Sprouts are SO EASY to grow! They are one of the most alkalizing, nutritious, and easily accessible foods known to man. Being rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, and enzymes, they can be grown easily in four to six days and require no effort and very little cost. They are so much more less expensive when you grow them yourself compared to purchasing at the market and FRESHER!
Sprouts abound with antioxidants; they’re full of protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. And talk about good for you: ounce for ounce, they provide more nutrients than any other known whole food. Sprouts also contain beneficial enzymes, requiring less digestive energy, so they actually invigorate you while your body processes them.
I prefer the jar method which involves using a wide-mouth mason jar and either sprout lids from a health food store or make your own from a thin metal mesh purchased at a hardware store – cut to fit lid (that’s what I did).
I use a Sprouting Mix – Clover, Fenugreek and Radish seed blend from NOW Brand. They sprout beautifully, have a nice zing to them, and are TASTY!
What You’ll Need:
- Wide-mouthed mason jar – size – 1 quart
- Sprout lid
- Stainless steel dish drying rack which gives the sprout jars the perfect angle for draining
- Sprouting Mix
1. Start by filling your jar with clean, fresh water and adding 3 tbsp. of the small seeds to the jar and let soak overnight (it’s when I do it and makes it easier for me to remember the maintenance process – a.m. & p.m.).
2. The next morning, empty the water out and rinse the seeds with fresh water several times. (Note: You can save this soaking water and use it for your houseplants–they love all the nutrients in the rinse water.)
3. Shake upside down really well to make sure you get out as much of the rinse water as possible. By putting your fingers against the mesh screen while shaking seems to help release extra water (tip I learned along the way). Set the jar at an angle in the drying rack to ensure a flow of fresh air to the sprouting seeds.
4. Rinse the sprouts every 8 to 12 hours (that’s where the a.m. & p.m. schedule help out and you don’t forget about these little guys) by filling the jars half way with water and then draining them thoroughly (again, use your fingers against mesh lid and shake thoroughly to get out extra water). If you leave too much water in the jar, there is a possibility of molding and things “going South.” During this time, it is essential that they can breathe.
5. Then after 3-4 days of this regime, they will start to sprout tails and fill the jar.
6. Once they are looking good, put them in indirect sunlight for several hours for them to “get their chlorophyll on” and turn green. This is when the good stuff is going on – photosynthesis!
7. Next, I empty the jar of glorious green sprouts into a large bowl of cold water and let the hulls float to the top. Take a spoon and scrape the hulls towards one side of the bowl and then scoop out as many of the brown hulls as possible (you won’t be able to get them all and that’s OK!)
8. Then, I will reach in the bowl (with clean hands) and get small handfuls of the sprouts, shake the excess water off and lay them on some paper towels ( with a kitchen towel underneath) so that they may dry a bit before putting into container. (TIP: At this stage, put them back into indirect light for a short period of time. (i.e about an hour or so but DON’T forget them! This is something I have been doing recently and sprouts have come out fuller and crisper.)
9. Now they are ready. Aren’t they gorgeous?! Ready for eating and filling your body with a powerhouse of nutrition!
10. Put into a container and place a paper towel on top of them to absorb any extra moisture and help retain their freshness.
11. Then get another batch of seeds soaking and continue this process again. The next jars will be ready after you finish eating the first batch.
Sprouts are delicious in veggie wraps, salads, sprinkled on top of raw green soups, packed inside veggie nori rolls, even in smoothies, on top of open faced sandwiches, the list goes on. I adore my sprouts and crave their fresh, live nutrition. I personally feel the store ones don’t even compare to the fresh ones you can grow yourself.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
Lead Image Source: Jessica Reeder/Flickr