Get Sprouting!

“Sprouts are one of the most complete and nutritional of all foods that exist. Sprouts are rich with vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes, bioflavonoids, antioxidants, phytoestrogens, glucosinolates and other phytochemicals.

Their nutritional value was discovered by the Chinese thousands of years ago. Sprouts are one of the most concentrated natural sources of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids(protein) known.”  (Source and specific nutritional charts for specific sprouts here.)

So, sprouts are good for you…AND they’re easy and fun to grow right on your kitchen counter!  New for this season, Mt. Garfield Greenhouse has sprouting seeds and a super easy-to-use sprouter from Botanical Interests.  Perhaps you’ve seen them, been interested, but were unsure how they work.  I bought a sprouter and seeds and took them home for a test-drive to share with you.

sprouter and seeds

First, disinfect the outside of your seeds with a bleach solution, as suggested on the back of the sprouting seeds packet, or use a solution of 2 TBSP cider vinegar in one cup of water.  Soak 1 TBSP of seed in the disinfecting solution for 10-15 minutes.  Drain and rinse until you no longer smell vinegar.  I used a “sprouting lid” from a set I’ve had since the 70s to rinse and drain the seeds.  (I know, former hippie.  Don’t judge.)  At this point, soak the seeds in plain water over night.

soak seed in vinegar solution

Drain the seeds and spread the them into the sections of the sprouter.  (The tiniest seeds wanted to stick in the jar and all over my fingers as I scraped them out–don’t worry if you don’t get them all in the sprouter.)  Place the lid on top and leave it on your counter top.  Rinse twice a day through the diffusing lid with the bottom off.  Replace the bottom and wait a little bit, then drain off the excess water.

spread rinsed seed in sprouter

all layers in

Two days later, your sprouts will look like this:

2 days later

After 4 days, like this:

4 days later

And after 6 days, you’ll have sprouts you can enjoy!

6 days later

I like to make these yummy pita sammiches with sprouts.  Just grab some sprouts and tear them out of the sprouter (the roots will have penetrated below each level), rinse off the seed coats and add to the sammich or salad or whatever you’d like!

rinse seed coats out

make a yummy sammich

The smaller sprouts (sandwich mix and radish for me) were ready before the bigger sprouts (peas and sunflower), So far, radish are my favorite.  I was hoping they’d show some color, and perhaps they would if I had them in brighter light.  But no matter–they were wonderfully spicy and yummy!  Perfect for the other flavors in the sammich!

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