If you choose to buy a seed sprouter, it will come with its own instructions, but you can sprout seeds at home using very basic equipment.
You will need a glass jar – a quart size works well. You will also need a mesh or gauze cover for the jar that will allow you to drain water off your seeds without losing them in the process. You need to be able to drain your seeds thoroughly so that they do not ‘drown’ and die off.
Your last two essential ingredients are clean water and good, organically grown sprouting seed. Seed that is meant for growing may be treated with pesticides and fungicides and seed bought in the supermarket has probably been processed, hulled or heat-treated and will fail to germinate.
Now it’s time to get sprouting!
- Soak the seed: This is the only time during the sprouting process when you will allow your seeds to lie in water for a fairly extended period of time. Soaking allows the seed to imbibe water, activating the germination process. Use about three tablespoons of seed and fill your jar with water. Now leave them to drink up water overnight.
- Drain and rinse: Fasten your screen to the top of the jar and drain out all the water you soaked the seed in. Now rinse your seeds with fresh water and drain again.
- Let them rest: Place your jar diagonally in a bowl with the neck of the jar facing downwards to ensure that excess water does not collect in the bottom of the jar. Spread the seeds in the jar so that they don’t cling together in a tight mass that may rot. Make sure that direct sun won’t shine through onto your seeds.
- Keep on rinsing and draining: It’s the work of minutes, and twice a day should be often enough.
- When your sprouts have germinated: It’s time for the final rinse! If you’re sprouting something like oats that has hard seed hulls, you’ll want to encourage them to float away from your sprouts. This is easily done by filling the jar with water and skimming off the floating hulls. After the initial clean, you might want to shake them out int a bowl and repeat the process.
- Remove excess moisture:you can use a salad spinner for this step or you can let your sprouts drain on a clean cloth.
- Store the sprouts: You will want to keep your sprouts fresh by storing them in the fridge. Before you do so, make sure that they aren’t sopping wet since this will quickly spoil them. Place them in a jar, sealable plastic container or plastic bag to stay fresh.
Of course, the process of sprouting takes varying amounts of time depending on the type of seed that you are sprouting as well as the sprouting conditions. In general, you can expect red clover to sprout in 3 – 5 days. Broccoli will usually emerge within 5 days and buckwheat may take as long as 8 days to begin sprouting.
Good Sources of Organic Sprouting Seeds Include:
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