Friday, March 19, 2010

Growing bean sprouts

I'm not ashamed to admit that my first efforts at gardening in the sandy soil of Florida more than 20 years ago yielded only a handful of green beans that were tough and unpalatable. However, I have been growing something successfully for two decades -- sprouts! When my first child was still a baby, I bought a set of sprouting lids for wide-mouthed canning jars, and I've been growing sprouts in my kitchen ever since.

If you can pour yourself a glass of water, you can grow sprouts. To grow bean sprouts, all you have to do is put 1/4 cup of mung bean seeds into a jar, add enough water to cover the seeds, and let it sit on your counter for a few hours or overnight if you'll be asleep in a few hours. Then dump the water and rinse the sprouts a few times a day. In about four days, your two ounces of seeds will have yielded about 10 ounces of crunchy sprouts. We used this batch in an oriental stir-fry with onions, green peppers, celery, mushrooms, and tofu.

Warning: Once you've grown your own sprouts, you will no longer be content with store-bought.

Sprouting seeds are available in many health food stores, but if you can't find them locally, you can buy them online through Frontier Co-op, where you can also buy lots of flavorful herbs.


Candy T said...

I have been growing sprouts for a while now. I do radish, lentils, broccoli, and red clover. I am now trying red cabbage and peanuts. I love them with almost everything. Do you have any good ideas to get the onion seed to sprout? Thanks for the link. I buy mine from Canada and have been looking for less expensive and closer supplier.

Sally said...

I am very curious to try this :-) What about the sprouting lids (?) that you mentioned? Are those necessary, and where do I find them?

Caprifool said...

I use a cheap knee high nylon stocking for small seeds. I tie it, cut the foot off and pull it over the jar. The fine mesh keeps even alfalfaseeds inside.

I also use a new terrakotta flowerpot with a piece of flyscreen in the bottom for larger seeds like mung beans. Place the pot in water to soak at the same time as the seeds. Stand it on a saucer and put a plate over it and just run water over it two, three times a day. Keep the water and give it to your indoor plants.

When harvesting, give your sprouts a few hours of sunlight to produse chlorophyll.

Try buckweat or sesame seeds. Yum!

Chef E said...

I too eat them in a apple cider vinegar salad with cucumber, cilantro, jalapeno, red onion, and mung beans sprouted, a dish eaten often in Indian cultures for celebrations, one bite and I was hooked!

Shallow dish of beans in water, cover with plastic wrap and wait a few days, YUMMY and time for some this weekend...

Sally said...

I've started on my first attempt at growing sprouts! I happened to go to Whole Foods over the weekend for something else and decided to look around for mung beans and such...luckily for me, they had the easy way for me (a sprout jar with a mesh lid) and a couple types of beans/seeds for sprouting. I started my first batch last now, so let's hope that all goes well!


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