Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sprouting 101

I can no longer buy sprouts in bulk at my local market. They come pre-packaged. So the drill is, search around for the package with the best sell-by date, (were they really $1.50?); take them home; put them in a sandwich or a salad. In a couple of days they seem funky.

New Victory Garden activity: grow your own sprouts in your kitchen! Before kids, Rick was a sprouts grower, hobbyist variety. I found some tops from that era that never got tossed. They work great with a mason jar.

You can get a whole sprouting setup at Pinetree Seeds or you can buy just the seeds and the Sprout-Ease tops.

Sprouting is really fun. Measure out about 1 T. of seeds for starters. Place them in a wide-mouth jar (use a jar that holds at least 20 oz.). Cover with about 3 inches of water. Use the appropriate jar top, depending on the size of the seed. Soak overnight. The next morning, drain off the soaking water, rinse, drain, and place the jar at a 45 degree angle in a bowl (so that the water can drain out), in a dark cupboard. Morning and night, for the next 2-5 days (depending on the seeds), rinse and drain, and then return to the dark cupboard. During the last two days of their growth, the sprouts can be grown in the light and they will green up. You can change the jar top as the sprouts grow, using a top with larger holes so that you can flush out seed hulls while rinsing.

After ordering seed from Pinetree, I discovered a wonderful new-to-me health food store, Harvest House, in Concord, CA. They have seeds in bulk as well as all of the sprouting paraphernalia, and a seed mix, Zesty Sprouting Mix, 16 oz. for $4.99. The mix contains radish, crimson clover, fenugreek, and alfalfa seeds.

As soon as I started eating/harvesting the first batch of sprouts, I started growing a second batch. If you wanted to grow the individual seeds to see the differences in taste and germination times, you could have three batches going at once. It's a simple pleasure...

1 comment:

Del said...

I once grew sprouts faithfully and enjoyed them so much. But somewhere along the way I lost the habit. I don't eat commercial sprouts because they sometimes cause me problems. You have inspired me to get back into the sprout growing business - I still have the lids! I'll let you know how it goes.