Scrumptious Sprouting for Your Meals
Instead of buying those expensive sprouts in the produce section at the store, did you ever consider making your own sprouts? Sprouting mung beans, alfalfa, broccoli, and even lentils or wheat berries make for some yummy fresh meal ingredients, and at a fraction of the price you would pay for the sprouted stuff.
Just a tiny handful of mung beans (pictured above) can in a few days produce copious amounts of bean sprouts for you to use in stir fries, salads, and even sandwiches.
There are a number methods for sprouting (one of which Philip shared with us in his inexpensive recipe article), but one of the easiest I have experimented goes as follows:
Soak your beans of choice in water for 8-24 hours. I usually let them go for closer to the 24 hour mark, depending on the sprout. Some beans take longer to germinate than others.
After soaking, empty the mixture into a container with holes in the bottom and sides. I tend to use a large yogurt or margarine container into which I have made small puncture holes, but you could also use a strainer or colander depending on the bean. Many other methods promote the use of a glass jar with a modified lid for drainage. I like using plastic containers because they're easy to come by and I can cover them (to guard against hungry critters) and keep them in a dark place.
Twice daily, rinse your sprouts thoroughly. This aides the sprouting process and also helps with rinsing any husks or bitter residue off.
And presto — you have sprouts! Depending on the bean, you will usually have sprouts within 2-3 days.
Experiment with what you want to sprout to find what works best for you. It’s cheap! The small amount of beans you see pictured above cost me about 10 cents, and produced the amount you see in the adjacent container. Sure beats the couple of bucks I would have shelled out for the finished product, and I have a sense of personal pride in my sprouts too!
This is also a great project to get the kids involved in, as we approach the holiday season and kids need some projects to keep them busy.
Here are some sprouting resources (including alternative sprouting methods) for your reading and learning pleasure:
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