Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Gardening on the Kitchen Counter: Sprouts in a Glass Jar

We were at the garden shop this weekend and I saw a display of sprout seeds and sprouting trays. I love sprouts - alfalfa but also the spicy blends. I had a vague recollection that you didn't really need special equipment so I got a pack of seeds and came home and googled - there are lots of sources but they all say about the same thing: just grow them in a jar on the counter!   It was supposed to be extremely easy, and so it was.

My tablespoon of seeds turned into three cups of sprouts after they were fluffed.  They are nice and crisp and tasty.  I started with alfalfa but plan to see if my grocery store has the seeds in bulk so I can do radish or rocket - YUM.  There wasn't much to it and it was fun to see them change and grow so quickly.  The kids liked it too.  No delayed gratification - this is my kind of gardening!

Here is the method:
Use a glass jar, about a quart size, a piece of cheesecloth or nylon stocking (like pantyhose), and a rubber band or jar ring.  Keep the jar on the countertop (it shouldn't be warmer than about 80 degrees though).  It doesn't need light while soaking or growing.
  1. Add about 1 T sprouts to the jar.  Put the cheesecloth or nylon stocking on top and secure it down with rubber band or jar ring.  You'll be adding and pouring water out through the cloth so that the seeds stay in the jar.
  2. Add about half a jar of cool tapwater and soak overnight. 
  3. The next day, pour off the water (through the cloth) and add new water to rinse.  Pour off the rinsewater to leave the seeds damp but no puddles in the jar.  Roll the jar around the spread out the seeds over the surface of the glass and leave the jar on it's side.
  4. Continue to rinse and spread out the seeds daily (or twice a day), leaving the cloth on the whole time.  You'll see the sprouts growing.  
  5. By day four or so, the sprouts will be grown and ready.  Put them in the sun for 15 minutes to green them up and activate the phytochemicals.  
  6. Enjoy!  You can store them in the fridge and continue eating for several days.
The purpose of rinsing is to keep them damp but prevent any bacteria from growing in the water.  You shouldn't smell a funky smell - if you do, rinse more or keep it somewhere cooler.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE sprouts too. Thanks for the illustrated instructions. I did not know about sunning. Hope to try it soon.