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How to Grow Sprouts at Home

I really like sprouts on a salad or sandwich, but I am often nervous to get them off a salad bar or from a restaurant due to the numerous times I have read they are the source of food-borne illness breakouts (truthfully though, what hasn’t been the source of food-borne illness these days?!).  Did you know that you can grow your own sprouts at home safely AND it is so incredibly easy?

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From a sprouting class I took at Local Harvest.

Here is your supply list:

1. A large mason jar.  I used a quart size one, but you can go larger as well.

2. Sprouting seeds.  It is VERY important that you buy organic seeds specifically for sprouting.  If you live in St. Louis, Local Harvest carries some or you can purchase them online.  I like Handy Pantry.

3. Cheese cloth.

4. 2 Rubber bands.

5. Filtered water.

Once you have gathered your supplies the amount of work is minimal.  Simply put 2 tablespoons of sprout seeds in your jar and fill with filtered water until it is about 2/3 full.  Place the cheesecloth on top and secure with the rubber bands.  Swirl to wash and then drain the water.

I find you need to tap on the cheesecloth to get the seeds to fall back in the jar.  Then, remove the cheesecloth (or if you can pour water in with it on more power to you.  I have yet to figure out an effective way to do this.) and fill the jar 1/2 way up with filtered water.  Top with cheesecloth and secure with rubber bands.  Let sit for 8-12 hours away from direct sunlight.

After soaking, drain the water and repeat the rinse, swirl drain process you did at the beginning twice a day.  If you want your sprouts to green, keep them in indirect sunlight.  Try to make sure to get as much water out as possible each time your drain.  After 5-7 days you will magically have a jar FULL of sprouts ready for salads, sandwiches, soups, and more!

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After your last rinse and drain, lay them out on a paper towel to dry a bit.  You can eat them right there or stick them in the fridge for later.  Just note, they are best if consumed within 2-3 days.

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*Please note this process only works for certain sprout seeds, such as alfalfa.  Be sure to check the label of your seeds to specific instructions.*

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