I’ve been getting more and more into gardening. It’s definitely a learn-as-I-go process, as I don’t exactly have the so-called green thumb. After killing so many plants, I’m finally getting the hang of it, well, sort of. But I’ve learned about sun-loving plants vs shade, containers vs. garden beds, soil PH level, and even the need for crop rotation. I can go on and on and on… My latest struggles have been garden pests and the water restriction due to the extreme drought in California, our garden is almost completely powered by gray water. Nevertheless, it’s extremely gratifying to be able to grow our own fruits and vegetables (and lots of cut flowers), don’t get any fresher than this!
While waiting for the crops to grow in the garden, I also started to grow vegetables inside the house. I picked up packets of microgreens and sprouts. These grow very fast so I always have some nice additions to salads or veggie scramble. To grow microgreens, all you need are seeds, potting soil or starter soil, and shallow containers such as pie tins or takeout boxes. Simply scatter seeds over 1″ moistened soil in a shallow container, cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil, place container at sunny windowsill and keep soil moist with a spray bottle or mister. Follow the instructions on the seed packaging, you can find the “when to harvest” info on there. Most of the microgreens can be harvested once they are two inches tall.
Microgreens are not the same as sprouts. We only harvest the shoots and leaves of microgreens, but we consumes sprouts in whole – seeds, roots, and shoots. Just like microgreens, we don’t need any fancy equipments to grow them right in our home, all we need are wide mouth glass jars, cheesecloth, water, and sprouting seeds. It’s important to buy seeds specifically for sprouting, as they are clean and pathogen-free. I bought the sprouting seeds from Whole Foods, the seed packets were hanging next to the produce aisle. Sprouts are packed with vitamins, they are so good for you! Some studies support the theory that broccoli sprouts help prevent cancer. But I’m not an expert on the subject, all I know is they are nutritious and taste great in sandwiches and scrambled eggs.
The How To:
1. In a clean wide mouth mason jar, add one tablespoon of seeds and ~2 cups of cool water. Cut out a piece of cheesecloth bigger than the size of the jar opening. Place the cheesecloth over jar opening and secure with the jar band, place in a dark place (or cover with towel) and let soak for ~8 hours.
2. Turn the jar upside down and let the water drain through the cheesecloth. Rinse with water and then drain again. Tip the jar upside down in a bowl at an angle so the water can continue to drain. Store the jar in a dark place or cover with towel, and repeat the rinsing and draining every 8-12 hours until the sprouts are at the desired size. Check the instructions on the label as some varieties take longer to grow. (I have mung beans and alfalfa growing in the pictures. Mung beans can take anywhere from 2-6 days, and alfalfa takes 4-5 days.)
3. On the last day, place the jar in a sunny spot so the sprouts can green up. Rinse and enjoy!
4. Store unused sprouts in the fridge for up to one week.
Notes: Make sure you drain well each time after you rinse, as the leftover water leads to mold. But some seeds, like radishes, will grow tiny root hair that resemble moldy spores, so double check and don’t throw out perfecty good sprouts! Also, it’s helpful to set alarms on cell phone as a reminder to rinse the sprouts.
All this from one tablespoon of seeds!
Alfalfa and mung bean sprouts with roast turkey, heirloom tomato, avocado, and mayo, on whole wheat toasts. Healthy and delicious!
Happy July 4th! Check out some of my previous postings that will be perfect for your long weekend.
Have a delicious long weekend 🙂