Sprouting - Goodness on Your Windowsill

2/10/2015 - 8:16:25 PM

Mason jar seed sprouters flew off our shelves at the PA Farm Show in January.  While they have been re-ordered, I have yet to get my hands on one.  However, wanting to see what the hype was all about - I grabbed the Botanical Interests Seed Sprouting Trays.  

I have never sprouted seeds for the purpose of eating sprouts, so I made sure to read the instructions cover to cover.  The 7-year old, who is ever uncertain of my crazy ideas, also read through the instructions to make sure I was sane.  

I selected both alfalfa seeds and kale seeds for sprouting.  We started with the alfalfa and were surprised how tiny they were.  Step one was to rinse the seeds well, so I rinsed and realized the alfalfa seeds would go right through all of my strainers.  So fingers it was.  Of course, several went down the drain.

The next step was to soak overnight.  This would allow the seed coat to soften so that the tiny plants co
uld break through.  We soaked and rinsed again, more seeds down the drain!

We spread the alfalfa seeds over one of the sprouting trays.  I’m not sure how they didn’t fall through the cracks, but they didn’t.  The sprouting tray sat on top of the bottom tray (the water catcher) and we added the vented lid on top.  The directions told us to rinse the seeds 2-3 times per day.  I don’t know about you, but that can be hard to do.  I rinsed once per day and had excellent results.

By day 2 the seeds cracked open showing the faintest hint of green.  Green, such a wonderful sight in cold, dreary winter.  By day 3 you could make out actual leaves.  By day 4 we were told eating was possible, but we decided to wait until day 6.

On day 6 we had a dense mat of beautiful sprouts.  Now it was time to taste test.  The 7-year old is not a picky eater, but I wasn’t sure what she would say about sprouts.  Much to my surprise they were a huge hit.  With no salad dressing or ketchup needed.  That’s a win for me.

We munched on the sprouts for another day.  The instructions said if you refrigerate at this point they will hold for about a week.  By day 8 the sprouts were losing some of their green, probably due to the fact that we did not refrigerate.  For me refrigeration was one of those out of sight, out of mind situations.  When the box sat on my windowsill, I couldn’t miss it.  With the sprouts fading they were distributed to the chickens who gobbled them up quickly – they have also been missing the green stuff.

Because the first experience went so well, we started the next round.  I didn’t want to deal with tiny alfalfa seeds so we soaked some sunflower seeds.  I never would have thought about sprouting sunflowers, but the packet said it would work.

The sunflower seeds have taken much longer to sprout.  It is now day 4 and we have green stems and some white roots, but no leaves.  The sunflowers are producing a much coarser sprout so we will see what the 7-year old says.  Regardless of the verdict, we will share with the chickens as usual.  Doesn’t everyone?

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