So this week we will be exploring in some detail the serious topic of sprouting.
One day your chin is as smooth as a babies bum and then you run your fingers over and wah! Where did that come from? Tweezers quick……
Haha, not really!
We’ve been sprouting seeds, grains and beans – lets leave our facial hair to the imagination.
So sprouting is one of those things on our very long list we’ve wanted to try and we decided to start the year growing our own nutritional powerhouses!
A cheap and easy way to create fresh, vitamin packed food all year round. When there isn’t as much variety in the garden through the winter a selection of sprouts can be an interesting addition to a winter salad at least.
It’s said that nuts, seeds, grains and beans contain natural agents that protect them from early germination. Great but when we then eat them we suffer unpleasant digestive consequences…..The process of soaking and sprouting changes that. By replicating germination the nutrients are activated and multiplied and the sprouts are much better tolerated in the gut.
Mandy and I inspected the kit that was available to buy and then made our own….for free.
We needed a base and Mandy found a plastic tray looking neglected.
We gave it a good soapy scrub in very hot water et voila.
Kilner style jars stripped of the lid, metal ring and clips will be perfect sprouters!
They must be thoroughly cleaned first too.
Mandy had a rummage in the cave for some things to sprout…. ‘I know I’ve got some somewhere!’
Organic and made for sprouting 🙂
Then Mandy pulls out some net. Cut into squares the net makes perfect covers for the jars. Rubber bands (which again just appear) work well to keep the net in place. This is why you should never throw anything away she tells me. You just never know when it will come in handy!
Then we realise our planter/tray has holes – could get annoying having a soggy window sill all the time so Christophe heats up some plastic to fill the gaps.
Then we realise that the weight of the jars makes the tray bow so Chrisophe makes a metal brace thing to keep it nice and tight!
Decisions, decisions….what to sprout?! We decide on Fenugreek, Aduki, Mung, Barley and Onion seeds.
Time to leave Thibois and head over to 23. The reason Mandy has never sprouted (seeds that is) before is that they use well water at Thibois. They have to buy their water as the well water is fine for washing but not drinking. Sprouting requires lots of water so it just wasn’t cost effective with bottled water. At 23 we are on mains water so it made sense to mobilise to 23 and base our sprouty jars there.
In each jar I put a layer of our chosen dry choices and washed them thoroughly in cold water. You can pre-soak at this stage – see the chart below. Soaking really speeds up your sprouts and saves water – win, win!
Then the wet stuff was covered with the net and a rubber band to secure.
Window sill cleared and jars turned upside down and positioned so they can drain in the planter.
Now, it’s just a case of remembering to rinse each jar twice a day and wait. the sprouts will appear in anything from 1 day…..
It’s very exciting 😉
A note of caution. Hygiene is the name of the game here. You can also successfully grow a whole heap of nasty bacteria on your sprouts if you’re not careful. The secret is wash, wash, wash. Whatever kit you use it must be thoroughly washed between each lot of sprouts. The sprouts should be eaten fresh – within 2 days. You should buy seeds, grains especially for sprouting – if you don’t live near a whole food shop there is plenty of choice online.
And remember sprouts can be used in salads and cooked too.
There are lots of foods to try – get sprouting!!!
This chart from the Vegetarian Times is a handy guide –
|FOOD||SOAKING TIME (hours)||SPROUTING TIME (days)|
|Almonds||8-12||No Sprouting (if pasteurized) 3 Days (if truly raw)|
|Brazil Nuts||3||No Sprouting|
|Sunflower Seeds||8||12-24 hours|
May you sprout in all the right places 😉
It’s day 4 ( this batch were not pre-soaked) and I woke up to these…..
We have sprouts! Now it’s just a case of deciding what to do with them….. salads, stir fries, cooked, raw……