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Growing Sprouts — Indoor Gardening

By Fredrica Syren:

We’re a family who loves all green vegetables. What is not to love? Green vegetables are superior when it comes to nutrition because they are alkalizing to your body, which is the cornerstone of a healthy body and immune system. One of our favorite vegetables, especially during winter when there is less produce naturally available, is sprouts. Besides how nutritious they are, the best part about sprouts is how inexpensive they are and how super easy they are to grow indoors. All you need are organic seeds and/or soil and a sprouting bag or sprouting jar.

BroccoliSprIn our home right now, we grow sweet pea, mung bean, and broccoli sprouts; and they grow so fast. I grow sweet pea sprouts in soil in my window, mung bean sprouts in a sprouting bag, and broccoli sprouts in a jar on my kitchen counter.

Before I get into details about how to grow your own sprouts, let’s get serious about why sprouts are so good for you and why everyone should eat them. It is estimated that sprouts contain 100 times more enzymes than other raw vegetables or fruits. Sprouts are, therefore, considered a superfood and one of the best cancer fighting foods out there. Sprouts contain a very good amount of protein, fiber and vitamins. Pretty much anything can be sprouted: quinoa, beans, lentils, sunflower seeds, wild rice, wheat, and fenugreek are some of my favorite sprouts.

How to grow sprouts in a sprout jar:

  • Hygiene is super important when handling sprouts, so make sure to clean your hands very well sprout jarsbefore starting.
  • Whether you grow sprouts in soil, in a bag or in jar, all seeds need to be soaked first. So begin by soaking about 1 tablespoon of one type of seeds in water overnight. The next day, rinse seeds or beans thoroughly.
  • Place the seeds in a sprouts jar. It can be a store bought sprouting jar or you can make your own very easily. You can find instructions for that
  • Set the jar upside down in a clean, cool spot in your kitchen area, preferably on a slight angle to allow excess water to drain off.
  • Rinse sprouts in cool water and then drain a couple of times a day. This will make sure they stay hydrated to keep the sprouting process going.
  • Harvest time depends on what kind of seed or beans are being used. I have found that alfalfa and broccoli sprouts take about 5 days, and beans sprouts a bit longer.

Using a sprout bag:

  • Place a tablespoon of seeds in the bag, then submerge the entire bag in a bowl of water overnight. In the morning, rinse and drain the seeds while still in the bag. Hang up the bag.
  • Rinse and drain a few times a day and then hang bag up again until sprouts are done.

Sprouting in soil:

  • Soak about 1 tablespoon of one type of seeds in water overnight. The next day, rinse seeds or beans sproutsthoroughly.
  • Spread seeds in organic vegetable soil in a pot.
  • Place in a window and water each day.
  • Once sprouts are mature, harvest by cutting them with scissors. Seeds will keep growing sprouts as long as you keep watering them.

To learn more about sprouting, check out these links:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/growing-sprouts-at-home-zmaz77zbon.aspx

http://organicgardening.about.com/od/vegetablesherbs/a/growingsprouts.htm

http://eartheasy.com/blog/2013/02/fresh-greens-in-winter-how-to-grow-sprouts-at-home/

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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