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Think about it, apartment life is pretty sweet. While your friends are boiling away cutting the grass, you’ll be sipping on something cool next to the pool. However, you may have turned just a wee bit green when you saw bushels of tomatoes on their Instagram accounts with the hashtag #homegrown. That’s why we’re urging you to think a bit more INSIDE the box (jar, really) this week and follow our guide to growing your own sprouts.
What are sprouts? Sprouts are itty bitty little veggies that have just begun their life cycle. Their tender crunch and mild flavor is perfect for salads and sandwiches. Likewise, since they are essentially very young plants, grow time for these little morsels is only a few days.
How can you get started, you sprout farmer you? Step 1 is getting your sprout seeds. Many grain seeds, beans, and nuts will sprout just fine as long as they aren’t pasteurized. If you have lingering doubts about which you should try, head over to your local health food section or store; many stores sell mixtures of sprouting seeds. And sadly, no, you can’t sprout Brussels sprouts.
Next you need to prepare your sprouting spot. Sprouts grow fast, but spoil fast as well, so a quart jar should be the perfect amount of sprouts for a few workweek meals. Wash your jar in hot water with a solution of ¾ cup bleach to 1 gallon water; the “sanitize” cycle on the dishwasher should also be sufficient.
Next, rinse your seeds under running water in a fine grade strainer to remove any dust or other debris for about a minute. Place enough sprouts to evenly cover the bottom inside your jar. Fill the jar with enough water to cover the seeds and then pour about an inch over. Cover the lid of the jar with a clean flour sack-style dish cloth or handkerchief and secure with either the metal ring or a rubber band.
Set the jar aside and re-check after about 3 to 12 hours, depending on what type seed you are using. If your container doesn’t give instructions, consult a detailed guide. A note about jar placement: initially you will want your jar somewhere it won’t be disturbed and in indirect sunlight. Only after your seeds sprout should you place in the sun to green them up a little.
After the appropriate soaking time drain the jar through the cloth. Pour enough water into the jar to thoroughly cover the seeds and gently roll around to rinse, let sit for about a minute, then drain again. Now, prop your little jar up in a bowl, so the cloth is face down at a slant to let any extra water run out and air flow in; you don’t want your jar to be completely facing down. Do this twice a day until the seeds are fully sprouted.
Once your seeds are sufficiently sprouted, place them in a coriander and rinse thoroughly. Place the coriander on a place and cover with another clean dish rag. They’re perfectly ready to eat now, but can be refrigerated in about 8 hours after they’re fully dry to last a few extra days.
We hope this plants a few new ideas about indoor gardening at your place. What’s your favorite seed to sprout? Post it on Facebook or in the comments below!