Did you know sprouts and shoots supply the highest amount of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc. of any food per calorie?? AND they are easy to grow, yummy to eat and give any gardener a gardening fix in the middle of a snowy winter!
How To Grow Sprouts
- Measure 1 heaping tablespoon of sprout seeds into a quart jar with a screen type lid. There are many different kinds of sprouts such as alfalfa, broccoli, green peas, garbanzo beans, wheat grass, dill, etc.
- Add about 3 inches of fresh water.
- Let the seeds soak overnight (about 8 hours)
- Drain and rinse twice daily for 4-5 days. To rinse, fill the jar of seeds with water, turn it upside down over the sink and shake the jar hard to get the extra water out.
- Lay the jar on its side and do not allow the seeds to block the circulation of air.
- For the first 3-4 days, keep the jars in a cool, shady place, not in direct sunlight.
- On the 4th day, place the jar in indirect light to help the sprouts develop chlorophyll. Sprouts will ready to eat on about the fifth or sixth day. Rinse out the seed hulls by putting the sprouts in a bowl and floating them away. The sprouts can then be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic container.
How To Grow Shoots
Pea and sunflowers are best grown as shoots instead of as sprouts. Shoots require a bit of soil and a container. Some of the easiest containers to use are those clear plastic clamshell-type that you buy baby spinach or cookies in from the grocery store.
- Start by putting about 2″ of any damp potting soil in the bottom of the container.
- Soak about a cup of unhulled sunflower or pea seeds for 8 to 12 hours. Then press the soaked seeds firmly into the soil (they don’t need to be covered with soil.) You can buy organic sunflower or pea seeds from a seed company or simply use a bag of birdseed sunflowers or dried peas from the grocery store.
- Cover the seeds with a few sheets of damp newspaper. This will keep the seeds dark and will make them work to grow resulting in stronger stems.
- Water the seeds through the newspaper if it is getting dry. Too much and the seeds may get moldy. Once the growing sprouts start pushing the paper up, which should take two to four days, depending on the temperature, remove the paper and place them in the sun. Continue to give the seedlings a little drink every day.
- Reap your harvest with scissors when the first two leaves open. You can cut them all at once and store the excess in the refrigerator, or simply harvest a handful every day. Once all the shoots have been cut, just toss out the used soil into your garden and mix it in as compost.
Here are some resources for sprout and shoot supplies:
Click on the underlined links.
Scamman’s home and Garden, Stratham NH
Enjoy! ~ Patti