If you like to eat healthy, here’s an easy way you can incorporate sprouts into your diet. Sprouts are great in sandwiches, wraps, salads, and even topping on soups.
I used to buy them until I realized that grocery stores weren’t offering them anymore because of risk of contamination. But sprouts are great if you like to eat healthy and they are cheap to grow. They are also a concentrated nutrient source and full of beneficial enzymes because of their rapid growth. Plus you can grow them in the comfort of your own home with nothing more than mason jars and screened lids.
I honestly thought that growing them myself consisted of a lot of effort and that it was complicated until I mentioned how much I missed them to a friend who happens to be a walking Google when it comes to anything about the environment and healthy eating.
Sprout growing became the easiest thing in the world-taking little time and effort.
I like to store my seeds in mason jars properly labeled and I can keep with my other cooking staples.
So the first thing you want to do is buy a variety of sprouting seeds because they are untreated seeds where as regular seeds (and should be labeled as treated) are treated with Captan ( a general pesticide) or some other fungicide. A good neighborhood health food or sprouting specialty store will be able to guide you with your purchase of sprouting seeds.
Here are the most common sprouting seeds:
- Red clover
And the equipment needed:
- 1 mason jar for each variety you want to grow. If you would like to grow 3 varieties at the same time, you need 3. If you just want to grow one at a time, then you just need 1.
- Lids for you jars with a piece of screen inserted where you would normally have the seal. You can purchase screens at the hardware store and cut pieces out to insert in the ring. This is necessary when you water and drain your seeds.
- You might like a sprout growing stand which is optional but practical. Different models can be found online or at your health food store. I offer my own model created with recycled wood and drip tray, lids, and chalkboard labels for convenient counter sprout growing. It ensures that your jars are draining completely but you can very well place them upside down on an angle in a bowl or other container
Depending on how many varieties you want to grow at the same time, you will need mason jars for each variety you choose to grow. I use the 1 litre size because there’s more space for the sprouts to grow. A smaller size mason jar packed with sprouts make it harder to water and drain.
Sprinkle about 2-3 tablespoons of sprouting seeds into your mason jar. If you don’t feel like measuring, just lightly cover the bottom of your jar.
Add water and soak overnight.
You can identify your sprout variety with handy chalkboard labels.
Next morning, dump the water from the jar. Add more water and swish the seeds around and dump the water. Place your jars upside down on an angle or on a stand to let them drain completely.
Continue rinsing and draining 2-3 times a day.
Your sprouts are ready in about 3-5 days.
Sprouts are ready to be removed from jars and stored.
When they have grown (a good indication is when you are having a harder time draining them) remove them from the jars at the end of the drying cycle (because you don’t want to store them wet) and store them in the fridge. They will keep for about 5 days.
I usually store mine altogether in a plastic container and separate the different kinds with a paper towel which absorbs the remaining water and humidity for longer lasting sprouts!