Sprouting has been on my should-do list for years. I adore sprouts. I’m a huge fan of how they make me feel when I eat them. And I have known for some time that the occassional ‘sprout fix’ I get when I grab those tiny little packages at the grocery store is not nearly enough for me 😉
Not to mention that, often the taste of preservatives found in grocery store sprouts is pretty overpowering. And who wants that? I mean really, who wants preservatives at all, in anything?!?! Not this girl. That’s for sure!
When I lived in California, sprouts were available in bulk at a year round farmers market very close to my home. I took advantage of that fact on a regular basis. And seeing them when I visited the market served as a consistent reminder to make these nutritional powerhouses a more prolific part of my diet. But after I moved to an area where they were not readily available, I sort of forgot them. A kind of out of sight out of mind thing, if you will.
When it would cross my mind to get started on growing them myself, I would put it off because I always felt it was one more thing I wanted to do that I didn’t really have time for. Time so often runs short. And it is easy to put off things we know we should be doing because we are overwhelmed with everything we are already doing.
However, a few weeks ago I decided that I was going to take the plunge into the world of sprouting. Time be damned. Pro tip: It really doesn’t take any time!
I decided against making an initial investment in sprouting equipment as I have very limited space in my home. Any extra kitchen equipment I have laying around is perpetually in the way. For this reason, I evaluate the usefulness of EVERYTHING that makes its way into my space. Especially in the kitchen, where it is easy for someone like myself who loves working with food, to get quite carried away buying tools for the trade.
I figured I would go ahead and give the process a trial run with the supplies I had on hand already. I even chose to sprout mung beans because I had them in the cupboard. They wouldn’t have been my first choice if I were shopping for things to sprout. But in the end they were a really great way to go 😉
A quart jar and some cheesecloth were the only other things I needed to get started. It really is that simple. And I have those on hand at all times.
I sterilized my quart jar and then filled it about 1/4 of the way with mung beans. I cut a piece of cheesecloth a little bigger than the mouth of the jar. And then held it in place over the top of the jar with the ring from the lid.
Then I filled the jar with water and let it sit until the mung beans split. The resources I found online said this would take about 2 hours, but that wasn’t my experience at all. It took a good half day (maybe 6 hours) for my beans to split.
Once they split, I drained out the water and rested the jar upside down on a plastic canning jar lid in a cool, dark place.
From there, it was as simple as filling the jar with water, swishing the beans around to rinse them, and draining them out twice a day. I did it when I woke in the morning and just before I laid down in the evening.
I’ve read that it can take 3-4 days for mung beans to sprout. Mine sprouted the next day. Ever so slightly. But definitely sprouted. They were ready to eat in about 5 days.
I believe it is safe to assume that conditions surrounding light, temperature, and water purity would have an effect on the the time frame surrounding the sprouting process. But fully expect that your results would be quite similar.
Once my sprouts were a pretty decent size, I sautéed them with some yellow squash. I used a little left over scampi sauce that I had in the fridge as a base flavor for the dish. And they were FABULOUS!
I enjoyed them so much that I quickly got another batch started. I am dreaming of fabulous sandwiches topped with generous amounts of sprouts, amazing salads with more than the usual amount of sprouts mixed into the lettuce blend, and hot, steamy winter soups laden with nutrient dense sprouts. All grown in my very tiny kitchen ❤ 😉 ❤
I will probably invest in a wire screen to replace the cheesecloth I used in my initial endeavor. The cheesecloth got pretty discolored, making it a little unappetizing to work with. And the screen is a less expensive alternative in the long run I’m sure.
But other than that I don’t see myself expanding my sprouting equipment for some time. On the scale that I will be working with this tasty food a quart jar, a screen, and some seeds are all I really need.
I’m pretty excited about experimenting with different types of seeds. And will be heading from this blog post directly to the ‘interweb’ to place an order for a variety of them to try out.
Have you ever sprouted? Do you have any suggestions/advice for me about the process? And please do share what your favorite seeds to sprout are. I’d love to hear from some of you who have more experience with sprouting than myself. And also from those who, like myself, are just getting started, or have wanted to sprout for some time now. So, let’s meet in the comments and chat all about it 😉
As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤