This hobby doesn’t require any particular knowledge or expertise, it doesn’t take up space and the sprouts, with elevated vitamin and mineral levels, have a high nutritional value. You can grow sprouts from clover, soya, rocket, azuki beans, mung beans and much more. The seeds are also very cheap to buy making it a money saving way to fill up on these healthy vitamins.
Sprouter, yes or no?
Is it necessary to use a sprouter? If you’re not sure what it is, a sprouter is a plastic or clay container where the seeds are left to sprout. In my experience the benefits of a sprouter are that it saves space, produces more sprouts and makes the whole process simpler. A sprouter, therefore, is useful but not essential in the sprouting process.
Online you can find other methods on how to grow sprouts, such at the glass jar method, or using a plate and lint. Personally I don’t think the sprouter is a bad idea, especially for beginners or those with little spare time on their hands.
In order to grow the sprouts, first of all we need some seeds: organic seeds to be precise, they really do cost next to nothing. Once fully stocked with seeds (we’re using clover seeds), we can let our adventure begin: growing sprouts at home is easier than you might think!
Firstly the seeds must be left to soak overnight before putting them in the sprouter the following mornings. The sprouter must be kept somewhere light but not subject to direct sunlight. On top of a piece of furniture or a windowsill is perfect. In the second case, however, make sure there isn’t a radiator underneath!
Day one: Clover seeds don’t need much water, just enough to keep them humid. In my case a few sprays of water on the first evening was more than enough. Be careful not to add too much water during the sprouting phase as the seeds risk becoming mouldy.
Day two: you will be able to see clearly that the seeds are breaking and beginning to sprout. Increase slightly the water dosage (try to use a small espresso cup in the morning and another in the evening) and drain off the water that forms in the secondary container. Don’t throw this water away, it’s rich in mineral salts and vitamins and can be used to water plants
Day three: the sprouts begin to turn green and it seems as if they are growing before your eyes. You’ll be able to note that the sprouts on the top level grow quicker as they receive more sunlight. All you need to do is swap around the various shelves in order to keep the growth level constant. You should also be aware that in the warmer months you may find insects flying “threateningly” around your sprouts. You can protect the sprouts using a piece of lint, this will keep the insects away without affecting the growth of the sprouts.
Day four: the sprouts will look almost ready. You’ll need to be just a little more patient! The spouts are very rarely ready on the fourth day.
Day five: Our clover sprouts are ready. They are to be eaten raw, in order to benefit from all their nutritional properties. You can add them to salads, on bruschetta, buttered bread, in soups or on their own with a dash of salt and olive oil.
The sprouts will last 4 to 5 days in the fridge (do not freeze). Unlike vegetables, which begin to loose their nutritional properties as soon as they are harvested, the sprouts maintain their nutritional levels even after being harvested.
Even though they will continue to grow, it’s important not to leave the sprouts in the sprouter after day five. Excessive growth would have a negative impact on the nutritional value of the sprouts and make them unsuitable for consumption.
We wish everyone happy sprouting! Write to us about your experiences of home made sprouts.