Home-Grown Nutrients

Sprout -Julia Roberts

Sprouting is a fun practice to add into your weekly routine. In fact, it is easy. You can unlock the nutritional benefits found in sprouts from home, and renew a child-like sense of wonder watching them grow at the same time. Sprouting requires a few simple tools and a minimal amount of time to start the germination process of the seed. Here is what you will need and how to get started.

How to get started: prepare, soak, rinse & wait.

Jar Method: The essentials

  • One quart / liter glass jar (canning jars are ideal)
  • 5 inch x 5 inch square piece of window screen (cheaply and easily purchased at your local hardware store, or you can use a few pieces of cheesecloth, cut to size).
  • Thick rubber band
  • Large bowl (or dish rack)
  • Seeds
  • Water

Getting started:

How to prepare

Choose the seeds you want to sprout. My personal favorites are broccoli and radish. For small seeds like broccoli, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of seed to a jar. Radish seed is slightly larger; add 2 tablespoons to a jar. For legumes you will want to add ½ cup to a jar.

Apply the screen or cheesecloth over the mouth of jar and check that the screen and rubber band are tightly around the top of the jar. Add 1 cup of cool water, swish around, and then drain the water out into the sink.

How to soak

Make sure the screen is still tightly around the mouth of your jar, then pour distilled water into the jar until the jar is half full. Leave seeds to soak for 4 to 6 hours, then rinse and drain.

*soak cruciferous seeds (like broccoli and radish) for only two hours before rinsing and draining.

Time to rinse and wait

Once soaking is complete, place your jar upside down and on an angle in the bowl. Leave your jar to drain on the counter at room temperature. Rinse 1 to 2 times daily to prevent bacterial growth and to keep your seedlings healthy. When your seeds have grown white tails, they are ready to eat!

How much time does it take to grow?

When it comes to sprouting, not all seeds grow within the same timeframe. Here is the average time per seed:

  • Legumes and lentils – 3 days for sprouting
  • Broccoli, radish, red clover and alfalfa – 5 days for sprouting
  • Garlic, chives, onion and dill – 10 to 12 days for sprouting

Sprouting Tray Method: the Essentials

  • Sprouting tray (you can buy these online or at some garden or natural food stores, but you can also improvise using a wire cooling rack and a sheet of window screen cut to size)
  • Seeds
  • Glass baking pan to hold sprouting tray

Getting started:

How to prepare

Choose the seeds you want to sprout and pour them evenly into the sprouting tray so they are not layered onto each other. Sunflower seeds are great as micro greens! Rinse thoroughly, then place your seed covered sprouting tray in the glass baking pan.

How to soak

Similar to the jar method, pour clean water into your tray until it is half full. Depending on the seeds you chose, soak your seeds for 2 to 6 hours.

Time to rinse and wait

After soaking is complete, remove the tray from the pan, rinse the seeds and pour out the water in the pan. Return your sprouting tray to the glass pan, and remember to rinse twice each day by removing the tray and rinsing with water before returning it to the glass tray.

How much time does it take to grow?

Unlike the varied growth periods for seeds sprouted in the jar method, micro greens generally take 10 to 12 days. This gives the sprouts time to produce higher chlorophyll content, making them a great source of greens that can be grown in your own kitchen! Add sprouts and micro greens to salads, sandwiches, or simply eat them on their own.

For more information on the benefits of sprouting — and to share your sprouting story — visit thriveforward.com http://thriveforward.com/lesson/digestive-enzymes-for-maximum-energy/

Contributed to Vega News at: http://myvega.com/blog/2013/home-grown-nutrients

 

Photo from the lovely, Julia Roberts.