Grow Your Own Sprouts
I see articles about sprouts in health magazines and all over the web. The big news revolves around the idea that sprouts have a higher amount of vitamins and minerals as sprouts than when they become mature plants. You can read all about their health benefits here. Sprouts are versatile too and can be used in stir fry, soups, salads, and blended into smoothies. Since I was buying sprouts in the stores, I thought it would be healthy and fun to grow them at home.
I purchased a sample pack of organic sprouts by the Sprout House. My first attempt was with lentil sprouts. I put them in a square 8x8 baking pan on top of a bed of soil. Then I sprayed them until they were soaking with water every day. They grew quickly and within a week I had a pretty full pan of sprouts. Where this method produced good sprouts, it was messy. It took extra time to wash all of the dirt off. Since I’m always in a hurry making dinner or making lunches, I decided I had to find a better way.
My next attempt was to put wet paper towels in the bottom of the pan and sprinkle the seeds on top. I soaked them several times daily with water, but this method did not work at all.
So, I did some research and tried again. First I soaked the sprouts in a jar of water overnight. Then I put them in a plastic strainer dish. I suspended this dish over the same 8x8 baking pan and covered the strainer with a dinner plate. The dinner plate is necessary because sprouts like to grow in a dark environment. Because I’m working most of the day, I needed to create additional humidity. So, I covered the whole thing loosely with plastic wrap. I did not fully seal the plastic wrap so air could still circulate. I live in a very dry climate, but you may not need to do this step if you live somewhere humid. Then, I rinsed the seeds twice a day and covered them back up, leaving a tiny bit of water in the pan. It is important to note, the water should not touch the plastic strainer. The set up looks ugly as you can see in the photos, but the sprouts grew beautifully in about four days. They are easy to pull out and use so we have access to a healthy home grown food.
The strainer method taught me that the paper towel method would have probably worked too if I had soaked the sprouts prior.