Monday, September 24, 2012


During late summer's fresh-tomato season, Maggie and I made a lot of alfalfa sprouts and a few tries at other sprouts.  Years ago, when I first heard about making sprouts, people made it sound like rocket science, with pitfalls hiding here, there, and everywhere.  But I found that it's easy-breezy when you have a screen lid for a wide-mouth canning jar.

Place a tablespoon or two of seeds in a one-quart jar.  Add water and soak for 12-24 hours.  Drain.  Rinse well with water and drain immediately, 2-4 times a day for a few days.  Keep the jar covered with a thin cloth so that the little seeds think they're in the dark. 

Screen lids are available online if you can't find them available at a health food store nearby.  I haven't tried the plastic ones (available for purchase, or the ones you cut out of plastic embroidery canvas) but it just seems too closed for airflow to me.  I have not had luck with making my own screen lids out of window-screen from the hardware store (too floppy) or using cheesecloth (doesn't allow enough water to drain off cleanly).  There are, however, instructions online for making a lid out of a spatter-screen for a skillet.  As those are available at dollar-stores, it might work well. 

Although it takes only a few seconds at a time to tend to the sprouts, you do have to rinse them at least twice a day.  If you're going to be gone for a few days, don't start them yet; the poor little sprouts will just dry out and shrivel up.  The biggest trick is remembering to rinse: we put an index card by the kitchen sink (where we see it often!) with a note to "rinse sprouts."  Pretty soon we'll have more batches started and enjoy loading up our sandwiches with sprouts.  Avocado, onion, tomato, cheese, sprouts, maybe some thin-sliced meat....  Yummy!

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