#111 – Alfalfa Sprouts

#111 – Alfalfa Sprouts

This is Recipe Roundup, episode 111. It’s getting warmer and the time for growing things is here! But you don’t necessarily need an entire outdoor garden in order to experience the pleasure of growing your own food! Sprouts are the easiest way to add a little homegrown to your diet. 


I think I actually might prefer sprouts on sandwiches over lettuce – especially if we are talking about bagel sandwiches. While there are a lot of different seeds and legumes you can sprout at home, alfalfa sprouts are probably the ones you are most familiar with. There are so many different ways to grow them, but I’ll be talking about two methods – the jar method and the paper towel method. 


The jar method is self contained and easy if you are just looking to get some sprouts for eating. All you need is a mason jar, cheese cloth or a fine sieve, alfalfa seeds, and clean, room temperature water. 1 tbs of seed is a good amount for a pint jar. Start by placing them in the jar, and pouring in enough water to completely cover them. Place the lid on the jar and let them sit over night or for at least 4 hours at room temperature. Strain out the water with the cheesecloth. Then you rinse the sprouts by adding some more room temperature water, swishing around, and draining again before securing the lid. Rinse the sprouts twice a day until they reach your desired growth – typically around 5 days. 


The paper towel method is optimal if you’d like to see the linear growth of the sprouts upwards! Start the same way, by soaking the seeds and rinsing them. Then, wet a paper towel and place it into a flat container. After rinsing the seeds, spread them as evenly as possible on the damp paper towel. Lightly water the sprouts everyday – enough to keep the paper towel moist without being soaked. It should take a few days and then you’ll have some beautiful sprouts. 


The only real concern is for mold developing which can happen if they aren’t kept at the right moisture level. You can protect against some of this possibility by putting a splash of hydrogen peroxide in your original soaking water or by adding a little bit of white vinegar to the first rinse of the seeds you perform. Note that the roots of sprouts can sometimes appear fuzzy and that’s nothing to worry about – but if you see any off colors or smells that indicate mold, throw them away as soon as possible.


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