Living a more organic, eco-conscious and chemical-free life isn’t all label reading and stressing about off-gassing from your mattress. It’s fun. It’s empowering. It’s about taking back control of your health, your home, your food and your life. One of the most enjoyable – and tasty – parts of this new lifestyle is growing your own food. Now, before you start babbling a litany of excuses about not having time or space or whatnot, I’m talking about the kind of growing that takes up just a bit of counter space – no yard or yard work required. I’m talking about sprouting.
It’s much easier than you think and you reap what you sow so quickly that you won’t even have time to get bored and abandon your new sprouting project. While you can buy a fancy sprouting container, you can also sprout seeds with tools as simple as a glass jar, cheesecloth and a rubber band.
You can use mixed sprouting seeds for a delicious variety of flavors for salads and sandwiches, or pick your favorites like arugula, radish, fenugreek and the tried and true alfalfa. Most seeds will be grown to edible length in 4-5 days, some a day earlier, some a day later, but all quickly and fresh as can be.
If you’re going to use the jar method, follow these simple steps and you’ll be a sprouting super star in no time! (These same steps work for sprouting containers but you will use the provided covers instead of cheesecloth.)
- Rinse your seeds to remove any dirt or debris.
- Spread the seeds in an even layer in your container.
- Add water to the container, just enough to cover the seeds, and soak for approximately 12 hours.
- Empty the soaking water, then rinse and drain as much water as possible from your seeds. Keep them moist by placing cheesecloth over the opening of the jar and securing with a rubber band.
- Store your container cloth-side down in a dish rack or on its side.
- Repeat the rinse and drain step every 6-8 hours until your sprouts are the desired length.
- Trim, store in the refrigerator and eat within 3 days.*
*All sprouts have the possibility of being contaminated with e. coli bacteria and should be eaten with caution.