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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gardening quick fix indoors: Healthy sprouts part 1

If you love to garden, you can relate to the feelings of cabin fever during winter when you anticipate spring. I dream about various veggies or flowers I'm planning to plant and food we'll be harvesting. All the garden catalogs I get in the mail from January to March gets me pumped up and so thrilled that I begin adding seed packets to my collection early in February. I recently discovered something neat, the beauty of growing sprouts. There are many varieties of sprouts and if you're a fan, this is great news because sprouts are super easy to grow indoors all year round – they are highly nutritious plus you can have them ready to eat in about a week!        

Delicious crunchy sprouts are so good for you.  

I'm still new to this but I'll share the old-fashioned way of growing sprouts. Basically, all you need is a wide-mouth jar for proper ventilation. You can use either a 1 Qt. mason jar for canning or a cracker jar (photo above), cheesecloth with a rubber band for draining and your seeds. I purchased the sprouts seeds from Botanical Interests, I started with a packet of mixed sprouts that consists of alfalfa, red clover and Daikon radish sprouts. It's wonderful that sprouts don't require sun to grow so they'll be alright in the kitchen. 

Step 1: Add 1-1.5 tbsp of seeds to a 1 Qt. jar. That's enough for me and my husband. If you want to grow more, use a bigger jar. Rinse your sprouts well with water by swirling inside the jar. Drain seeds with the cheesecloth secured by a rubber band. This is important, you'll be rinsing often. You want to avoid E. coli bacteria and other foodborne pathogens. It's also much better to buy certified organic sprouts, check out sproutpeople.org for supplies and helpful information.

Step 2: Soak the seeds with cool or room temperature water with enough to cover the seeds. Let the sprouts soak overnight.

Step 3: Rinse the seeds 2-3 times a day and drain. Don't allow sprouts dry up. You want the sprouts moist but not soggy wet or they'll get mold. Make sure to drain properly by propping at an angle. I drain sprouts on our kitchen counter dish rack. By the third or fourth day, you should see the sprouts.

Step 4: In about 6-7 days, the sprouts will be 1-2 inches long and ready for harvest. Rinse and let them air dry completely on a strainer, or use a salad bowl spinner before you refrigerate to prevent rot. Sprouts will turn green with bright indoor light. Keep them in a storage bag or tupperware. Sprouts keep well in the fridge for several weeks. By the way, don't dry sprouts in the sun. 

Sprouts are low in calories, fat and sodium. They're a great source of fiber, Vitamin A, C, and K, Calcium, Magnesium, Niacin, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron, Phosphorus, Pantothenic Acid, Copper, Manganese and Zinc. Sprouts are considered to be superfood filled with antioxidants and cancer-fighting properties. For detailed nutrition information, visit these links: isga-sprouts.org and triedtastedserved.com
My blogger friend Stevie also has a great post about sprouts  
gardentherapy.ca/mason-jar-sprouts. Her blog is an inspiration.     


Multi-grain panini with all-natural turkey, organic mixed sprouts, American cheese, mayo, mustard, and pomegranate vinaigrette with sweet onions.      

I enjoyed growing sprouts and I love knowing you can grow them anytime of the year. It helps to get instant gardening gratification while I wait for the warmth of spring. The other day I made lunch with our panini press. The grilled sandwich with mild mixed sprouts turned out yummy. I thought Bryan wouldn't like sprouts but he sure enjoyed the panini. I grew other varieties of sprouts to try other flavors. I'll write my reviews soon!

8 comments:

  1. Now I love da sprouts...

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  2. Thanks for the reminder to start sprouting again. I still have some alfalfa seeds in my refrigerator. I do love them on sandwiches like you are showing. Oh, I am getting hungry just looking at them.

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  3. Very good idea on planting sprout during winter! It's yummy!

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  4. Carla: Hi! thanks for the comment and visiting my blog. You should definitely grow the alfalfa, it's so good.

    Malar: It's wonderful to know you can grow sprouts anytime of the year. They're yummy and very healthy!

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  5. Agree with you that its a good way to eat healthily. You can also do a quick stir-fry with garlic in a very hot pan/wok. Delicious too when added to soup.

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  6. My first time stopping in and I am a new follower!

    http://theredeemedgardener.blogspot.com/

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  7. I was interested in sprouts at one time, find out details about growing them, and never did try it out! Now you have reminded me all over again! You are doing great with your sprouts! Love it!

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I'm glad you stopped by. I love reading your comments and thank you for taking the time. Have a wonderful day! :-)

♥ Priscilla