Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sprout some Sprouts!

I don't know if it gets much more hippie-like than growing your own sprouts.  Sprouts are a great source of nutrients, are considered a superfood, and are delicious!  My fav to grow are fenugreek sprouts, primarily because the seeds are very accessible to me.  Whole Foods sells them in the bulk spice section and they are very easy to grow.  Other sprouts are delicious as well like broccoli, radish, sunflower, alfalfa, etc.  The process is pretty much the same for all these seeds, so google possible sprout choices and go to town!

The process is basically rinse and repeat until sprouts start to develop.  To start off you want to find a glass jar and a mesh lid.  It can be as elaborate or inexpensive as you want.  To make mine I got a bell jar and the tradition lid.  The lid typically is a metal disk and a ring that screws on.  I cut a piece out of some crappy nylons and then secured it to the jar with the ring, ditching the metal disk part.  This allows you to be able to drain off water without having all your seeds/sprouts escape.

Once you have your jar set and your seeds picked out, fill the bottom of the jar with seeds; I use about 2 spoonfuls for the fenugreek seeds.  Cover the seeds with water and let soak overnight.

In the morning, drain off the water, fill with water again and drain, basically rinsing the seeds twice.  Shake the jar around to try and get all the water out.  Place the jar upside down in a bowl at an angle so any leftover water can drain off.  Place the jar/bowl in a darkened area like a cabinet or pantry.  In the afternoon, take out the jar and rinse the seeds again a few times.  Drain off and place back in the darkened area.

Over the next few days, repeat the same process, rinsing the seeds 2-4 times a day.  The rinsing helps prevent mold from growing and also provides your seeds water to grow.  If you see any indication of mold, toss the batch, scrub the jar well, and make sure you rinse more frequently for the next time.  You will quickly see sprouts beginning to form.  Once you start seeing tiny white leaves, put the jar out on the counter to sit, rather than in a darkened area, so the sprouts can turn green.  Be sure to not place it in direct sunlight.  Leave it out over a day like this, still rinsing on a regular basis.

After a day out on the counter, remove the sprouts from the jar and and let dry on a towel.  You can also do a quick rinse in a bowl first to try and get the seed casings out of the sprouts, but I don't bother.  Once they are dry, put them in a tupperware container and place in the fridge.

Sprouts are tasty in lots of meals.  My favorite way to use them is on grilled avocado sandwiches.  They are also quite tasty in salads or other types of sandwiches and wraps. 

For information on the nutritional profile of various types of sprouts, check out the following sites:

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