Did you know that by investing a few dollars in equipment, and a few minutes each day, that you can produce the crispiest, freshest, tastiest and most economical vegetables imaginable? With home sprouting, you can! Thread-like alfalfa sprouts at your local salad bar, and the noodle-like mung bean sprouts in your pho soup are good examples of popular uses for sprouts. Sprouting is simple, healthy, and easy!
There are several reasons to try sprouting. Today's mass-produced veggies can be coated in multiple chemicals, picked before they're ripe, shipped thousands of miles, and stored for many days before being bought and consumed. You'll find it's truly refreshing to enjoy a fresh food you've grown at home. Additionally, sprouted vegetables boast increased nutritional values! Sprouting produces higher quantities of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes as compared to their non-sprouted forms. It is also easier on body to digest sprouts, since they are already partially broken down!
Sprouting is simple enough for children and adults alike to accomplish. Kids enjoy eating veggies they helped grow! Even the most impatient child will appreciate waiting only 4 - 5 days to enjoy their home-grown vegetables. For kids and adults alike, simply follow the directions below for great results, and enjoy some of the freshest, healthiest foods on the planet!
These directions are for a 1-quart sprouting jar. If you're using a 1/2 gallon jar, double the amount of seeds. Be sure to clean your jar prior to use, and sanitize from time-to-time.
Place 2 tablespoons of seeds or a 1/2 cup of legumes/grains in your sprouting jar with 3x as much water as seeds. Adding a teaspoon of NOW Citric Acid power will help hinder spoiling. Soak overnight. For many small seeds, 5 hours of soaking is enough.
Drain the water from the jar. Rinse seeds in fresh, lukewarm water and drain again. Once you've thoroughly drained your seeds, lay your jar at an angle in a warm (70° F), dark place, such as a pantry or closet. Sprouting occurs in darkness.
Repeat rinsing and draining process 2x per day. During hot, dry weather you may need to rinse your seeds 3x per day. During very humid weather keep your sprouting jar in a dry place, such as above your stove, or wrap it in a towel and keep it by a sunny window. For easy draining, use a dish rack over your sink. Take care when draining your sprouts; turn jar over gently. Rapidly overturning your sprouting jar can damage the tender shoots and kill the sprouts.
Make sure to drain sprouts thoroughly. One of the main reasons sprouting failure occurs is over-watering.
Check seed packaging or the sprouting timetable in this brochure for suggested growing time, as this can vary depending on the type of sprout.
The small mesh screen that comes with your NOW Sprouting Jar is ideal for draining the water from small seeds. For larger sprouts, some people prefer a larger mesh screen for more rapid and complete drainage.
After a quick rinse, some people save the water and use it as a treat for houseplants.
On the 4th day, alfalfa, radish and clover sprouts should be placed in indirect sunlight to develop chlorophyll. The tiny leaves will turn green within a few hours. For even more color, turn the jar occasionally.
On the 4th day, rinse the hulls off of your alfalfa sprouts to prevent premature spoilage. If you're using a wide mesh screen, the hulls should easily float through. You can also fill a sink with water and soak the sprouts, which will cause the hulls to the top. As they do, skim them off with a strainer or a piece of screen. Gentle shaking may be required to remove some hulls.
It's important to avoid excess moisture during sprouting. In fact, if indoor humidity is 70% or greater, sprouting may be impossible. Extremely hot temperatures will also kill sprouts, but as long as it's below 80°F, there shouldn't be any issues.
Make sure your sprouts get plenty of air. If a sprout can't breathe, it will die. However, make sure there's not too much air movement. You don't want them drying out between rinses.
We hope you enjoyed this guide from our healthy friends at NOW Foods! Also, be sure to check out this video from FY Product Specialist Sandhya, for a visual guide to sprouting, and these recipes featuring YOUR new sprouts!