Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Growing Sprouts

I've been growing our own bean sprouts after being inspired by friends.  We invited them for dinner, and their hostess gift was a bowl of alfalfa sprouts!  That inspired me on several levels (I am always looking for easy, thoughtful hostess gifts).

I re-read the section in More With Less on sprouting.  I bought a bag of daikon radish seeds at the health food store - I wanted to get alfalfa seeds or at least a sprouting mix, but apparently everyone is sprouting seeds at this time of year and daikon radish was the only thing left.

daikon radish seeds soaking

The picture is actually of lentil sprouts.  Genevieve wanted to sprout lentils. 

the dark, warm place where I put them:  the cupboard above the oven hood

Here is our method:

1.  Soak 2 tbsp. of seeds or mung beans or lentils overnight in water.  Best choice are seeds marked specifically for sprouting.  I keep the extra in the freezer.

2.  In the morning, place the drained seeds in a glass jar.

3.  Cover the mouth of the jar with a piece of cheesecloth and rubber-band it in place.

4.  Place the jar on its side in a warm, dark place (a cupboard next to or over your fridge or oven or close to a heater).

5.  About three times a day, swish water through the jar, wetting all the seeds.  Drain it again and put it back in its dark spot.

6.  You'll see sprouts in a few days.  When they're a few inches long, remove the cheesecloth and rubberband and put the lid on the jar.  Keep in the fridge about a week.

So far, we've just tossed the sprouts in salads and made lunchtime sandwich melts with them (the secret to great melts under the broiler:  put thin rings of onion on TOP of the cheese so that the onion gets slightly browned and sweetens up while the cheese melts underneath). 

What do you like to do with sprouts?


Lisa said...

Do you mean you can do this with dried lentils? From the store??

Margo said...

Yup, that's what we used! I prefer the smaller seeds like the daikon radish seeds or alfalfa seeds, but yes, lentils work. My husband wants to try dried garbanzos :)

jenny_o said...

I love the taste of sprouts but I swore them off when I learned they can carry salmonella - even the home sprouted ones - if eaten raw or undercooked. Fully cooked is fine, but isn't part of the sprouty goodness the crunch?! I'm too wussy to take a chance. No, I don't eat cookie dough with raw eggs in it either. I do look at it with great longing, though. :)

Your melts look delicious. Onions - mmmm...

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Amazing.. and the cheese melt looks yummy..
Thanks for sharing.

Soliloquy of Food said...

I just started soaking my spring salad sprouting mix, I haven't tried this before. I have had good luck with broccoli, alfalfa & radish seeds in the past. I bought a 4 tiered sprouter from Johnny's Seeds when it was on sale a few years back. I love it.