Growing Sprouts in Your Survival Vegetable Garden
We all probably grew sprouts back in grade school as a science project, never thinking that someday in the future we may have to grow them as a vital part our diet. But if food shortages and stratospheric food prices cause our diets to change radically, sprouts will help us get some of the key nutrients that we may not get otherwise but which are present in sprouts. Sprouts are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, beneficial enzymes, antioxidants and phytochemicals. That a lot of good things in such a small package.
Alfalfa, chia, adzuki, mung and soy are the most common but arugula, buckwheat, chickpeas, garlic cloves, lentils, wheat and most other bean and peas are some of the other varieties that can be sprouted. Try several varieties to see what you like the best. While there are sprouting kits available, the most common and least expensive route to use a one quart glass jar. Insure that your beans are organic and not treated. Seeds can be purchased online or found at a health food store.
Remove any broken or damaged seeds, damaged seeds will not sprout, instead they will rot or ferment and ruin all of your efforts.
Measure enough seeds to cover the bottom of the jar in a single layer and place in the jar, cover with fresh water and let soak for 2 to 12 hours to soften the hard outer shell and absorb water. The timing depends on the size of the seeds. Drain thoroughly and rinse well, cover the top of the jar with a piece of cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band. The seeds need fresh air circulation in order to sprout, so do not use a canning lid as a cover.
Place the jar on its side to drain and make sure the seeds are along the sides of the jar. Do not let the seeds sit in water or they will rot. Place the jar in a dark place such as a closet, but don’t hide it away so that you forget about your sprout crop like I have been known to do. Two or three times a day repeat the rinsing and moistening process. The rinsing and moistening step will make the sprouts fresher and sweeter tasting. They can be harvested as soon as the tails emerge or you can wait until the tails are an inch or so long. Taste test to determine which you prefer.
Grow only as many as you can use in about a week because sprouts have a very short shelf life and get soggy and inedible very quickly. Because you are growing sprout in a warm moist atmosphere, keeping the jar sterile and the surroundings clean is vital. Sprouts can be refrigerated for several days.
Sprouts can be used in many ways to add crunch or a different taste to add a little BAM!!
Add to tossed salads
Stir fry with other vegetables
Use in sandwich spreads
Fresh and raw as a salad
Puree with peas or beans
All this and they grew in one week, providing instant nutrition for your family for next to nothing in cost.