Sprouting Your Own Sprouts

By Guest West Coast Blogger Smitty

A friend recently introduced me to the practice of growing your own sprouts. You know, sprouts -- the ones you put on your salads and sometimes on fancy deli sandwiches. It seemed like such a fun and healthy endeavor, that I just had to try it out! I realize that it may seem cliche to move to LA and suddenly start writing blog posts about sprouting, but whatever -- sprouts are good for you! Particularly when you grow them yourself. When you eat fresh sprouts, they are still alive and rich with enzymes that help you digest proteins and carbohydrates and stuff. And when's the last time you ate something while it was still alive?

Anyway, first step is selecting what kind of bean you want to sprout. Some favorites are mung, radish, soy, quinoa, or lentils (don't do kidney beans because apparently their sprouts are toxic...whaaaaa?). I chose the green lentils because that's all I could find in my grocery store. But I hear stories of deliciousness about the radish sprouts. Those I shall try next!

Next you have to find yourself a jar. Mason jars work well because they have the ring that detaches from the lid, which is helpful when draining. But you can use any kind of jar really. I happened to have an old pickle jar that seems to do just fine. You will also need to get some pantyhose. This is to stretch over the lid of the jar so that you can drain your sprouts. If you have a mason jar you can use the ring to secure the pantyhose over the lid. Or, if you're low budget like me, just use a rubber band.

Alright, now that you've got all the supplies, you're ready to sprout! Start by adding 1/4 - 1/2 cup of beans to the jar. Fill the jar with enough water to cover the beans and let sit for 15 min, then drain. This is to get all the toxins off the beans. Then, fill the jar again with water that covers 2 inches above the beans, and secure the lid tightly. Place the sprouts in a dark place like the back of a kitchen cupboard for about 24 hours.

While your beans are in the dark cupboard, that's when the sprouting begins. After 24 hours, drain the water from the jar, fill again with water to cover the beans, gently swirl the water for 10 seconds, and drain again. The beans won't show any sprouts yet, but if you eat a few, they will already taste sprouty! Now, leave the lid off the jar (but pantyhose on as your screen) and prop the jar so that it's leaning, top down, and try to get it so that the beans are spread along the side of the jar. You want to allow as much air to get in and around the beans as possible.

Now, all that's left is to let the beans sit and sprout! Rinse the beans 3-4 times a day to keep them moist and to keep from getting moldy. You should start seeing the little sprout tails after a day or so, and after 3 days they'll start looking like the leafy sprouts you get from the supermarket. The longer you let sit, the bigger your sprouts will be.

You can eat them however you like. They are good as is, or with some salt and sriracha:
Or on a delicious sandwich!


dapeen said...

wow that sandwich DOES look delicious

jen said...

plain ol' cheesecloth works, too. something about putting pantyhose over something i'm going to be eating skeeves me out.

Shannon Darling Dearest said...

Good suggestion! Cheesecloth definitely preferred over pantyhose

Shannon Darling Dearest said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

good idea! they also sell screen lids at natural food stores if you're really into it, but as my friend who taught me the methodology explained, pantyhose is cheap, and that other shit ain't punk rock ;)