Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Friday, July 18, 2014

Drag It Through the Garden: Countertop Sprouts

Drag it through the garden: a hamburger, hotdog, sandwich or similar with all condiments (vegetables) on it

You don't need to have a big garden to grow some things that you can eat.

For some things, you don't need a garden at all!  A pie tin filled with potting soil and some sprout seeds (one source for seeds is Sprout People) is all you need... and you can grow it right on the countertop.

These sprouts grow in just a couple of days - a great summer project for young kids. If your kids grow the sprouts, you might even get the kids to eat the sprouts!

Sprouts are just the beginning growth of a seed. It really isn’t that much different than those first little pops of green that speckle the earth in your garden come spring. When you keep the seeds moist they begin to sprout and create tiny little plants. Whereas the seed would be difficult to digest, this new “sprout” turns into a nourishing plant food.

A few tablespoons to half a cup of seed are all you need to produce ample sprouts for sandwiches, salads, and other dishes. Sprouts will double or triple in size, depending on the size of the seed and the variety you are sprouting. Keeping things small will ensure you don’t end up with sprouts going bad in your refrigerator.

In general, use 2-3 tablespoons of small sprouting seed (alfalfa or clover) and 1/3-1/2 cup of larger sprouting seed (lentils or beans) for ample amounts. Quinoa is one exception: this ‘pseudo-grain’ sprouts small and stays small.

Here are some other general rules of thumb to observe when growing sprouts at home:

  • Rinse and clean your seeds to remove any dust or other debris.
  • Spread evenly in your container so seeds form a thin layer. Avoid piling seeds on top of one another.
  • Soak your seeds to “wake” them up and encourage sprouting. While you can skip this step for a few, lesser-known sprouts, soaking seeds is an important first step for most varieties. Cover your seeds completely and soak for 6-12 hours. (Be sure to poke down any floaters.)
  • You can also grow your sprouts without potting soil:
    • After soaking, drain water from the seeds, lay them flat in a pie tin or jar and keep moist. If using a jar, try laying on one side for more even distribution.  Rinse and drain 2-3 times per day. (Note: rinse hulled sunflower seeds more frequently, since they tend to get slimy. Rinse or pick off seed skins to prevent rotting.)
    • After your seeds have sprouted, continue to rinse and drain regularly (every 8-12 hours) until sprouts reach the desired length.
  • Eat fresh or store in the fridge until consumed.  Most sprouts last 1-2 weeks when kept cool.

Do you think you could grow these?  Would you like to have fresh sprouts for your dinner straight from your countertop?

zentMRS - Love in the Kitchen
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1 comment:

  1. Oh I love sprouts!! This looks like a great way to grow them!