If you garden, then you're going to enjoy growing sprouts. You don't need soil, a rake, shovel, planting board, roto-tiller or a plot. There are no weeds to pull, no fertilizer to spread, no baking in the hot sun, and no aching back! If you don't garden, don't worry. Anyone can sprout seeds; don't leave out the kids as most like watching sprouts grow. A few minutes rinsing daily, and that is basically all the work that's required.

Sprouts are germinated seeds of vegetables, nuts, grains, and legumes. Sprouts are nutritious, inexpensive, low in calories, high in protein and a living food. Sprouting increases the vitamin content of a seed. Sprouted grains and legumes supply all eight essential amino acids, which make up complete proteins. Enzymes are also present, as are fiber, minerals, and carbohydrates. Sprouts are very clean because you control their atmosphere. Your sprouts are the purest, cleanest, and most uncontaminated food you can eat. Protein levels of sprouts range from 10 to 40 %. Soybeans have the highest content. Many sprouts contain vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E, and K.

The most successful sprouting families for eating and growing are: Lequminosea (peas, chick­peas, beans, genugreek, alfalfa, clover, lentils and soybeans), Gramineae (wheat, rye, corn, barley, millet, oats), Cruciferas (mustard, radish, cress, kale). Other seeds include parsley, carrots, dill, celery, beets, buckwheat, flax, purslane, lettuce, caraway, onions, chia, and sesame.

Almost any grains or seed can be sprouted. But never eat tomato or potato sprouts as they're poisonous. Seeds that are chemically treated with fumigants, pesticides, etc., have had their sprouting abilities destroyed. Pink seeds do not sprout for eating. Rice or any seed with the outer hull removed will not sprout. Use only high quality seed. Seed can be purchased from health food stores, seed suppliers, etc.

Sprouts can be eaten raw, in soups, steamed, in baked goods, pancakes, meat loaves, spreads, omelets, breads, sandwiches, casseroles, stews, etc. You only limited by your imagination.

Radish, cress, lettuce mustard, dill, parsley and celery sprouts are too highly seasoned for most people's daily use; but these can be added to salads, soups, etc. Not much equipment is needed forsprouting and what you need is inexpensive. There are several methods to sprout seeds. You can use trays, bowls, baskets, strainers, colander racks, frames, screens, towels, etc.

In general, seeds need moisture, warmth and ventilation. Temperatures between 65 and 75 ° F are about ideal. Keep out of direct sunlight until the last day or two before harvest: it adds chlorophyll.Water with chlorine may harm some seeds. Store your seeds in a dry area. Store your sprouts in a plastic bag in the refrigerator after harvest.

You may have some quart canning jars left over from canning season. Put the seeds into a quart jar (see chart amount). Add water two or three times the amount of seeds, using lukewarm water. Soak overnight or see chart. Cover the jar with a top which has small holes, mesh, canning lid with holes, etc.

Rinse and drain with lukewarm water, two or three times daily. Rinse away hulls (if seed has hulls). Let the jar lay on its side between rinsing; harvest when ready (see chart).

Do not let sprouts sit in water because they will mold. Generally, seeds will increase 6 to 8 times during germination. Two ounces of seed will fill a pint jar. Grow in the dark or indirect light for good growing conditions. Temperatures vary from house to house and time of year, causing harvest time to vary.

One pound of dry beans makes 4 to 8 pounds of sprouts; store 10 pounds or more per individual, making about ½ cup daily. Clean your container after each use with hot soapy water and a brush to clean completely.

Screen screw-on tops are manufactured in red, yellow, and green. Each one has different mesh holes on top for different seed sizes during rinsing. These fit Ball, Kerr, and Mason glass jar containers.

I personally use a product called "Kitchen Garden." I've had it for over six years. The "Kitchen Garden" is a plastic, white, round container with four compartments. The bottom has many holes to let water in and out. The center cross pieces come out making it very easy to clean. It has a round, overhanging top to keep out dust and light.

Sprouting seeds is fun, nutritious, easy and money-saving. Most of all, it gives lots of enjoyable eating; experiment to find your favorite tasting sprouts.

Happy Sprouting! 

**** Bibliography

  • Add a Few Sprouts by Martha H. Oliver. Keats Publishing, Inc., P. 0. Box 876, New Canaan, CT 06840 (1975).
  • Crisis Preparedness Handbook by Jack A, Spigarelli. Resource Publications, P.0. Box 1515, Provo, UT 84603 (1984).
  • Kitchen Garden: Sprouts Recipe Book. 185 West Stratford Ave., Salt Lake City, UT 84115.
  • Sprouting Courses by Steve Meyerowitz. The Sprout House, 210 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10025.
  • Toppers. Bima Industries, Inc., P. 0. Box 88007, Tukwila Branch, Seattle, Washington 98188 (1977).


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Saturday, 22 June 2024

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