Short on space but still want to grow your greens? No matter how small your garden you can grow sprouts. In fact you don’t need a garden at all, the kitchen bench will do just fine! What are the benefits of growing your own sprouts I hear you ask? Well firstly- cost! If you buy a punnet of sprouts at the supermarket you’ll pay around $4-$5 and they will last you about a week. If you buy a packet of seeds to sprout it will cost about the small amount of money but they will last for ages, in some cases all year! Secondly, sprouts are super good for you. They’re little powerhouses of nutrients and energy. The soaking and sprouting process activates the seeds/beans and makes all the goodness available to digest. Thirdly, you don’t need a lot of space nor the right season. You can sprout all year round in the comfort of your kitchen, or anywhere you have the space to sit a jar. In some climates it’s incredibly difficult to garden in winter, consider this your mini indoor garden! Fifthly, you can harvest within a week! There’s not many other crops with such a short turn around.
Oh and did I mention they’re delicious?
What you need:
A clean jar
Cloth such as muslin or a fine net
Seeds to sprout (I use Alfalfa and a mix of Adzuki beans, Mung beans, Lentils, and Fenugreek. You can buy seeds specifically selected for sprouting, which are good for beginners, or you can sprout whatever you have on hand.If you want to sprout something you bought in the grocery store e.g. dried chickpeas, just check it’s from your country as imported products are often irradiated and therefore unable to be sprouted.)
Place a spoonful of seeds in your clean jar. I used a tablespoon of alfalfa and a tablespoon of the mix. They’re small now but the sprouts more than double in size so make sure your jar is large enough! Soak overnight in warm water.
The next morning drain and rinse through the cloth. Leave in a sheltered spot in the kitchen. Warm and airy but not in direct sunlight.
Rinse and drain at least twice a day. This should take less than a minute and I just incorporate it into my daily kitchen tasks i.e. I rinse first thing in the morning while I’m waiting for the kettle to boil and in the evening when I’m tidying up after dinner.
Sit back and marvel at the sprouts doing their thing!
When you like the look of them dig in! You can keep the rest in an airtight container in the fridge.
Note: When you’re sprouting larger things you don’t need such a fine mesh cloth. Below are chickpeas and I’m using the same jar but instead of muslin I’m using a piece of netting left over from sewing my kitchen curtains. The white screw-top is actually part of the original lid which broke, leaving just the screw thread and a perfect opening for draining. Making the best of what we’ve got can be so serendipitous!