Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sprouting - For Victory!

When I younger and more rebellious and had more piercings, I ran around doing an awful lot in life "for victory." Boycott meat - for victory! Protest the war - for victory! Skip class and get high - for victory! I'm grateful for those activist times (though the cluster of brain cells I killed would beg to differ), and the revolutionary spirit is still a part of me - it's just much more subdued. But I have a new pursuit that has renewed my sense of justice, given my life a new zeal - sprouts!

I'm still waiting to plant until the temperature maintains an above-freezing medium, but sprouting is an amazing way to subvert nature - just a little - without perverting it. The process is absurdly easy; no gardening skills required. Search for "how to grow sprouts" and the first ten hits will all give you essentially the same instructions. 
  • Take a couple tablespoons of seeds (right now I'm on alfalfa that I got from Mahoney's in Brighton awhile back), pour them in a clean glass jar, fill the jar halfway with water, cover it with cheesecloth or pantyhose, and leave the jar for eight hours (out of direct sunlight). 
  • The next morning, give your seeds a good rinse, drain the water through your impromptu strainer, and leave in a warm place otu of direct sunlight (I put mine next to my radiator and they really took off). 
  • Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat... 
  • On day five, give them a final rinse, remove from the jar, and place on a kitchen towel. Let them sit in direct sun for a bit (I've read between fifteen minutes and an hour); this allows the chlorophyll to get kickin'. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy your greens! And might I add, they are the sweetest and freshest little sprouts you'll ever eat. 

If you can grow it, you can sprout it: nuts, beans, legumes, grains... I don't even know where to start! Too bad I cooked up all those garbanzos, 'cause they'd be next. Pretty much everyone I've spoken to in the last couple weeks has endured me geeking out to this new endeavor. I feel like a proud mama when I first see those little tails poking out of the seeds. And what could be more endearing - more victorious - than a little victory-garden-in-a-jar?


Michelle said...

Love sprouting! But please avoid kidney beans--they are toxic when sprouted. Google it!

J'Hab@lavidaveggie said...


I did indeed google it, and I found a lot of good info. Turns out it's not a great idea to sprout everything in site - some sprouts just plain don't taste good, others are indeed harmful in certain quantities. Looks like large beans are best kept out of the sprouting repertoire.

Thanks for the tip, Michelle! I'll make sure the word gets out to the sprout-happy community.

Chris @ Beyond Ramen said...

It's that easy to grow your own bean sprouts?! Ignorance was not bliss... wow, I am so intrigued now! And I am such a fan of these little sprouts on veggie burgers and as salad dressing absorbers :D Thanks for the info!

pixiepine said...

I have always avoided sprouting because it sounded complicated, but I've seen the light! Thanks for the easy run down. I'm going to google best stuff to sprout and rifle through my pantry to get started!