Did you know that 100% organic, very tasty, and extremely healthy sprouts are easy and fun to grow in your own kitchen? In as little as 5 days, you can enjoy a myriad of different garnishes that are perfect additions to sandwiches, salads, stir fry dishes, and nutrition/protein shakes. Read on for tips!
Seed Sprouting Container – You will need a good, clean container to germinate your sprouts. Nurseries that specialize in grow-your-own projects will carry a seed sprouter kit just for this purpose, or you can makeshift one at home by layering moistened paper towel (wet but not dripping) in the bottom of a colander, sealed by cellophane across the top of the colander.
Seed – There are literally dozens upon dozens of seeds that produce edible sprouts. Unbeknownst to most, sprouts are one of the healthiest choices you can add to your daily diet. Because of specific enzymatic and other biological processes that occur when a seed germinates, sprouts are packed full of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and protein; in fact, sprouts contain more nutrient per gram than most other natural food sources. It is no wonder that sprouts are eaten in virtually every culture the world around. You don’t have to sacrifice taste for health either; the flavors are numerous and far from the boring old sprouts you get in the grocery store. Choose sunflower for an earthy, full-tasting addition to your favorite smoothie or salad/ entrée. Wheat berry sprouts are super-delicious, full of vitamin E and magnesium, and are great for cereal, salad and sandwich toppers, and even as a topping to various baking. Lentil sprouts are amazing in sandwiches and smell like peas from grandma’s garden. Alfalfa and radish sprouts are very popular for ease of germination and crispy, sharp taste. Red clover sprouts are a bit greener than alfalfa and is known for its mild and nutty flavor. Mung bean sprouts can be a challenge to home-sprouters as the germination rates sometimes vary, but these sprouts have found their way onto several dining room tables around the world because they stand up to high heat when used in stir fry cooking. Choose beet sprouts for neat color and for a sharp tangy addition to any salad.
Sprouting – Once you have selected the seed you would like to sprout, soak the seed in a cup of water for a few hours (max 6 hours) and then drain the water. Spread the soaked seed in a thin, single layer in the seed sprouter/ colander. Water once again, making sure the water drains thoroughly. If you use the colander, typically you only germinate one type of seed at a time; the seed sprouting kits are tiered so you can germinate a couple different varieties at the same time. It will take anywhere from 2-7 days to germinate the seeds; water and drain the seed sprouter/colander each day until germination. Once you have 75% germination, pop the sprouts (in their container) into the fridge; the delicious sprouts stay fresh and crunchy for 3-6 days!
Growing your own sprouts is only one of the great health-boosting projects anyone can try. Stop by your favorite nursery for more information on other fun and easy gardening projects!