A Bounty of Sprouts
I was so happy when Mel asked me to do a podcast with her on sprouting, and equally glad when she and Lisa asked me to write a blog post -- my first one! So ... Here goes. I trust that the podcast and this blog is helpful to you, and will encourage you to easilygrow and eat yummy, healthy sprouts, which give you much more nutrition than eating the full-grown vegetable! Use your imaginations! The ways to incorporate sprouts into your daily eating plans are endless! Use them in salads, on sandwiches, in smoothies, soups, entrees, baking and any others that come to mind...
I've always been fascinated by sprouting, and grew many alfalfa and bean sprout combinations in the '80s, using a clean glass mayonnaise jar covered by a piece of an old clean nylon stocking, held fast to the jar with a strong rubber band. Soak, drain rinse, repeat the drain rinse process twice a day for a few days, and voila! A whole jar of crunchy sprouts for salads and sandwiches!
I drifted away from sprouting for many years, and came back to it with new vigor when I read "Fresh Food from Small Spaces: the square-inch gardener's guide to year-round growing, fermenting, and sprouting” by R.J. Ruppenthal (available from BARD: db69996) which I highly recommend to everyone.
After reading the book, my partner Rich and I began growing delicious sprouts from a sandwich sprout mix which we purchased from a local nursery, along with a compact plastic sprouting tray, complete with two layers of several divided sections, with tiny holes for drainage and rinsing. We grew and enjoyed those sprouts, and then found The Sprout House, where we've been purchasing Veggie Queen, which is their number 1 recommended very tasty sprout variety.
Recently, Rich bought an Easy Sprouter from the Sprout House. It's a very simple jar-like container, complete with two lids, one with holes for draining and rinsing, and another for storage in the refrigerator for when the sprouts have fully grown.
At first, we were a bit baffled by the instructions, which we scanned. We could read some of them, but had difficulty reading the chart. We went to the website of the manufacturer, and discovered the same instructions. They were a bit easier to read -- including the chart -- which became much more understandable when I pasted it into an Excel spreadsheet. The Easy Sprouter requires less rinsing, the sprouts grow more quickly due to the heat created by the construction of the jar. We grew a batch, and they were wonderful. Although I have my tray, I'm planning to order one of these jars for myself, due to its compact portable size. (If I'm traveling, I can bring it along and keep growing my sprouts.)
I am looking forward to sprouting grains, other vegetables and herbs, as well as trying my hand at growing microgreens. I tried once, and had a small success. It's a bit more complicated, as you need to use certain soil for these seeds. For now, I'll keep sprouting, and see what works for various cooking as well as raw uses.
Have fun! Try it!
Also, please check BARD and bookshare for a multitude of cookbooks and gardening books which have sections on sprouting.
Thanks everyone for listening and reading! Happy sprouting and great eating!