Alfalfa, mung bean, adzuki… with only a couple of tablespoons of seeds, you can reap a harvest of nutritious, tasty sprouts in the comfort of your own home.
Cold, wet and frosty July days do not lend themselves well to planting outdoors. It’s better to tidy up the vege patch and cover it with compost or rotted horse manure, sprinkle over a little lime, blood and bone, mulch, then leave it until spring arrives. Indoors though, why not sprout seeds? They are tasty and easy to grow.
How to get started
For all seeds, measure out your desired quantity (allow for the fact they will swell four-fold when germinating). Wash first in cold water, then leave in a bowl of warm water overnight. Sprout in a jar or tray.
- Place soaked seeds in a clean jar. Cover the open end with an old pair of tights held by a rubber band, then fill the jar with water and drain.
- Lay the jar on its side and prop it up at the bottom so excess water can drain through the cloth top.
- Rinse every day by half filling with water and draining as before.
- Place layers of paper towels in the bottom of a shallow tray.
- Soak with water, tip to drain excess, then scatter presoaked seeds over the top.
- Keep moist ensuring no surplus water puddles in the tray.
All seed sprouts require forcing – this means putting your jar or tray in a warm place where no light is available. An airing cupboard is ideal. Some sprouts need additional greening: once sprouting is established move your receptacle into the light (but not direct sunlight) for two days to develop a green colour.
Provided the sprouts are not kept too wet (which causes mould), or too dry (the seeds die), this really is child’s play – in fact, why not get the kids involved?
Sprouts need to be eaten when they are at their best – within two days of harvesting.
|Adzuki beans||jar or tray||no||25||3-6|
|Mung bean||jar or tray||no||50||4-6|
|Mustard and cress||tray||yes||50||10-15|