Sustainable Sprouting

 
 

If, like me, you grew up in a mega urban environment with the idea that all food came from the grocery store, the idea of growing your own food may, at first, seem like a daunting task, even to those of us who have the best intentions.  Sprouting, then, may be the easiest and best first step towards growing your own fresh produce.   There are many reasons to grow your own sprouts, but the most important reasons are: 

  • Sprouts pack up to 100 times the amount of nutritious enzymes your body needs than present in store-bought raw fruits and vegetables.    
  • The quality of the proteins improve in the process of sprouting with each batch you grow.  
  • The Fiber content of the beans, seeds, nuts, or grains increases exponentially through sprouting.

Best of all, Sprouting is a VERY simple process, and yields results in just a few days.  No need to wait weeks for a couple of green leaves to poke through the ground as in gardening.  Sprouting is practically fool-proof.  

**What You Need:  A medium to large-sized jar, a square of mesh or cheesecloth, some non-GMO seeds, water, and a rubber band or the band of a canning jar lid.


HOW TO GROW

Step 1.    To begin, find a medium-sized jar with a wide opening - an empty pasta sauce jar or coconut oil jar, for instance.  Wash and sterilize the jar well.

Step 2.    Wash your seeds and beans.  There is a wide variety of seeds to try, but the easiest and most common ones to begin with are Alfalfa or Mung Bean.  Once you have successfully sprouted your first few batches, you may want to branch out and try other types, such as radish, sunflower, soy beans, lentils, mustard, beets, peas, or broccoli seeds.  

Step 3.    Place 1 or 2 tablespoons of seeds in your jar.  Once your seeds begin sprouting, they will quickly take up room in your jar, so your seeds should not take up more than a quarter amount of space in your jar.   Cover the seeds with a few inches or half of the jar of water.  

Step 4.    Cover the jar of seeds and water with your mesh or cheesecloth and secure it with a rubber band or by twisting on a canning jar band.  Place the jar of water-soaked seeds in a cool, dark area (the inside of a pantry cupboard, for instance) and let seeds soak for 8-12 hours at room temperature.

Step 5.   After 8-12 hours of soaking, drain the water through the mesh or cheesecloth sieve and rinse the seeds with clean, fresh water.  Repeat once or twice, and then drain all the water again.  

Step 6.   Place the jar in an angled position tipped downward towards the opening to ensure proper drainage and air circulation through the mesh opening.  You can simply place the jar on its side, or angled in a bowl to catch water that is draining from the seeds.  Place the jar back in a dark, cool area and let the sprouting process begin. 

 Sprout happens!

Sprout happens!

Step 7.   Rinse and drain the seeds thoroughly 2 to 4 times a day.  Make sure you repeatedly rinse and drain thoroughly each time and place the jar back in an angle to keep seeds dry and clear of any bacterial fungus growth that might kill the seeds and hinder the growth process.

Step 8.  In as little as a few days, depending on the seed, you will be able to harvest the sprouts.  Rinse the seeds and drain well before you eat. The shoots will have a white or yellowish color.  To make them green, simply place your jar in a sunny area.  The Chlorophyl will turn your sprouts green in just a matter of hours.  Sprouts will last up to 1 week  in the refrigerator. 

Enjoy!