DIY: Growing Sprouts

 

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I’ve been growing my own sprouts in my kitchen for a few years now.  I had the hardest time finding them at the grocery store and when I did find them, they only lasted a short time before they were slimy.  I gave up on relying on my grocery store and started to grow my own.  It is so easy, requires little maintenance, NO dirt and you can grow them right in your kitchen.  This is a GREAT project for your kids as well.  Although, I still can’t get my kids on board with eating them, but at least they can have fun growing them for me!

The supply list is short.

Seeds – My favorite: a spicy blend of clover, fenugreek and radish seeds, Alfalfa seeds are another favorite of mine.
Sprouting Lid – I ordered my lids on Etsy
Mason Jar(s) – I like to use a 24oz. jar to grow my sprouts and a 16oz. to store them in.

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I typically grow a tablespoon of seeds at a time.  One full tablespoon will give you a least 2 cups of finished sprouts. Place your seeds in your growing jar with the mesh lid. Rinse them a few times.  You will need to soak your seeds.  This breaks down the hull and allows the sprouting to happen.  Fill your jar with 3 times as much water as seeds and allow to soak overnight.

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The next morning, drain your seeds and rinse them a few times.  Shake the seeds around the jar to space them out a bit.  Rest your jar (downward) in a bowl with a towel to catch the excess water that will drain out.  *The seed water stains badly, so use a towel that you don’t care about staining.

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Rinse seeds and drain twice daily.  Store in area with low humidity and out of direct sunlight.  On about the 4th day, place rinsed seed jar in indirect sunlight so sprouts can develop their green chlorophyll leaves.  This will take just one day.  After green leaves have sprouted, you will need to pull all sprouts out of the jar for a final rinse.

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I place my sprouts in a large bowl of water and swirl them around a bit with my hand.  The hulls from the seeds will float to the top and (mostly) to the side of the bowl.  I scoop the hulls out with a large spoon and re-rinse until most of the hulls are gone.

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Drain your sprouts well on a clean towel.  I store my sprouts in a glass jar in my refrigerator.  They last for about 2 weeks.  They are perfect for topping a sandwich or sprinkling over a salad.  I like to eat them straight up as a snack as well!

Sprouts…oh, how I love thee!

I get happy cravings for sprouts.  My favorite is a huge layer of spicy sprouts on a pita sandwich.  They are great in salads and I have been known to eat them by the ‘pinch full’ as a Good-for-Me snack.  They are the perfect green ‘crunch’ and they are so good for you.  They can be hard to find at the grocery though.  I remember searching for them years ago and finding out there was a recall on them due to an E coli breakout in our area.  So, I stopped my search and worry about E coli (yuck!) and  started to grow my own sprouts.  It only required a few tools, (i.e., a jar and seeds) no dirt, minimal care and I could do it in my kitchen.  The result was fabulous!  It’s been years since I’ve bought them.  I’ll share how to grow your own in the coming week…..

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The breakfast of champions

Carrot Cake Breakfast Quinoa

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I love quinoa. It’s an amazing source of protein and it is so filling.  It originates from Bolivia, where they refer to it as ‘the mother grain’.  As much as I enjoy it,  I think it’s a bit of an acquired taste.  It’s not for everyone. This sweet breakfast bowl is a nice change up and might make you think differently about this good for you grain.  It is hearty and delicious and it will get you through the toughest of Monday mornings.  It’s a great  ‘make-ahead’ breakfast that you can store in the refrigerator for the work/school week or even freeze it for longer storage.  *See tips below for reheating below.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
1 3/4 cup  unsweetened coconut or almond milk
3/4 grated carrots
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons maple syrup + more for topping
1 tablespoon almond butter + more for topping
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Instructions:

Toast walnuts over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to toast nuts evenly.  Nuts are usually toasted perfectly as soon as you start to smell them. Set nuts aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the quinoa and milk over medium heat until the mixture is at a simmer.  Add carrots, cinnamon and vanilla extract.  Turn heat down to low. Cover and simmer mixture for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add salt, maple syrup and almond butter. Stir until combined. Mixture will be thick. Divide into single servings. Top each with a dollop of almond butter, a drizzle of maple syrup and the toasted walnuts.

*To reheat pre-made bowls, microwave covered with a damp paper towel for 60 seconds. Stir well to distribute the heat. Add toppings and you are set.   For longer storage, freeze single servings and thaw overnight before reheating.