In case you didn't know, Sprouts are one of those superfoods people talk about that give you crazy super powers.  Okay, maybe not, but they are really good for you and also super easy to grow at home.  Growing sprouts takes about 4-5 days and all you need are some beans and a mason jar.  Because they are a living plant they are packed with not only great crunchy flavor but also tons of nutrients.  

The method I use is in a Mason Jar.  There are lots of fancy sprouting contraptions out there but you really don't need much at all.

Mung Beans make great sprouts and are generally what you buy in the store, and are what's used in lots of Asian Stir-frys.  You can pick them up at any store that sells whole foods (ahem) or bulk beans.  My last batch was a pea variety that I picked up at last week's Farmer's market.  They have a starchier and sweeter taste but either will work just fine.  I suggest experimenting with different kinds to see what you like best.

Step One is to fill a Mason jar about 1/4 of the way full with beans.  You will be tempted to fill it more but don't.  They will expand and fill the jar when done.

Cover the beans with water and then cover with cheese cloth and the rim lid.  I have not tried it yet but recently found a blog where someone used the needlepoint plastic grids in the jar which is a GREAT idea that I will try soon.  You're going to let this sit overnight on the counter or window sill.  You want the beans to be exposed to some sunlight to start the growing process.

 Here is my setup, amongst some window sill plants in the kitchen

Here is my setup, amongst some window sill plants in the kitchen

Over the next few days the process is going to be the same.  You want to drain out the water bu turning the jar upside down in the sink.  You will want to fill and rinse the jar about 3 times a day.  Twice is fine depending on your schedule- so morning and night.   The shell of the beans expel an enzyme that is mildly toxic to humans so just don't make some crazy hippy cocktail with the rinse water.  Instead, use this to water your plants because it serves as a GREAT fertilizer.  Your plants will love it and you're also creating a very green cycle of waste materials.  That alone should get you into Heaven.

After the first day you will start to see some changes as the sprout starts to emerge from it's seed.  Over the next few days this 'tail' will become longer, and begin filling the jar.  There is some debate on how long to let them grow.  My rule of thumb is when the sprouts start to grow it's first set of leaves, they are ready.   At this point you can store them in the fridge for about a week but at this stage they can be used any time.

Sprouts can be cooked in Stir-Fries or eaten raw as snacks or in salads.  If you're trying a raw diet they are ideal.  In this stage they are producing a concentrated amount of nutrients that will feed your body and your soul.



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