In my post Sprouting, nuts, seeds and legumes I discussed the benefits of sprouted seeds. Then I discussed how I activate my nuts and seeds. Below is my low-budget method to making sprouts at home with stuff you likely already have lying around. You can begin this right now!
As mentioned in previously, can buy specialty equipment and seeds for sprouting. They probably do make life easier and getting the seeds from somewhere like SproutsPeople ensures the stock is non-gmo, organic and hasn't been sitting in warehouses and shop shelves for years. But honestly, I've always low-budgeted my sprouting.
What I use: A large mason jar
Nylon stocking socks (preferably clean and unused!)
Seeds of your choice. Today, I'm using quinoa and green lentils. But peas, mung beans, chickpeas and adzuki beans works best in my experience.
A wire strainer
1. First, soak the lentils and quinoa overnight in a large bowl. I did I cup of each seed,
2. First thing in the morning, drain the seeds in the strainer under the tap. Rinse them really well.[caption id="attachment_711" align="aligncenter" width="459"] Dry them off as much as you can.[/caption]
3. Put the seeds in the mason jar. I really should get one of these mason jars strainer tops but a stocking over the hole works well, too. I split my 1 cup of soaked seeds into 4 mason jars. You don't want to overcrowd the jars as the sprouts will expand.[caption id="attachment_713" align="aligncenter" width="456"] Unused socks please if you'll be feeding these to anyone else.[/caption]
4. Now, you want to make sure excess water can drip out and fresh air can flow in. Store the stockinged mason jar upside down or tilted in a tray to catch drippings. Keep out of the sun for now.[caption id="attachment_714" align="aligncenter" width="455"] Store in a position where water can drip out and fresh air can flow in.[/caption]
5. Things can get pretty fetid and funky pretty quickly in that damp, festering jar. You want to be diligent about rinsing the seeds and the jar at least twice a day, but possibility more frequently in summer and in humid conditions. Rinse the seeds as before and replace in the jar.
After a day or two you should start seeing little white tails bursting forth. Different seeds will sprout at different rates. Quinoa begins to sprout in as little as a few hours. With young sprouted quinoa you can cook as you usually would -- just use a about 1/3 of the water you usually would; they're already soaked through. They can also be lightly steamed -- which is my preferred method. Or you can wait a few days more 'til they sprout further and eat them as a sprout, like salad.
This is how my quinoa looked after 48 hours of being in the jar. See those lovely little green shoots? From here I lightly (1 min, or even a bit less) steamed them.[caption id="attachment_709" align="aligncenter" width="446"] Push through little daisies and make 'em come up.[/caption]
Lentils are my favourite thing to sprout. They're yummy. This time I let them grow for 4 days before harvesting. After the initial shoots appear after about day 2, you can move them into the sun for a couple hours a day.[caption id="attachment_716" align="aligncenter" width="444"] Looks like it's harvest time![/caption] [caption id="attachment_717" align="aligncenter" width="337"] Looks at those beauties! Ready to munch.[/caption]
But a word of caution. You don't want to eat too many raw sprouted legumes. apparently, they still contain some toxins. Though, I've never had an issue munching these green lentils raw. But you may want to lightly steam, braise or add to soups and stews.
There's your little introduction to kitchen-sink farming. Give it a go. I find it to be a fulfilling pursuit for a condo-dweller like me.[caption id="attachment_718" align="aligncenter" width="428"] My home-grown sprout-topped salad.[/caption]