Sprouts! An awesome addition to almost any dish. Sprouts are a rich source of fibre and are considered a great support to your immune system with more enzymes than other uncooked fruits and veggies. They are said to help with weight loss, reduce blood pressure, help prevent cold sores and much more. The best part about making your own sprouts? It’s super easy and much cheaper and more rewarding than buying from your local supermarket.
So how do you make sprouts? For starters you will need a few things:
- A sprouting container. You can use anything from a glass jar, a tray, a flat container or a purpose bought Sprouter. Whatever works best for you!
- A colander or something to rinse your seeds
- Seeds (prior to soaking, seeds should be stored in a cool, dry and dark place).
Now, for the sprouting part. There are a few easy steps you need to take when sprouting. These include: soaking, rinsing, draining, airing and storage.
”Wake” your seeds by soaking them in water. Just enough to cover your seeds and give them a light swirl to ensure all are surrounded by water.
Depending on the size of your seeds, you’ll need to soak from a few hours to overnight. A general rule is your large bean seeds would soak overnight (8-12 hours), your medium seeds around 4-6 hours and your small seeds such as Alfalfa or similar seeds should only soak only 1-2 hours. If there are any seeds still floating after soaking, remove these. Sometimes some seeds can be a bit hard. You might even have had success soaking that type of seed before and now for some reason they just won’t open. Try soaking these in warm water for a longer period and they should open. Play around, you’ll get the hang of it!
This is essential! You want your seeds to germinate and grow and to do that your seeds need moisture. So you want to rinse at least twice per day under a running tap. Using a colander or some type of netting or gauze strung or elasticated over your jar makes this process a little easier. Make sure you give them a really good swish around with the water to clean and also aerate the seeds before disposing of the water (handy tip – this water is great for pot plants).
You should drain your seeds pretty well in between rinses. To do this you can shake, bounce and spin your seeds or if you have a sprouter, you can twirl them. The better your seeds are drained the less chance you have of them rotting and we’re pretty sure you don’t want to eat rotten seeds! As mentioned above a gauze or net over the jar whilst its turned upside down allows for the water to drain out and the seeds to remain in the jar.
Your sprouts need air so don’t cover them as they’ll go south pretty quickly. Put them somewhere close to a window or where there is a bit of air movement to help them along. Depending on the sprouts you’re growing, we have found less light is better for the first day or two then move them to an area which is more sunny – this is not crucial if space is limited.
After a day or three of repeated rinsing, draining and airing, depending on the time of year, you will start to see your sprouts sprouting. Once they are at the desired size, you will want to store them.
Give your sprouts a final rinse and drain thoroughly. Let them sit (you can cover them lightly) until they are dry to the touch. Once they are dry you can put them into a container to store in the fridge. Sprouts can last for about a week in the fridge so remember to start your next batch so they are starting to sprout before you run out.
Then munch away! Add to salads, soups, stews, sandwiches or even on their own. A very yummy and healthy addition to whatever you may be eating.