There may not be much growing in your garden this time of year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t produce your own delicious and nutritious veggies! How? By sprouting! Sprouting is an inexpensive and easy way to produce fresh, nutrient-packed food through the winter months. It is also a great year-round option for those who live in apartments or with little garden space!
The basic sprouting seeds are alfalfa, almonds, lentils, sesame, sunflower, mustards, and wheat. There are tons of other seed options, but it’s a good idea to begin with one (or a combination of) the seeds listed here to get started (they are the easiest!). These seeds can be found in the bulk section of most health food stores (if you are having a hard time finding the seeds, be sure to check the bulk herb section in case they are in a different location than the rest of the bulk foods)
Turn a small corner of your kitchen into an indoor garden with just a few items:
- One or Two Quart-sized Mason Jar
- Sprouting Strainer Lid or a food-grade screening material like Beyond Gourmet Unbleached Cheesecloth (secured onto jars with rubber bands)
- Seeds (try a mixture of alfalfa and mustard)
Starting your sprouts is easy and can be done in 5 easy steps:
Try starting with 2 quart-sized Mason jars, and see how easy it is to use up your sprouts… if you decide you want more, it is easy to add more jars!
- Clean 2 Mason Jars
- Measure seeds into the jars (mix 3 Tbs alfafa and ½ Tbs mustard in each jar)
- Fill your jars ½ full with water, cover them with sprouting lids or cheesecloth, and let your seeds soak (this mixture needs to soak for 4 hours, but timing will vary according to the seeds you are using)
- After soaking, drain water
- Place mason jars at a 45-degree angle, top-down, in a bowl or dish rack.
Rinse your sprouts twice a day: fill up the jars with water and drain completely. Sprouts should be ready in just a few days! Put sprouts in refrigerator and repeat!
Dry measure for quart jars and initial soaking times of basic sprouting seeds:
Alfalfa: 3-4 Tbs, 4-6 hours
Almonds: 1 cup, 12 hours
Lentils: 1 cup, 12 hours
Sesame: 1 cup, 4-6 hours
Sunflower: 2 cups, 8 hours
Mustards: ¼ cup, 4-6 hours
Wheat: 1 cup, 12 hours
For more information on sprouting, see The Sprouting Book: How to Grow and Use Sprouts to Maximize Your Health and Vitality (Avery Health Guides)