To get you through those long days of winter, I have an easy method for growing fresh vegetables indoors.
This method is not only quick, it is super healthy and requires minimal work and materials.
Simply measure out some seeds, soak them in a jar, rinse and wait. Before you know it, you’ll be feasting on tasty sprouts!
This post is the second one of a series. The first one discussed was the How to Grow Microgreens on Your Windowsill post.
Microgreens typically require soil and a sunny window to grow. We watch the seedlings grow until they develop a cotyledon or first set of true leaves, then we clip them above the soil line. I love this method for growing greens and the taste is absolutely fresh and delicious. I like to add microgreens to a salad or atop a sandwich or wrap.
Sprouts are different.
With sprouts, we eat the entire plant, roots and all. Sprouts don’t develop their first set of true leaves and don’t require soil to grow. They may also be grown anywhere, including a dark corner, since they don’t require the sun to convert chlorophyll in the leaves.
Sprouts have a different taste and texture than microgreens. They are crunchy, juicy and may be cooked. Unlike microgreens, which cannot be cooked and have a more delicate consistency.
|Types of Sprouts|
I buy my seeds at the local health food store. They may also be purchased online through seed companies. Here is a link for the seeds that I use.
Nutritional Benefits of Sprouts
Sprouting increases the content of many beneficial nutrients and amino acids, making them more accessible to the body. It also increases the vitamin and mineral content of the seeds. Since, we eat the entire plant when we are eating sprouts, we are consuming all of the nutrients and vitamins required by that plant to grow.
The process of sprouting makes beans and seeds more easily digestible. Sprouting helps to break down anti-nutrients in nuts, grains and seeds. Anti-nutrients make these food harder for us to digest. Sprouting helps to break these anti-nutrients down.
Broccoli sprouts have been found to contain 10-100 times the Sulforaphane, of corresponding mature broccoli. Sulforaphane is an anti-cancer compound found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. This compound has also been shown to help the liver detoxify carcinogens and other toxic compounds.
How to Sprout Seeds in a Jar
- Seeds (ie. broccoli, radishes, mung beans, lentils, etc.)
- Sprouting Jar
- or Canning Jar with a piece of cheese cloth and a rubber band;
- may also use a Sprouting Lid that fits on most glass canning jars
- Bowl (for holding the jar)
- Measure 2 tbsp of seeds and pour them into your jar. (*Depending on the size of the seeds, it may be less or more, read the seed packet directions for specifics)
- Close the jar lid, or cut a piece of cheese cloth to fit the top of the jar and secure it with a rubber band.
- Fill the jar with water, to cover the seeds, through the mesh lid or cheese cloth.
- Leave the seeds to soak for 12-24 hours.
- When ready, pour out the old water and rinse your seeds several times through the lid.
- Then, turn your jar upside down and on a 45 degree angle and place it into a bowl to drain.
- Do not place your jar in a sunny window. A countertop, out of direct sunlight is best!
- Rinse your seeds 2 to 3 times per day, each time placing the jar back into the bowl, in the same position.
- Don’t allow your seeds to dry in the jar.
- After several days, you will see the seeds begin to sprout. Continue rinsing and draining your jar into a bowl.
- In about 5+ days, your seeds will have sprouted and filled the jar. When most have sprouted, remove your sprouts into a strainer and rinse well.
- Store your sprouts in a closed glass container or resealable plastic bag.
- Use within 3 to 5 days. Rinse before use.
To Avoid Food-Borne Illness from Sprouting
Be sure to properly wash and sterilize your sprouting container. Always thoroughly wash your hands when handling the seeds and jar. Keep your surrounding surfaces clean and be sure to follow a proper seed rinsing schedule.
Give your sprouts a good sniff before refrigerating. If they have an off smell, rinse them again. When clean, they won’t have any particular foul odour. Be sure to smell them again after storing in the fridge and before eating.
If you’ve sprouted your own seeds in the past, I would love to hear about it. Which seeds do you prefer? Please leave a message in the comments section below. I will also be happy to answer any questions.
Here are the tools that I mentioned in the post.