Yesterday I covered why sprouts are bad-ass. Today, I’m covering how to grow them yourself.
There are two methods from which to choose for your sprouting. I use them both. You can use the old, tested, tried-and-true method of sprouting in glass mason jars, tipped upside down on an angle using a dish drying rack. I love this method (I started with this method) because of the aforementioned reasons (yesterday’s post) about seeing these in your kitchen growing while you tend to them only briefly each day. The other method is to use a machine, such as the Tribest FreshLife Sprouter. I definitely like the FreshLife Sprouter and I do recommend using it. It’s easy (so is the jar method though) but the plastic container they grow in is dark, so you can’t really see the little guys growing, which is really important to me. So, I do them both. I do the jar method and have 1-3 jars going at once. Then, so that I can grow even more sprouts to eat (or to grow wheatgrass), I use the FreshLife Sprouter.
Directions for the “Jar Method”
You will need several 1/2-gallon and quart size glass mason jars, plus plastic screen lids (available online or at places like Whole Foods’ produce section – or just use cheesecloth with a rubber band, but this can get a little messy), a dish drying rack (the folding kind that looks like an X from the side), seeds, and water. You can use a variety of seeds, start with alfalfa and practice with that. Then, you can start adding other combinations such as clover, onion, broccoli, etc.
2 Tablespoons seeds
Purified, filtered or spring water
Soak the seeds in the water overnight in a half-gallon jar filled with water. The following morning, drain them.
You will then be sprouting the seeds for approximately 5-6 days (tip them upside down and set them on an angle on the dish drying rack), rinsing them and draining them 1-2 times a day (usually only once/day is necessary, but there are times when they might seem dry and a second rinsing and draining might be helpful. Caution here though, if they’re too wet, they can get moldy.) I know that sometimes it’s hard to imagine what I’m saying. If you’re taking my class next week, I’ll show this process step-by-step.
You can sprout these on your counter top (out of direct sunlight). They don’t need to be covered or placed in a closet. On the last day or two of sprouting, you can give them a little extra sunlight to develop the chlorophyll. I still avoid direct sunlight for the most part so they don’t get dried out…maybe for a few minutes is fine, but then I put them back to their area on my countertop.
On about Day 6, rinse the sprouts in a large bowl of water to loosen their “hulls” (the outer shell of the seeds). Drain off the hulls and water. You’ll see that they easily come off as you gently agitate the water with your hands. Put the sprouts back into the jar and on the counter for this last day.
Store them in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container or a glass sprouting jar covered with a mesh screen. Continue to rinse and drain every few days until you’ve gobbled them all up!
Remember, you’re starting one jar, but when that jar is done, you’ll have to wait another 6-7 days to enjoy sprouts again. For this reason, I recommend always having about three jars going. Start one; then start another, two days later; and then another, two days later; and so on.
If you get mold or your sprouts don’t turn out for any other reason, don’t worry, just try again. You’ll quickly get the hang of it and develop a sense for when to rinse and drain them. My first attempt years ago was not a success. But, my second attempt and on have been pure sprouting bliss!
Mung sprouts take less time to sprout (Yay!). Follow the same instructions as above, using 1/4 cup seeds. And, they’re ready to eat within 2-3 days. No hulling is needed for these; you can eat them once they have their little sprouted tails. These are an excellent source of protein!