Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

How to Grow Sprouts


Sprouts not only taste good, but they are also a great source of vitamins, fiber, protein, anti-oxidants, and enzymes. A sprout is produced when a seed starts growing into a vegetable. Sprouts can grow from the seeds of vegetables, from grains such as buckwheat, and from beans. While Mung beans are perhaps the most common source of sprouts, you can also obtain good results from lentils, soybeans and chickpeas just to name a few.

Sprouts can be grown almost anywhere and the best part is you only need a few basic supplies to get started. By following a few simple steps, you can receive a continual supply of nutritious sprouts.

While there are several commercial products available to cultivate sprouts, here are three of the easiest methods to help you get started.

- Growing Sprouts in Flower Pots -

1. Start with a clean clay or plastic flower pot. Make sure there is a hole in the bottom of the pot to ensure good drainage. Then place a piece of cheesecloth or muslin in the bottom of the pot over the hole so that the seeds/beans cannot fall out.

2. Next, soak the seeds or beans overnight and then put them in the pot. Remove any that are broken or damaged. Cover the plant pot with a dish.

3. Once a day, hold the pot under running water for a few minutes. This is to soak the seeds/beans thoroughly.

4. Once the sprouts begin to show, remove the dish and cover the pot with a piece of clear plastic wrap to let in the light. Place the sprouting pot near a window that allows daylight but is not in direct sunlight.

- Growing the Sprouts in Trays -

1. Soak the seeds or beans overnight. Remove any that are broken or damaged before you begin the sprouting process.

2. Select a low, flat dish (like a pie plate) or tray. You can purchase growing trays wherever planting supplies are sold.

3. Next, spread out a 2-inch layer of soil and then sprinkle the soaked seeds or beans on top of the soil.

4. Cover the seeds/beans with four layers of damp newspaper.

5. Cover the top of the tray with clear plastic wrap.

6. When the sprouts start to lift the plastic cover, (usually about three days) remove the newspaper.

7. Place the tray in a window so that the light can turn the sprouts green. You will need a space to place the sprouting tray that receives daylight but is not in direct sunlight.

8. Because the thin layer of soil dries out quickly, water twice each day.

9. After about 8-10 days, you will have sprouts tall enough to harvest.

- Growing Sprouts in a Jar -

1. Soak the seeds, grains, or beans in lukewarm water overnight in a wide-mouth glass jar. Remove any that are broken or damaged before you begin the sprouting process. (Sprouting increases the seed volume. 4-tablespoons will be sufficient for a quart size container.)

2. In the morning, pour off the water in the jar and rinse the seeds/beans thoroughly.

3. Place a piece of cheesecloth or muslin over the mouth of the jar. Use a rubber band to hold the material securely in place. This makes rinsing easier.

4. To keep the sprouts constantly damp, repeat the rinsing 2-3 times a day. Remember to drain any excess water because the sprouts should not stand in water.

5. Keep the jar away from the light for the first few days.

6. When the seeds/beans begin to sprout, (usually about the forth day) move the jar into the light to activate the chlorophyll and turn the sprouts green.

- Harvesting and Storing the Sprouts -

Newly germinated grain, seed, and sprouts, increase in food value in the very first period of growth. Grains should be harvested and eaten from when they are six days old until they are 4-5 inches tall. To harvest, just take your kitchen scissors and cut what you need.

Sprouts from beans, peas, etc., are ready earlier and can be eaten when they are 3-6 days old, depending on the type of sprout. For spouts grown in no soil or in seed trays, you can harvest the green "grass" when it starts to grow. Sprouts, from grain sown in jars, are ready sooner and are edible even before they turn green. Seeds sown in soil take a little longer.

If necessary, wash the sprouts thoroughly to remove the seed coat. Sprouts need to be stored in the refrigerator once they are ready to eat. Put the sprouts in tight sealing bags, and they will remain flavorful and crisp for one to two weeks. Rinsing the sprouts daily under cold water can extend their life.

Sprouts may be frozen by blanching them over steam for three minutes and then cooling them in ice water. Drain them and pack into freezer containers.

- Some of the Kinds of Seeds/Beans You Can Sprout -

The following list gives some of the popularly sprouted seeds/beans. It is not all inclusive as you can sprout almost any kind of seed. Remember that seeds soak up 2-3 times their dry volume in water and sprouts need at least six times the volume occupied by the seeds. So be sure that your container is large enough, and start with a minimal amount of seed in a container like a jar, until you determine the correct quantity that will grow to the sprout size you like, without being difficult to remove.

Your local garden shop or health food store will carry a line of seeds for sprouting. When purchasing seeds for sprouting, be certain that the seeds are intended for food and not for planting. This precaution is necessary because some seeds meant for planting have been treated with fungicides or insecticides to protect the young seedlings when planted in a field or garden.

Alfalfa - should be soaked for 6-12 hours. The seeds can be planted in the pots or jars and also in the flats with soil. 1-part seed gives 10-parts sprouts in approximately 5-6 days. Sprouts can be eaten after 3 days. When the root is 1-2 inches long, it will begin to develop tiny green leaves. At this stage, it needs to be eaten immediately so the plant will not switch to photosynthesis that exhausts the stored food in the seed.

Peas - when soaked in a glass jar, will grow sprouts in about 3 days. When the roots are 2-inches long, they are ready to eat. 1-part peas gives 2-parts sprouts.

Lentils - can be grown in either a glass jar or a plant pot and need to be soaked for 12-hours. The sprouts are ready in 3-4 days. Lentil sprouts are ready to be eaten when the root is 1-inch long. 1-part lentils gives 6-parts sprouts.

Barley, Oats, and Rye - should be soaked for 12-hours and then can either be grown as "grass" to harvest, or sprouts ready to eat after 3-4 days. The ideal length for eating is about 1/2-inch. 1-part seed gives 2-parts sprouts.

Soybeans - can be grown in a glass jar or a pot. They need to be soaked for 12-hours and sprouts are usually ready after 3-5 days. They are ready to eat when the root is 2-inches long. 1-part beans gives 4-parts sprouts.

Mung Beans - after soaking for 12-hours, these beans can be grown by any method. Mung beans are the most commonly grown sprouts and are usually ready to eat after 3-5 days. When the bright, white root grows from 1-2 inches long, they are ready to eat. 1-part beans gives 4-parts sprouts.

By growing your own sprouts, you will save yourself money because it is less expensive to buy sprout seeds and grow and harvest the sprouts yourself, than it is to buy the sprouts from a market. Sprouting at home takes only a few minutes a day, and can produce a good part of your daily requirements of the nutrients you need from fresh produce. The hassles are minor, the costs are low, and the freshness is wonderful.

Jeremy is the owner and publisher of Organic News. Go to http://www.ge-free.com for all the latest organic food articles and news.


MORE RESOURCES:

Eggland's believes nutrition rules the roost
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader
While the egg industry in general has had sales as flat as a crepe, Eggland's Best L.L.C., a producer of higher-nutrition eggs, has seen unit sales increase by double digits each of the last 17 years, an average of 14 percent each year, said Charles T ...



On a Low-Fat, High Protein Quest? Try These Snacks
Bloomberg
Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Quest Nutrition President Tom Bilyeu discusses the company's low fat, high protein food products with Pimm Fox on "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg). Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. Washington ...

and more »


Nutritional data featured on schools' website
Tallmadge Express
Tallmadge -- Nutrition information for food served within the Tallmadge City School District is now accessible online. About the same time as the school district launched its revamped website Aug. 11, it also started using a third-party service that ...

and more »


Nutrition: Mushrooms add versatility
Sioux Falls Argus Leader
Mushrooms are an inexpensive, versatile vegetable that complements any cuisine. The earthy, umami-rich taste of mushrooms allows them to blend well with a variety of flavors. Monterey Mushrooms Inc., a family-owned and -operated agribusiness, is the ...



BizPac Review

Michelle Obama's nutrition nannies want to ruin your Labor Day s'mores
BizPac Review
In honor of “National Roasted Marshmallow Day” on August 30, the U.S. Forest Service posted an article Friday that not only included some basic safety tips, but some not-so-subtle hints on how to keep kids from becoming obese while enjoying the gooey ...

and more »


Businessweek

Tossing the First Lady's Lunch
Businessweek
As superintendent of the Fort Thomas Independent School District in northern Kentucky, Gene Kirchner oversees 3,000 students who buy about 1,400 cafeteria lunches each day. At least they used to. Since federal school lunch nutrition requirements ...

and more »


Cayuga County Senior Nutrition Program menus for Sept. 1-5, 2014
Auburn Citizen
Menus are subject to change. The Cayuga County Senior Nutrition Program is held at noon Mondays through Fridays at seven nutrition sites in Cayuga County. Reservations should be made 24 hours in advance by calling: Boyle Center, (315) 253-1550; ...

and more »


CNN

Fuel right! 9 triathlon nutrition rules
CNN
(Triathlete.com) -- A solid nutrition strategy will help your body make the most out of all your hours swimming, biking and running. We asked registered dietitian and multiple Ironman finisher Lauren Antonucci for her top nine rules for beginner ...



Opposing Views

Nutrition, Competitive Foods Rules Among Top Concerns for School Food ...
Education Week News (blog)
School nutrition workers identified compliance with federal rules regarding nutrition and competitive foods, cost, and participation among the "most pressing issues" for meal programs in a survey released by the School Nutrition Association this week.
HEALTHY TODAY | School nutrition: Food for thought and funMadison Park Times
Students Throwing Away First Lady Michelle Obama's Healthy School LunchesOpposing Views

all 11 news articles »


Better living through nutrition
Food Business News (registration)
But it would be a mistake to forget about baby boomers, a market segment that has buying power and a greater incentive to use nutrition as a means of staving off the effects of aging. “With the 60-plus segment of the world's population expected to ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.