Thursday, September 29, 2011


Grr - the internet gremlins strike again and ate my original sprouting post.

Getting adequate nutrition is difficult right now. Access to fresh produce is limited, expensive and with all the recalls getting harder and harder each day. Crops haven't been as good and I know my garden has been struggling for the past two years due to the bizarre weather patterns.
I started thinking about using sprouts as a way to add inexpensive greens to our diet. I bought seeds years ago but I couldn't get myself to follow through. For whatever reason, the process intimidated me. I read extensively on the subject to find myself less sure. Finally, one day not that long ago I decided it was time. Learn now or give up the idea.
I was shocked and amazed how easy and inexpensive it all was. Now I bought the seeds from the bulk section of our local Co-op so I have no idea what I spent but I know it was less than $1 for each little package because I wasn't willing to invest much in an experiment.
Items needed - quart sized canning jar, canning ring, 1 new knee-high stocking (less than 50 cents at Walmart for 2), and 1/4 cup of sprouting seeds. I selected alfalfa (with legumes you may need a bigger container). Add the seeds to the jar, cover with water, attach knee high stocking to jar over opening and secure with canning ring. Soak overnight. Drain and then "rinse" seed 2-3 times a day until sprouted to your satisfaction. To rinse, simply fill the jar, swirl around the loose seeds and drain. I kept my jar on the counter near the stove so it wouldn't get forgotten. The jar got minimal sun.
When sprouted, set in fridge and eat. Our 1/4 cup of seeds filled the jar with sprouts. The sprouts can last up to 10 days depending on the variety. If they start to yellow, set in the sun for a little while until green again. Don't let them get too hot or they will spoil.
We've been enjoying the sprouts all week. I keep thinking I need to come up with some recipes but for now we're enjoying them with our meals as they are.
There are many types of seeds out there for sprouting. According to the chart on Sproutpeople, the most nutritious are - Alfalfa, Clover, Lentil, Mung Bean, Pea, Pinto Bean, Radish, Rye, Sunflower, Wheat, and Soy.
They do sell sprout seeds at Sproutpeople but I found better prices at Amazon. Amazon, also, has large bulk seeds for reasonable prices. The highest price I saw per pound was around $30 for broccoli but most seem to be under $10 per pound. This may seem cost-prohibitive but remember 1 pound of seeds will make a really large amount of sprouts since 1/4 cup seems to make about 4 cups of sprouts (perhaps even significantly more since they are tightly compacted).
I do recommend purchasing a small amount of seeds to determine what sprouts you and your family will like best.

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