Tag Archives: Micronutrient

The Best Way to Grow Food in Your Kitchen

7 Mar

A sprouting glass jar with mung beans sproutin...

I’ve had grand aspirations to grow my own vegetables.  As a hungry vegan, growing my own would make eating my veggies that much more attainable and satisfying.  Homegrown veg are local (obviously) and can be organic. You have control over the process from start to finish and you reap the reward!

But, life can move fast.  We have priorities.  And if becoming a small-scale farmer isn’t a priority to you, it helps to take little steps without getting overwhelmed.  In this consumer culture it gives me peace of mind to do something, no matter how small, to create.

Enter sprouts!  Remember those cute little chia pets?  That green stuff was sprouted seeds!  Remember when you could go to any grocery store and get alfalfa?  Not so much any more due to e. coli health scares.  Know what’s easier than sprouts at the store that could contain e. coli?  Sprouts that took you a few days to grow on your kitchen counter for a fraction of the cost.  Sprouts are full of micronutrients (more than a mature plant!) – all the things the little plant would need to grow after germinating are most available for your body to absorb.

You can find instructions on many websites for sprouting, or you could buy a little sprouting container, but I’ll let you know how I do it.  It’s the easiest way and fun!

Materials:
– any wide mouthed glass jar (like a mason jar)
– cheesecloth (can get it at the dollar store)
– rubber band
– a packet of sprouting seeds (I get them at a health food store, or you can just use some organic lentils if you have them at home)

IMG_2545

These are the seeds I used. I think there was red clover, mung bean, radish seeds, and something else.

Steps:

1) Fill jar about 1/4 full with the seeds.  Put the piece of cheesecloth over the top to cover and secure with a rubber band.
Rinse and drain the seeds through the cloth.  Fill the jar again with cool water to soak the seeds.  Probably 6-12 hours.  Overnight works.

2) Drain water when soaking is done.  Then rinse and drain the water this time.  Put the jar somewhere out of direct light, upside-down and on an angle to let excess water drain off (pictured below).

3) Repeat step 2 twice daily for 2-6 days, until sprout is as long as the seed or grain it came from, or when the tiny seeds have broken away from their hull.  Basically they will look like sprouts and will not be difficult to chew.

Here are my sprouts (after soaking) on day 1 and 3:

Day 1 after soaking (top) and Day 3 (bottom)

Day 1 after soaking (top) and Day 3 (bottom)

I ate them yesterday as part of a salad but didn’t take a picture of the salad.  It looked a bit like the one below.

Organic Quinoa Salad

Organic Quinoa Salad (Photo credit: uwenna)

I also made a simple dressing by squeezing half a lemon over the quinoa then adding about a teaspoon each of flax oil and olive oil.  I also put in a little salt and pepper and a pinch of cumin to take it up a notch.

Usually I would make more than just this little bit of sprouts but I only had about a tablespoon left in the package.  You can eat sprouts in salads, on sandwiches, or just eat them as a snack if you’re that hardcore.  It’s an easy way to add nutrition to your diet, with minimal effort and without spending a lot of money.  Awesome!

So many seeds are suitable for sprouting!  What have you tired to sprout?

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