You can grow sprouts right in your own kitchen, and you should. You really should. They are so easy to grow. They take very little effort and it’s such a treat to have fresh, nutritious sprouts on the table in the middle of the long, dreary, cold winter days.
I started growing sprouts just over a year ago now. The very first thing I ever sprouted was mung beans. I was a big fan of them then, and I still am today.
They’re a great addition to any salad, stir-fry, or omelet. And they taste great on just about any sandwich.
There are many types of seeds that you can sprout though. And I’ve yet to meet a sprout I don’t like. There is just something about a crisp, tasty, little morsel of nutrient filled goodness that satisfies more than the body. It’s good for the mind and enriches the soul.
WHY TO GO GROW SPROUTS
If you’ve ever tasted a sprout you know exactly why you would want to grow them … they taste fantastic. They’re very versatile. And they are incredibly good for you.
They can improve digestive health, lower blood sugar, and benefit heart health. But that is just the beginning of their potential to help us humans maintain a healthy body.
They are packed full of vitamins and minerals. And if you are truly interested in all of the goodness they have the capacity to impart to you as a regular part of your diet, take a moment and research the bountiful information available out there.
For me, I know that eating whole foods as fresh as I am able to get them changes the way I feel. My body functions better, my mind is more clear, and my soul is at peace when I care for myself in this way.
In addition to all of the contributions this food source offers for your health, it is simply great to have something as incredibly fresh to eat as a newly grown sprout in the midst of the cold winter months.
When there are no vegetables growing out in the garden and no fruit hanging from the trees … pulling a few sprouts out of a jar on the counter and incorporating them into your meal is an amazing feeling.
SEEDS TO SPROUT
It is impossible for me to cover all of the seeds available for sprouting in this space. So, I’ll start by listing a few that I’ve tried as well as some that I have been longing to try for some time now.
Here we go:
- Mung Bean
- Red Clover
If you look around on the internet you’ll find many sources to purchase sprouting seeds from. You’ll also find sprouting seed mixes. Pick up a few and try your hand at growing your own sprouts.
You’ll also find a lot of information out there about how you should not try to sprout seeds that you’ve purchased in a grocery store. There are many good reasons for this and I don’t dispute that the grocery store should not be your place of choice for buying sprouting seeds.
BUT … I grew my very first batch of sprouts with mung beans from the store. It made perfect sense to me to use something so readily available to give the whole sprouting thing a shot before I invested further.
And I have also used other grocery store purchases when I’ve not had sprouting seeds on hand and I wanted to get some sprouts going right away.
Don’t let choosing and ordering seeds and supplies hold you up from giving this wonderful way to grow fresh food in your own kitchen a try. Get started now. And if you love it expand from there.
It doesn’t take much at all to try your hand at growing sprouts. You probably have everything you need in your kitchen already.
TOOLS TO GROW SPROUTS
The method I’m using to grow sprouts for this blog post is about as basic as it gets. I did it this way the very first time I sprouted and although the time is coming to expand soon, it’s served me well so far.
All you need is a canning jar with the outer rim of the lid, a piece of cheesecloth or muslin, a bowl, and some sprouting seeds. With just those common household kitchen items you can grow sprouts.
You can buy lids that are made specifically for canning jars to drain your sprouts. Rinsing and draining your sprouts is a daily task. So, it seems that these lids would be useful. I intend to pick a few up one day soon.
If you plan to make more than just a few sprouts there are great options available to you. If you hit up amazon and look around you’ll find all kinds of stacking tray systems out there. You can grow more than just a little sprouts this way. And you can grow more than one kind at a time without lining your kitchen counter with sprouting jars.
As I incorporate more sprouts into my diet (and that’s coming soon), I will be picking up a stackable tray system for myself.
HOW TO GROW SPROUTS
Growing sprouts takes just minutes of your time. All you have to do is sterilize a quart jar, place some sprouting seeds in it, fill it with water, place a lid on top, and allow the seeds to soak.
Once the seeds have cracked, drain the water. If you use the rim of a canning jar lid and replace the center with a piece of cheesecloth or muslin, you can drain the seeds right through the cloth. After they are thoroughly drained, prop the jar up in a bowl so that they can continue to expel any leftover water that may be in the jar.
Then, each day cover them with water again, swish them a bit to rinse them, and drain them well. You can allow the water to run into the jar right through the cloth, no need to remove it.
For mung bean sprouts … I used 1/4 cup of mung beans to a quart jar of water. I let them soak for about 6 hours at first. But I wasn’t seeing much cracking of the beans at that point so I simply left them soak overnight. There really is quite a bit of flexibility here.
I also let my alfalfa seeds soak overnight. I couldn’t see when they were beginning to crack because they are so small. And I knew that the recommended time was only 8 hours. But it was getting late in the evening and I was tired. So, I simply left them soaking and figured it would work out or not. It did work out. This is not exact science here.
However, there is a really great chart available over on Wholefully’s website that is particularly helpful in determining how much of each different seed to use and how long to soak it for.
Additionally, the video I’ve created for you, that’s posted above, is a bit more detailed, than the instructions in this post, and will be quite helpful in guiding you through the sprouting process. So, maybe check that out!
GROW SPROUTS SAFELY
A whole lot of information is available out there about how to grow sprouts safely. It is important that you make sure you are using clean materials and fresh water. It’s also important that you don’t neglect your sprouts while they’re growing.
I highly recommend that you do your own research on the concerns that exist around growing sprouts. In this way you can make a decision that you are comfortable with as to whether or not you want to grow them.
I, personally, have never had an issue growing sprouts at home. And I do not know anyone else who has either. Most articles that are put out there now about growing sprouts at home point out the fact that the contamination issues that are common with sprouts are a result of the industrial production of them.
That’s not hard to believe. I’m sure the practices used in their production are all about profit. And as just about everyone is aware of at this time in history, industrial produced food is laced with potential health hazards and depleted of nutrition.
HOW LONG WILL SPROUTS LAST IN THE FRIDGE?
I should note that, in addition to conscientiously caring for the materials you use to grow sprouts, and tending to your sprouts as they grow, you should never eat sprouts that do not look fresh and appetizing. If they make it to your fridge and you pull them out one day to eat them and they are discolored, slimy, or have an unpleasant odor throw them away. With the small amounts I’ve been growing, mine rarely last long enough to see the inside of a refrigerator.
On the few occasions that I have put them in the fridge I’ve discovered that they last about 2 weeks.
If you’ve never tried sprouting I hope you’ll be inspired by this post to give it a go! If you have any information that you want to share with me to help me along my sprouting journey I’d love to chat about it in the comments. I’d also like to hear how you eat your sprouts. I’ve been looking for more ways to incorporate this tasty powerhouse of nutrition into my diet. Inspire me!
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