trying to make a more conscious effort to add sprouts onto soups, salads, and sandwiches on a regular basis.  
Common types of sprouts can usually be found in grocery stores, but, with the right supplies, growing sprouts at home is extremely easy and much cheaper.  When you grow your own, you can experiment with a wider variety of seeds than what you might find on supermarket shelves. Also, you can be sure that you aren't ingesting any harmful pesticides or chemicals.  

To grow your own sprouts, you will need to start out with some seeds of your choice.  As we do with just about everything, Jay and I buy our seeds on Amazon.  We most recently tried this organic radish, broccoli, alfalfa, green lentil & mung bean combo that is quite tasty. 

Once you have the seeds, follow these steps:

1. Soak 2-3 tbsp. of seed for 6-8 hours in four parts water to one part seed.  (We use an easy sprouter to aid with draining, but you could also use a mason jar topped with a rubber band and some cheesecloth.)

2. Rinse and drain.

3. Spread the seeds in a round growing tray.  We use this 4-tray kitchen seed sprouter, but you can also continue the process in the mason jar.
4. Rinse and drain with a half cup of water 2-3 times daily for 2-3 days, or until sprouts are the size you want (usually around 1 to 3 inches tall).

5. Expose to light for 3-5 hours at the end of the growing process.

6. Rinse hulls away or soak sprouts in a bowl to remove hulls (don't worry about getting all of them).

7. Refrigerate sprouts in a dry, air-tight container and enjoy for around 10 days, give or take.

I found a great summary of the health benefits of sprouts along with easy growing instructions (especially if you want to use the mason jar method) on allrecipes.com that you can read here

Even when we have forgotten about the sprouts for a period of time or not rinsed them as often as we should have, they still turned out fine.  It seems like they are pretty resilient and hard to screw up.  Happy sprouting!

1 comment:

  1. There's just something about food that you grew yourself that makes it taste so much better! I mean, I'm sure the lack of pesticides and chemicals has something to do with it but it's also the satisfaction of knowing you grew it yourself ;)

    Mai | HHA Quest


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