Thursday, 23 April 2009

Sprout Your Own Sprouts

I never realized how easy (& fast) it is to grow my own sprouts at home ... until I tried it for myself. Sprouts made from beans and seeds are a tasty source of protein, fibre and other minerals. You can add them to soups, salads, dips and sandwiches. I like to eat them by the handful as a delicious and crunchy snack. There are sprouting devices sold, but they are by no means necessary. The mung beans that I sprouted in the above picture only required a glass for soaking and a strainer for sprouting. Here's how you can make your own sprouts at home in four easy steps:

  1. Select an UNCOOKED bean or seed to sprout. If you can, choose organic as this is the only way to ensure your sprouts haven't been sprayed with synthetic pesticides. Beans such as mung, adzuki (red), lentils and chickpeas (garbanzo) are excellent for sprouting. Seeds such as pumpkin, broccoli, radish and alfalfa are also good choices.

  2. Soak overnight. Soaking time varies according to what you're sprouting, but most require 12 hours. I soak my mung beans for a full 24 hours. In the morning you should see the outer husk begin to crack.

  3. Drain the water and distribute the beans/seeds in an even layer in a stainer. The idea is to keep the beans/seeds moist for the next few days. Using the strainer, rinse the beans/seeds at least twice a day (you may need to do it 3 times a day depending on your climate). I keep a plate under the stainer to collect the excessive water as it drains from the strainer. As each day passes, you should see the inside of the bean get larger and break open the outside husk of the bean.
  4. After 2-3 days place the sprouts in a bowl of water. The outer husks should float to the top, allowing you to remove the husks (although you don't have to remove them at all). Now enjoy your crisp, fresh, inexpensive, healthy sprouts.


Ray (of sunshine) said...

Oh I've always wanted to try this. How long did the mung beans take to sprout? Did you put them in a dark basement or cupboard? Thanks.

Shanghai Monkey said...

Hi Ray (cute play on words). The mung beans took about 3 days to sprout like you see in the first picture (fast, eh?). Some sites recommend leaving them in a cool, dark place, but I don't do this. Just keep them out of direct sunlight and the beans should sprout just fine. Good luck with your sprouting!!

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