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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Growing Sprouts

There are many types of seeds that you can use for sprouts, you may want to do a search for the best. I used alfalfa sprouts in my last bento and they are quite easy to grow. My house has no sunlight to speak of and that is perfect for them.

You need a large size canning jar, like the Ball ones or something with a screw on cap. I actually got the kit, but my mother used to grow them so I know how to do it without the perforated top.

Then you need seeds. There are different kinds that you can use, I used alfalfa in this one. You also need some cheese cloth and an elastic.

First you soak your seeds for an hour or so. Put the cheese cloth over the opening and secure with the elastic. For the alfalfa sprouts I used 2 Tablespoons. Strain through the cheese cloth.
Now, all you really have to do is rinse and wait. Rinse them thoroughly 3 times a day until they start to sprout, then just twice a day. Within 3 to 5 days for most sprouts you should have a healthy forest.

Keep them in a dark place, I covered mine with a towel, that is warm.
If you want them green, set them on a sunny sill for a few hours.
Now, dump them in a bowl and cover with cold water. The sprouts should float and the seeds that didn't sprout should sink. Skim the sprouts off, put in a container (covered) in the refrigerator. I don't know how long they last technically, but mine have been in the refrigerator for several days and they are fine.
I know that it seems a little involved, but really these are very easy to grow and so much fresher than the ones you buy. I got my seeds at a now closed health food store, but you can also buy them online (and probably cheaper for more).

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