So you’ve decided to try sprouting, good for you! Sprouting your own sprouts will save you lots of money and you can always have a nice supply of fresh, healthy sprouts on hand for every meal. Now, where do you start? Let’s decide what seeds or legumes you would like to add to your meals.
Always look for organic seeds so you won’t have to worry about fungicides or other chemicals from parent plants. Here are some seeds that sprout well:
Alfalfa- Slightly sweet, slightly bitter, mellow flavor
Mung Beans- Very popular and tasty. Highly digestible protein with a mild taste.
Broccoli Seed- May be harder to find than other seeds. Has a delicious, mild flavor.
Flax Seeds- A delicious taste that has very beneficial fats and proteins
Sunflower Seeds- A great, nutty taste that makes a nice snack by the handfuls.
Spelt Berries- A nice, nutty and mellow taste.
These are only a few of the many varieties of seeds, nuts and legumes that can be sprouted and some of my favorites. Look around and experiment with different varieties to find what you like.
The most simple method of sprouting is the jar method. To sprout in a jar, you’ll need a large jar with a wide mouth. I found mine at Walmart and it’s a clear glass snack or cookie jar. A canning jar or any pasta sauce jar will work, but I like the wide mouth because it ensures for proper air flow and less chance of mold and mildew. You will also need a clean pair of panty hose or some cheesecloth and a large rubber band. Grab your seeds and now you’re ready to get started.
1. Put seeds in the jar. If using a smaller jar, just cover the bottom. If you’re using a larger jar with a wide mouth, you can use around 1 C. of seeds. Fill jar with water making sure you add at least twice the amount or more water than seeds. They’ll swell as they soak. Add cheesecloth or a cut piece of clean panty hose over the top and secure with a large rubber band. Soak seeds overnight.
2. Pour off water in the morning and rinse, keeping the cloth in place. Swirl plenty of water through the seeds and drain well, leaving cloth in place.
3. Find a cool, dark place to store your jars for the next 3 to 5 days, preferably somewhere that you won’t have to worry about the jars being disturbed. Air circulation is an important process for successful sprouts so don’t let them tip and cover the lid.
4. Place jar upside down tilting at a 45 degree angle, making sure the seeds do not cover the lid so there can be plenty of air circulation. I have found that I can place my jar in a shallow pan lined with a tea towel and an old grate to catch the side of the jar lip on. I push the pan against a wall and then lean the jars on the wall and that seems to keep the jars in place without tipping over.
5. Rinse your sprouts at least twice a day. More if it’s particularly warm or you have a large amount of seeds in your jar.
6. Sprouts are ready when you see two tiny leaves on your sprouts or if sprouts have a shoot, they’re ready when the shoot is as long as the seed itself.
7. Rinse again when sprout is ready. I pour my sprouts out on a towel to soak up excess moisture and place in a non- airtight container and refrigerate at that point. You want to maintain moisture but you don’t want to encourage mold and mildew. Try to consume within 3 days for the best tasting sprouts.
There are other methods of sprouting and several sprouting contraptions on the market, like sprouting bags and trays, but I feel that the jar method is the easiest, most convenient method and mold and mildew is less of a problem.
Play around with different combinations of sprouts and remember that occasionally you may run into a batch that won’t sprout, or ends up getting musty and moldy. Just toss those and wash your jar well and start over. Add them to everything! They’re just so good for you. I especially love the sunflower sprouts on a salad and I eat those all by themselves. They make a great snack.
I hope this easy method will inspire you to give sprouting a try. Have fun and happy sprouting!