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Tutorial Tuesday: Sprouts!

February 9, 2010

This week I’m going with something a bit different for the tutorial. That’s right, I’m going to show you how to grow your own food. My apartment doesn’t get very good light, I have no yard, and only a fire escape that I’m not allowed to keep any plants on, yet I can easily grow my own sprouts. You don’t need dirt or sunlight, so it’s perfect for apartment-dwellers. With some seeds, a lot of water, and a week, you too can grow your own tasty, crunchy greens. Did I mention that it’s really cheap? Yep, much cheaper than buying sprouts at the store.

Materials:
Sprouting seeds (I used alfalfa, but I’ve also grown clover, broccoli, and mung beans. You can buy tons of varieties from SproutPeople or at your local hippie store)
Mason jar (a big one!)
Mesh jar lid or cheesecloth
Water

I bought this mesh lid at a hippie food co-op store, but before I got it I used cheesecloth. It seems like you could probably make your own out of metal screen mesh from a hardware store, if you wanted. (Saying mesh too many times in my head made it sound weird to me. Mesh mesh mesh. Doesn’t sound like a word anymore.)

Methods:
1. Measure out 1-2 tablespoons of seeds and pour them in your jar. It looks like a tiny bit of seeds for such a big jar, but trust me, they expand.

2. Add a couple inches of cold water and soak your seeds overnight or all day. 8-12 hours should do it.

3. After the seeds have soaked, dump the water, fill up the jar about halfway with new water, and dump that to rinse your seeds. Drain them well (I set mine on my dish-drying rack for a couple of minutes), then leave them alone for the day. You don’t need to worry about sunlight because without leaves, they’re not photosynthesizing yet. I just keep mine on my kitchen counter.

4. I soaked mine overnight and then drained them in the morning, so I’m just going to describe the process with that timeline, but it doesn’t really matter as long as you do the rinsing about every 8-12 hours. So, in the evening, rinse your seeds a couple of times, as above. Mine had actually already sprouted at this point, but I only took pictures in the morning, with natural light.

5. Continue rinsing your seeds/sprouts every 8-12 hours. Use lots of water and give them a couple of rinses, then make sure to let them drain well.

Amazing, right?

6. Continue for 5-6 days, then give them a final rinse and 8-12 hours later, put them in the refrigerator for eating. You can do this final wash in a salad spinner to get rid of the brown hulls and dry your sprouts extra well, and in this case you don’t need to wait as long before putting them in the fridge.

I like to add them to salads, sandwiches, and wraps. Yum!

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