With the lack of my garden and the ability to pick my own salad at any moment, I've been really missing fresh greens this winter.
Did you know that growing your own sprouts is not only easy, but wildly nutritious, too?
- full of enzymes
- easily digestible (in part due to the high enzyme content)
- especially high in nutrients (it all depends on the seed you choose, of course, but sprouting immediately increases the nutrient content dramatically)
- bursting with chlorophyll (the dark green pigment contained in leafy green), which aids detoxification, helps to protect our bodies from toxins and heavy metals, neutralizes free radicals (which are basically cells gone bad), builds our blood and cells, and numerous other benefits
Bought from the store, you'll easily pay $1.50-$2.00 for a teensy little box of them. I can make the same amount for literally pennies, and mine taste much (much!) fresher and more delicious!
Here's my method:
You'll need a regular canning jar (I like to use a quart jar for a bit more growing room, though a 1/2 quart works fine, too), a screw lid to fit the jar, a thin cloth (I use small, thin baby cloths, but something like cheesecloth or thin cotton would actually work better), and your choice of seeds.
Seed choice recommendations: Our favorites are broccoli and clover. Some other options are radish, mustard (both a tad spicy), and alfalfa (I've read both amazing things and terrible things about using alfalfa- very conflicting. At the moment, I'm not using it, though I have in the past). I buy the seeds in 1 lb or 1/2 lb packages, either from Azure Standard or my local health food store.
Next, add 1 Tbsp of your seed of choice into the jar, add enough purified water to more than cover the seeds, and put the cloth and lid on.
Let it sit overnight (or throughout the day) on the counter, long enough for the seeds to really soak up a lot of the water.
Flip the bottle and drain out the water the next morning (or evening, if you soaked during the day). I like to leave my jars propped up on a towel, over the edge of the sink so that any extra water can drain out without making a mess.
Every morning and evening, add some water to the jar (you don't need to remove the cloth, simply pour right through it). Swish the seeds around to get them all nice and moist, and then prop the jar back up to allow the water to drain out. I rotate the jar once or twice a day, just to move the seeds around and make sure they're all getting air and light.
Within just a day or two, you'll start to see sprouts emerging. Continue on with this until your sprouts are a couple inches long and have begun to form small green leaves on the end. It also helps to place your jar on a window sill during the last day or two, to help chlorophyll develop in the leaves.
This is what my clover seeds looked like, when I was finished sprouting them last time.
I store them in a container or a bag in the fridge (it's helpful if it's not airtight, because lack of air will make them go bad faster). Mine will last quite nicely up to a week, though we'll often use them up before they go bad.
1 Tbsp of seeds will make about the amount found in a grocery store sprout container, so if that's too many sprouts (or not enough) for your family to use up, just adjust the amount accordingly.
We love to put our sprouts on any type of sandwich, our very favorite way to eat them! They are also good sprinkled on top of a green salad, and you can even chuck extra ones into a fruit smoothie for the extra nutrition and as long as they're well blended, you'll never, ever notice they're in there (nor will your kids)!
Enjoy your winter greens, you incredible windowsill gardener, you!
Does this look easy enough? Does anyone else make sprouts in a similar way? Any other fun ideas for adding sprouts to our diets?