Sprout it

What better accompaniment to the leafy lettuce than sprouts.  Packed full of copious amounts of vitamins and nutrients, sprouts add a delicious zest to any salad! 

Sprouts are super easy to grow and the cost is slim to none.  All you need is a jar, and some pantyhose (to act as a lid), and of course, seeds.  Organic seeds are the way to go, as they are chemical free.  These can be purchased from your local garden centre, or you could even use your own.  There are a huge variety of sprouts you can grow.  In fact, most vegetable seeds can be used to grow sprouts, if they haven’t been treated with pesticides and chemicals.  On that note, stay well away from potato, kidney and tomato sprouts, as these are very poisonous, and certainly not nutritious.  Sprout selections include mung beans, soya beans, alfalfa, radish seed, mustard seed; it’s really up to you which you would like to grow. 

On selecting and purchasing your organic seeds, you need to spend a few days sprouting your seeds, in order to grow your delicious sprouts.  Soak ¼ cup of seeds in 1 cup of water overnight. 

After soaking, drain the seeds well.  Clean and dry the jar thoroughly, then place the seeds back in your jar.  Sanitation is essential to protect against bacteria.   Cover the jar tightly with your (new) pantyhose lid, removing the lid 3-5 times daily to rinse the seeds for the first few days.  Ensure that no water is left in the jar however, as although sprouts must not dry out, they do not like baths and this can cause mould, which will destroy your crop!  It is best to keep the jar upside down so any water can drain out through the pantyhose, and store in a dark cupboard.  Some sprouts enjoy sunlight in the later stages of growth. 

The seeds will sprout after a few days, and are then edible.  The best time to eat is when they are between 1-2 inches long.  Its best to eat these treats as soon as they are ready, but if you can’t, simply store them in an airtight container or in the fridge.  They will keep for around 3 days.

Easy, delicious, affordable, and refreshing!  Enjoy, and remember, summer loving is almost here. 

Holly Jean Booker

www.urbanmac.co.nz