Saturday, January 28, 2012

Crunchy Countertop Sprouts

   I have an affinity for little seeds..growing things just seems to be my nature. One excellent way to satisfy that urge is sprouts. Simple, tasty and quite easy to manage sprouts take very little time and care. We also love the fact that results are quick!
   Now on to the"'Where To". I purchase sprouts mixes from online sources like Territorial Seed or from my local health food store such as Herbal Connection. Variety seems endless..from zesty mixes, protein power mix, sunflower and alfalfa to the traditional mung bean. We have also purchased simpler seeds such as broccoli or radish sprouting seeds which offer plenty of flavor and plenty of sprout.
  The other "Where To". Location. I personally sprout seeds right on the counter next to the sink. Natural filtered light is not over powering and it keeps them conveniently located near water for regular rinsing. Once sprouts have reached the desired length I just pop them in the fridge and use them up. They don't last long here, which is good since they are very perishable.
   Now "How To". A one quart mason jar, a square of cheese cloth or natural muslin and a canning ring is how I started. Fabric allows air flow while restricting pests and the ring keeps things in place. Just recently I found a nifty little lid for sprouting at my herb shop.

   This one piece lid has ventilation mesh and fits a standard large mouth canning jar. Being plastic it is easy to wash; dishwasher safe..well, quite convenient. I have seen it for sale at online seed sprouting companies, but mine was purchased at a local shop.
   Now "The Process". I start with a clean jar and top (lid or cloth and ring), seeds and water. For large seeds, like the ones in the picture, I go one part seeds (approximately 1/4 cup)  four parts water. This sets overnight then gets drained and rinsed well the next morning. From here I rinse my seeds three times a day (especially if large seeds and bean seeds). After a couple days the seeds split and form the sprout. From here it's up to you how long to let them go, just be sure to rinse well. Smaller seeds (such as broccoli) I use one tablespoon and 1/4 cup water soaked overnight then continue the process.
   Sprouts store well in the fridge for a week or so. We do rinse ours daily to keep bacteria and mold growth at bay. I eat mine on salads, in sandwiches, atop stir fries and in smoothies.

   If you are a sprouter, what do you sprout and how do you eat them?

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