Sprouts are a very healthy and easy way to grow your own delicious fresh vegetables …no plowing, no weeding, and no ants :-). They also taste much better than what you purchase for more in the grocery stores.
There is absolutely no need to purchase expensive, and hard to clean sprouting machines. Here is an easy and inexpensive way that I have been using for many years.
Step One (Picture 1)
All you need is: a one quart size jar for each seed selection (I simply use empty spaghetti jars), lids for those jars with small wholes punched in them for ventilation, a towel, double layer of cheese cloth or nylon stocking, measuring spoon, and your seeds of choice. In the picture below I am using alfalfa in one jar, and a mixture of lentils (note: use green lentils, not dried lentils from the grocery store), mung beans and adzuki beans in the other jar.
The seeds are very expensive in the health food stores, but I have found an inexpensive way to purchase them in bulk at this link. (You will want to bookmark the page at this link for future reference because they have many great products). I have been purchasing from them for many years, and am well pleased with their products and services.
Step Two (picture 2)
- Place two table spoons of alfalfa seed in one jar, and two tablespoons each of lentils, mung, and adzuki beans in the second jar.
- Add warm water, replace lids
- Set the jars in a dark area, and let them soak overnight.
Note: the seeds will swell (especially the jar with the mixture of seeds), so I have added a good amount of water as you can see in the picture.
Step 3 (See Pictures Below)
- Remove the lids. Using the the cheese cloth over the mouth of the jar, pour the water out as you keep the seeds in the jar.
- Add fresh cool water, and pour it out (using the double layer of cheese cloth to keep the seeds in the jars). Rinse your garden in this manner, until the water is clear.
- With all water poured out of the now rinsed seeds, replace the lids, and place the jars (laying on their side rather than standing upright) in a dark area. Seeds sprout quicker in a dark spot because it mimics the dark conditions soil creates for young seedlings.
- Cover the jar with the mixture of lentils, mung and adzuki seeds with a towel. but do not cover the smaller alfalfa seeds. The larger seeds seem to like one extra night of the extra moisture, and the towel slows down the moisture that normally escapes through the wholes in the lids. Note: This is the first and only night I will use the towel because the seeds will need to aerate hereafter.
Step 4 (See picture below)
- Rinse the seeds twice daily (as in the previous step), and return to the dark area (laying the jars on their side) until they sprout to the desired length.
- The mixture of seeds will be ready first. Once they are ready simply rinse them well, place them in a container, and put them in the refrigerator (they are ready to eat – great in fresh salads). Note: Once in the refrigerator you will need to continue rinsing them once or twice per day to keep them crisp and fresh.
Step 5 (See Pictures Below)
- When the alfalfa is close to the length you desire (don’t let them fill the jar too much as they will not have room to grow) they are ready for the sun.
- Rinse, and place the plants (still inside the jar with lid replaced) in a window (again placing the jar on its side), but keep the the plants cool so they are not overheated. The sun turns them green, and adds healthy chlorophyll. Note: Be sure to continue rinsing them twice per day.
- When they are ready ( about two to three days), rinse them, place in a container, and put them in the refrigerator. The live plants (full of natural enzymes) are now ready to eat… great in salads and on sandwiches. Note: you will need to continue rinsing them daily to keep them fresh and crisp.