So easy, and fun!
What are sprouts?
Sprouts are the shoot of the plant, or when the seed just begins to "sprout".
What kinds of seeds can I sprout?
The most popular are alfalfa (the most popular, see note) red clover, radish (these give a hotness to the mix), lentil, adzuki, garbanzo, pumpkin, mung bean and sunflower.
NOTE: Alfalfa: this seed has higher than usual amounts of an amino acid called canavanine. Some research associated canavanine with worsening of inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. People with chronic inflammatory conditions may want to avoid alfalfa sprouts, but can sprout any other kind of seeds.
Sprouts are great on sandwiches, wraps, and great toppings for salads! You can also stir fry them, but they do tend to clump together.
When seeds sprout, they convert some of their sugar to vitamin C, an essential nutrient for a healthy immune system. Also, sprouts are packed with vitamins and minerals. Radish sprouts, for example, contain vitamins A, B, C, E and K; calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc; as well as amino acids, antioxidants and protein. Because sprouts are young plants, they’re also rich in protective chemical defenses. Broccoli sprouts contain cancer fighting enzymes.
CAUTION!: Sprouts are grown in warm, always wet conditions. Microbes love it! Not done properly they can cause food poisoning. Be sure to handle them properly and eat them fresh and refrigerate after they sprout!
Okay, So How Do I Grow Them?
A glass jar with a lid, or cheeesecloth or screen if you don't have a lid
Your favorite seeds for sprouting (you can find these at some health food stores)
Water (preferably filtered or bottled due to microbes)
In your jar, add one part seeds to three parts water to cover. Cover with the lid, or cheesecloth or fine mesh screen and secure with a rubber band (if using cheesecloth or screen). Soak the seeds overnight in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Rinse the seeds well, then drain water. Place the jar in a shaded place (not direct sunlight) and repeat the rinsing process two to three times a day for four days (they must stay wet). On the third to fifth day, the seeds will have started sprouting. Rinse and drain again, then expose them to sunlight. Your sprouts are done when they develop leaves and turn green.
It's that easy!