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How to make sprouts in a jar
A general introduction to sprouts.
Making sprouts is easy to do, and provides reliable nutrition year round. It takes just minutes each day, for several days in a row, to make them from seed; they are fresher and use less energy to make then the ones you can buy in a store, and are beautiful as well.
To begin with, you'll want to determine what sort of sprout you'd like
to enjoy. Alfalfa sprouts are a good place to begin; mild, dense and
familiar from grocery store aisles, these are sure to be well received
by others if you decide to share. They are good in salads, sandwiches
and by them selves! If you try one kind of sprout and think it's to
bland, or spicy; or you don't like the texture of it, try another one.
You may be pleasantly surprised! There are as many different flavors of
sprouts as their are seeds to choose from. Sometimes they taste somewhat like the mature plant, and sometimes they don't!
To make sprouts you will need some items to get started. First off, a jar; then you'll need access to drinking water. You'll also need some wire mesh or a strainer of some sort to keep the seeds or sprouts from going down the sink when you empty their water. And, of course, you'll need the seeds (or peas / beans)!
Then, regardless of what type of sprout you make, you'll be well on your way to enjoying a whole live food, full of enzymes that we don't get in other foods, and therefore easier to digest and assimilate. Additionally, gram for gram, sprouts rival many other sources of nutrient. Here is a site offering an overview; and here is a page that shows the United States Government research on the matter. It needs to be stressed that there may be much more that western science has yet to discover about these nutritional powerhouses.
Make sprouts in a jar!
How to make sprouts in a jar.
Get a glass quart sized jar or slightly larger. Smaller ones don't work as well. Put in a layer of seeds one seed deep. Just enough to cover the bottom of the jar. Then secure a wire screen (you can get them at a hardware store) to the lip of the jar with a rubber band.
Next you will want to cover the seeds with about 2 inches of lukewarm water. Let them soak for 4 - 6 hours, then change the water by pouring out the water through the screen that is attached to the lip of the jar. Refill the jar with water, covering the tops of the seeds (or later on the ends of the sprouts) with an inch or two of water. Let that stand for about a 30 seconds, and then turn the jar upside-down to release the water. The sprouts will be caught in the jar by the scree. It's nice to have a tray to put the jars onto so that any water that doesn't come off in the initial drain won't mess up your counter top. After that you will want to fill the jar with water, covering the sprouts, and then immediately (after 30 seconds or so) drain the jar twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
So for example, I like to start my sprouts in their initial soak about 4 in the afternoon, so that I can change their water before I go to bed around 10 PM. Then I refresh the sprouts again when I get up, and once more later in the day just after dinner.
Pouring out the water after the initial 4 - 6 hours, and refreshing the sprouts twice a day after that, is crucial. Otherwise they will quickly become no good.
After this first soak, the water should be changed twice a day.
Sprouts and living foods
Different types of sprouts take longer to grow than others. As a
general rule of thumb you know sprouts are ready when you first start to
see a little green on them. But some sprouted foods (Almonds, for
example) don't send out shoots like that at all! Here is a resource where you will find a chart
detailing how long to let different seeds sprout before eating.
Making your own food is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable
experiences. While it may take a few minutes a day there aren't many
other uses of time that are more productive for you, your health and the environment.
I hope you have found some useful information about sprouting here, and I'd love to hear about any success stories or adventures you have had with sprouts.