Heather asked about our new sprouting ventures. We’re hardly experts, but you knew that already. Nonetheless, I’m glad to share what I’ve learned so far.
We ordered some seeds and an inexpensive sprouting jar from Lucky Vitamin, who had the best price around and flat $4.99 shipping. I was really waiting for my Easy Sprouter to arrive from Marci’s Amazing Graze Farm general store, but I suspected we would want more than one sprouter anyway.
As it turned out, the Easy Sprouter arrived before the seeds. No problem – the instructions said that lentils were ideal for beginners, and we had some in the pantry! I put 1/2 cup in the sprouter and let them soak in warm water. Just before bed, I drained them. The directions said that when you use the Easy Sprouter rinsing is not necessary for most sprouts, including lentils, so we just watched and waited. By the following evening we had tiny sprouts! It was that easy. We started nibbling right away, and had eaten all of them before the next day was out.
To my surprise, they got rave reviews from all of the children – we agreed that they tasted a lot like fresh raw green beans, a rare treat in our house. Who knew raw lentils could be so good? Needless to say, we started another batch right away. The second batch was just as successful as the first, and gone just as quickly. If they ever last more than 24 hours, we can store for 1-2 weeks in the fridge right in the sprouter. I am in love with my Easy Sprouter!
I took a good look at the design of the Easy Sprouter and made a rough copy out of 2 containers, in which to try some additional sprouts. We started some wheat sprouts next, but these didn’t germinate. I’m not sure if it’s because my sprouter was inferior (it was, but is that why these sprouts failed?), or because the seeds themselves were too old – I suspect they are at least 10 years old. At any rate, they just got soft and started to smell suspicious after 2 days, so we tossed them. I’ll try again in the Easy Sprouter, and if those fail I’ll try with fresh seeds.
Next, I used my fabricated sprouter to make some almond soaks since they sounded fast and easy and we had raw almonds on hand. These are like sprouts, but they don’t actually grow roots. These were very simple, but got mixed reviews. I enjoyed them along with some of the kids, but others just wrinkled their noses and refused to eat more than one, or even declined to try a single one. Those of us who ate them agreed that they tasted almost identical to raw coconut. I thought they were very good.
When our seed order arrived with the big sprouting jar, I immediately started a mix of clover, alfalfa, fenugreek and radish. Since I’m using a simple jar & screen, I had to remember to rinse and drain 2-3 times/day. The results look and taste a bit like alfalfa, but definitely different. They have a stronger, slightly spicy flavor and are thicker. We used some in salad and nibbled some plain, but this was a big batch – most of it is still in the refrigerator.
I also soaked 2 lbs. of white & navy beans and let them sprout for 24 hours before cooking in the crock. I’m hoping that it will make them more digestible. That remains to be seen.
We still plan to try: raw sunflowers, raw peanuts, mung beans…oh, and alfalfa sprouts, eventually. FYI, Charity left some information warning against a toxin found in alfalfa sprouts, but I don’t think we’ll be eating enough of any one sprout to worry about this. You can probably tell that alfalfa sprouts have far more competition now than they did when we, er, sprouted the idea. Sorry. Bad joke, but quite honestly the idea of sprouting a wide variety of seeds is really growing on me. It’s taken root in our household. Even hubby has expressed a seed of interest.