Sprouts

The tip-scrounged book I picked up recently on sprouting has proven to be a most valuable addition to the bookcase. Written in my opinion before it's time (1986), it details the use of living foods (sprouts and wheatgrass) in our diets, their benefits and how to go about growing them at home.

The health benefits of consuming 'live food', that is, food that has the ability to give life (what other food can you think of that can do this?), are enormous. I won't try to cover it all in detail here, just rest assured that growing sprouts at home on a small scale is a fantastic thing we can do for the health of our bodies!

I have started with two pasta sauce size jars (Fowlers #20) and put a small amount of legumes in each. The first jar held some whole lentils while the second contained some of the mung beans I purchased recently.

Both being larger legumes, I followed the suggestion in my book to soak them in water for twelve hours before draining them and then rinsing twice daily. Here is their progress since they were started three days ago:
The lentil sprouts are nutty and a little grassy flavoured. Quite tender to the bite.
The mung beans on the other hand were grown in darkness, as per the books recommendation.. This was done by wrapping it in a kitchen towel and placing in a dark corner of the kitchen:

Sprouted mung beans can be eaten at the appearance of a root, or later as shoots emerge.
Both jars of sprouts were grown in the same spot, held in place upside down with the use of an empty ice-cream container.  The stage the mung beans are at now are what I remember from my oh, so delicious salad I consumed while out and about recently. They are very flavoursome, not  as 'grassy' as the lentil sprouts although ever so slightly chewy. I put this down to them not being grown under pressure, which my faithful little book suggests. To do this, the beans will need a vessel that eliminates light, drains freely from the bottom, while being open at the top to allow a small weight to be placed on top of the beans on about the second day. The beans apparently like to squish together as they grow and not be jostled about when rinsed, making them deliciously plump. I'm racking my brain to think of a suitable vessel and am coming up at a loss. I don't really want to sprout the beans in plastic if I can avoid it.

I would also like to try my hand at making a rudimentary shelf/rack to hold the jars on such an angle that they drain without toppling over (quite a problem in my makeshift ice-cream container rack!). This past week I've found myself refining my hacksawing skills on other projects, so feel ready to give this a go! Now, to just source some hardwood . Other beans/seeds I think I'd like to try include mustard, rocket, lettuce, sunflower and fenugreek...

Do you grow sprouts? What are your favourites? What method do you use? Aaaaand, how do you like to EAT them?

Comments

  1. I am just sprouting again! After getting through my 'greens' too quickly each week or fortnight from our local organic farmers outlet, I thought, why not use the fancy device I bought and have sprouts on hand!!

    I would add something green & crunchy to just about every one of my meals if I can... I particularly like mixed mash & sprouts on top! Or satay chicken sticks on a bed of alfalfa sprouts!

    http://www.greenharvest.com.au/seeds/sprouting_seeds.html

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  2. You are so good to grow your own sprouts! I'm sure they taste all the better for the effort you've put in.

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  3. Goodness! I just soak the mungs, and let them sit out in a canning jar with lid on the counter, or windowsill rinsing them morning and night for a few days before tucking them into the fridge to keep longer still rinsing 2x a day. Works well. Enough for me anyway. :) My jar is on the counter. Guess I should set some to soak before bed.

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  4. I have also recently been reading more about sprouting seeds and how much more digestible they are once sprouted. I made this sprouted lentil soup which is really lovely http://africanaussie-recipes.blogspot.com/2011/08/sprouted-lentil-soup.html I didn't know about compressing them that sounds very interesting.

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  5. i used to grow them about 30 years ago but my sprouting days fell by the wayside like a lot of things i used to do but it's good to be reminded of these forgotten gems..your method sounds more sophisticated than mine was but better because the seeds are not sitting in water at all..must get onto it asap..jane

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  6. I tried but failed, I'll give it a go again, thanks! Great post and brilliant pictures

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  7. So timely, this post, as I was pondering sprouting this morning. I'm now more inspired and off to get some mung beans in the morning! xx

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  8. Ooh, you have a fancy sprouter, dixiebelle? What fun this would be. Happy munching! (and THANKyou for the link - very interesting!)

    Thanks, Keely. Homemade or homegrown food always tastes much nicer than bought, at least I think so!

    If it works well, Kimberly, I wouldn't change a thing. I'm just jumping in new following the advice from my trusty little book ;)

    The compressing is very interesting, africanaussie. It would be worth an experiment..just to compare the differences, if any.

    They are so nutritious, Jane, I'm really looking forward to trying some different types. Little gems indeed.

    Thanks, Orkney - do give it a go, if I managed to muddle my way through it anyone can! So tasty, too.

    Thanks, Fiona - what a coincedence. Happy sprouting :)

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  9. Could you just put a nice smooth rock or 2 or bag of marbles, pastry weights on top of beans to compress?. You could crochet a pretty jar cover - or just some black paper would work. I've never sat them on the just so angle - maybe you could hook the jar on its crochet loops :)

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  10. I eat sprouts, but only cooked, because of concerns about bacteria in bought sprouts. I'd probably eat homegrown ones raw though! :)

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  11. How good are you :-) Do the girls eat them?
    I've never played, but I think Mr Chocolate would be happy if I did.

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  12. Our family likes Broccoli. We either sprout them or plant them and harvest them early "microgreens." I serve them as salad with chicken or as a topping on pasta. If they are sprouts; we also put them in a sandwich with cheese, butter outside of bread and grill "melt" style. I have some mung beans, but haven't tried sprouting them yet.

    Miriam from Texas

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  13. I've got my thinking cap on about the jars, Kirst. I don't think the weighing down is crucual - we've already eaten all the first mung bean sprouts and have more on the go..

    Homegrown sprouts are so fresh, Celia. I agree with you about being concerned with bacteria on bought ones - this would worry me.

    The little one LOVES them, Brydie. It will be a great addition to the lunchboxes - she likes just eating them as they are, although I'm thinking salads of yoghurty dressings, pepitas and other tasty delights..

    I've heard a lot about sprouted broccoli seeds, Miriam. I like the idea of harvesting microgreens, too. Great to hear how you're using them! Try the mung beans - they're really tasty. :)

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  14. I love sprouts, and in wintertime, so do the chickens!
    (Have to confess that while reading this post, my attention was briefly derailed by the phrase "empty ice-cream container"...I think it's time to upgrade my sprouting equipment!)

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  15. I have sprouted green lentils on my toast every morning....hummous, tomato and green lentil for example. They go into soups and salads for lunch and any curry or pasta sauce too. Love 'em. I've been using the same piece of cheesecloth on the top for several years and it's now stained a beautiful deep warm brown colour which is food for thought in itself ;)
    xx

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  16. Hi Christine! I have given sprouting a go after seeing this post and used a very simple sprouting jar solution. Here's my post on it if you are interested. http://bravenewfiona.blogspot.com/2011/10/simple-life-challenge-sprouting.html
    Thanks for all the good info you put in your blog! xx Fi

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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