Apr 26, 2012

Growing Sprouts in a Basket

Alfalfa Sprouts

Growing sprouts is so simple and rewarding.  Need I say how nutritious they are?  For small seeds like alfalfa, a bamboo basket is better than a jar.  Just look at the picture you can grow sprouts that look that good.  Not a twisted mess like what you get when you grow them in a jar.  I learned this method from the book Sprouts The Miracle Food by Steve Meyerowitz.  So first you need a bamboo basket.  It must be bamboo.  The basket needs to have a tight enough weave that the small seeds won't fall though the holes.  I get mine at second hand stores for 50 cents to a dollar.

The other thing you need is a "greenhouse".  Mine is the packaging from an ice cream cake from Cold Stone.  You can get similar packaging from a bakery.  This keeps the seeds from drying out.

If your "greenhouse" is tall enough you can stack two baskets.  Then you can grow two kinds of sprouts at the same time, or alternate starting dates.

Last of all, you need seeds.  I get my alfalfa seeds from a health food store.  I get radish seeds from a garden store that sells seeds in bulk.  Buying seeds in seed packages is too expensive.  You can buy seeds for sprouting on line.  Make sure the seeds you are spouting are untreated seeds.  Small seeds that I've spouted are alfalfa and radish. You can sprout broccoli, cabbage, fennel, kale, turnip, mustard and clover seeds in baskets. (I'm sure there are other seeds that would work.)  When picking seeds to sprout it is not surprising that radish sprouts taste hot like radishes, broccoli sprouts taste kind of like broccoli.  You can mix stronger flavored seeds with mild seeds like alfalfa. 

Before you start you need to clean the basket.  You do this by boiling the basket for 3 minutes. 

The spoon is keeping the basket from floating.  Remember the spoon handle will be hot.
For this post I'm sprouting 2 tablespoons alfalfa.
Steps for sprouting:

Rinse the seeds.  If you have a strainer with small enough holes, rinse the seeds with it.  If not put the seeds in a jar, fill it with water.  Wait till the seeds settle in the bottom, then pour off as much water as possible without losing any seeds.  Repeat. 

Soak the seeds in a jar for 8-10 hours with plenty of water.

Pour the seeds into the basket.  Rinse with water.  To rinse use the side spray hose or set your faucet to spray.  The force from a regular faucet will move the seeds around too much.  A trickle of water won't give the seeds the rinse they need.  To let the water drain tip the basket so that water will run off basket slats. 

When basket is done dripping, put the basket in it's "greenhouse" so it will not dry out.  Just place the top on, do not seal. 

Rinse the seeds at least twice a day, once in the morning, and again in the evening.  Soon you will have sprouts to harvest.

These sprouts are ready to eat. To harvest, grab down at the roots and gently pull. You can rinse off the hulls but it's not necessary. The hulls don't have any flavor they just add fiber. The sprouts now need to be stored in the fridge. Leave the sprouts in the basket covered by a plastic bag until you are ready to eat them. You need to keep rinsing your sprouts once a day to keep them fresh. The sooner they're eaten the fresher they'll be.

1 Tablespoon radish seeds.

Ready to enjoy!


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