Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sprouting as I Wait for Spring

If you live anywhere in the northern part of the United States, like I do, I don't have to tell you how long and cold this winter has been.  Truly, this weather has been trying on even the hardiest northerner.  And, although spring looks like it will never come,...

View out my front window BEFORE the winter storm that started tonight!

...in time, the snow will surely leave, the green grass will appear, and once more it will be gardening time, and I also will be able to feel my appendages!

But, if you have been as impatient as I have been about eating some fresh, home grown produce, then here is an idea...sprout some!  I find that sprouting through the longest winter months is not only a good thing to do to add fresh greens to my diet, but also it helps me keep my sanity (OK, maybe not all of it) when I start thinking that the gardening season will never come.

Here is how simple sprouting is:

Start with seeds, beans, and/or a mix of both that are specifically sold for sprouting. 

In a mason jar put the following, depending upon what you will be sprouting:
  • If using seeds or a mix with mostly seeds, put in 2 Tablespoons of the seeds or mix in the jar
  • If using bean or a mix with mostly beans, put a 1/2 cup of the beans or mix in the jar

 Next add a cup or two of water to the seeds/beans.  Cover and let sit on the counter for 6 to 8 hours.



After soaking, rinse the seeds/beans and then put them in a warm dark place to grow, making sure that about every 12 hours you rinse them and pour off all extra water...you just want to remove any residue on the seeds/beans and re-hydrate them, but make sure to get as much water off of them or your sprouts are more likely to have an unwelcomed slime on them.

My usual way of keeping them in a warm dark place is to cover them with a towel and place them on top of my coffee maker.  That way I remember to rinse them when I go to get a cup of coffee.

Note:  If you do not have a sprouting lid like I do don't worry about having to run out and get one.  You can make your own using a cheese cloth and the rim cover for the mason jar.  The only important thing that the lid must do is hold in the sprouts while allowing water in and out as well as air. 

After a couple of days you will have a jar full of sprouts...


...then you just need to give them a final rinse, and then tip them upside-down in a bowl in your refrigerator.  They will keep up to a week.


 And, for an easy salad, just top a heap of sprouts with some balsamic vinegar and freshly ground salt...YUM!