Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easy Sprouting

Let's do a simple DIY kitchen project today. It's super quick, cheap, requires very little materials and the final product is both tasty AND nutritious. It's sprouts!

There are several ways to sprout a small batch at home. I'm going to tell you the method first and then we'll talk about how to make it happen. The greatest thing about this project is that in 4-7 days you will have sprouts- for sandwiches, salads, stir fries and snacking!

The Method for Sprouting:

Basically you want to soak your sprouts for a few hours to start them out. Then once a day or so you need to rinse and then thoroughly drain them. That's it! They sit on the counter and breathe through a screen or cheesecloth during the days and when they are done (they look green and grown) transfer them to a fresh container and keep in the fridge. They will stay for a week or so, just like small lettuces. Simple! (Here is an alternate method I recently stumbled across that looks just as simple!)

How I Sprout:

I put 1-2 Tablespoons of sprouts in a pint sized mason jar fitted with a metal mesh sprouting screen (you can also use a plastic sprouting lid or cheesecloth), fill with water and let sit for 3-6 hours. The I drain it thoroughly by pouring the water out and letting the jar sit upside down on top of a mason jar ring (the idea here is to allow some space under the lid to allow excess water to drain away from the jar). I let it drain upside down anywhere from 15 min to several hours. Then once a day, usually in the morning, I fill up the jar with water, swish it around, and drain it off again in the same way. The jar stays on the counter where it can get a little natural light. After 4-7 days the sprouts are usually done. You can tell when they are green and look like fresh sprouts. Give them a try- they should taste grassy and crisp! If they ever seem slimy or smell sour, toss them out and start again. 

I've sprouted alfalfa (the easiest and one of the tastiest), broccoli seeds, lentils, mung beans, radish seeds, and mixes. Each has a different flavor, texture and look. The picture below has a few more days to go until the seeds are fully sprouted.

It's a satisfying and easy project and you should give it a try!