Frugal Village Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
867 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I bought some mixed sprouts at the regional farmer's market Saturday to supplement my steamed fish lunches. I'm sure I'l forget some, but I asked for a little of everything - bean, radish, onion, mustard, brocoli, cabbage, clover, fennel-something and I think two others. The radish and mustard have a bit of a bite to them!

Very tasty and I'm hoping they'll help me unprepare for the nuclear winter that is less likely to occur than in years past. I don't think I need quite the level of energy reserves that I currently carry. :lol:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,524 Posts
The farmer's markets have recently opened here, and I think I'll look for some of these sprouts on my next trip. They sound tasty!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
Have you considered making your own? It's one of the most budget-friendly and fun ways to "garden" I know of.

We eat them mostly in the winter when "fresh" food doesn't exist from stores. I love my little garden-in-a-jar. Between sprouts and a window box filled with herbs (another great winter source for nutrient-dense "fresh" food), and fresh greens from the cold frame (November-March in a good year), we have fresh food all winter long.

Personally, I'd hesitate purchasing sprouts unless I knew they were processed in a licensed and inspected business, and they sanitized the sprout containers after each batch. As well as used citric acid for soaking and rinsing their beans/seeds in order to retard spoilage and bacterial growth. Are they kept refrigerated at all times after sprouting? I wouldn't do any less for my family.

As a precaution, you can rinse them yourself when you get home using a solution of 1 t. citric acid (available at most health food stores or pharmacies) and a quart of water. Or use some grapefruit seed extract in water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
867 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
How exactly is the best way to grow your own sprouts?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Early Bird

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
How exactly is the best way to grow your own sprouts?
You need a quart jar and a sprouting screen (they come in many styles - sprout screen - Google Product Search), nylon netting or a piece of cheese cloth held on the jar with a rubber band, to cover the jar. Nothing fancy necessary.

Make sure you start with a clean jar. Scald the jar with boiling-hot water and allow to air dry. You can add bacteria to the jar drying it with a used dish towel, enough to contaminate your sprouts.

Here's a pretty good web site for how-to, except you should soak the seeds/grains/beans in acified water (1 quart water and 1 t. citric acid) to help prevent bacteria. And each time you rinse the contents (usually a couple times a day) in the jar use the same solution.

Sprouts Contain As Much As 35% Protein

This link has a nice seed chart: Sprouting Instructions and Sprouting Chart - The Easy Way.

Caution mixing seeds. Not all seeds sprout in the same amount of time, so choose seeds that do, or sprout them separately and THEN mix together.

During sprouting keep the jar in the dark. The last day of sprouting leave the jar in the light (but not in direct sunlight) to develop chlorophyll (the leaves green-up).

You'll find a number of ways to sprout when you check on-line, as well as a lot of YouTube videos. The one thing most methods omit is the citric acid water, which helps prevent bacteria growth, mold and spoilage.

Caution: Alfalfa sprouts and seeds are rich in the amino acid canavanine and should be avoided (or used in moderation) if you have a rheumatoid disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Canavanine can ignite inflammations in these conditions.

This link has more food safety information: http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-412.pdf
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,355 Posts
Have you considered making your own? It's one of the most budget-friendly and fun ways to "garden" I know of.

We eat them mostly in the winter when "fresh" food doesn't exist from stores. I love my little garden-in-a-jar. Between sprouts and a window box filled with herbs (another great winter source for nutrient-dense "fresh" food), and fresh greens from the cold frame (November-March in a good year), we have fresh food all winter long.

Personally, I'd hesitate purchasing sprouts unless I knew they were processed in a licensed and inspected business, and they sanitized the sprout containers after each batch. As well as used citric acid for soaking and rinsing their beans/seeds in order to retard spoilage and bacterial growth. Are they kept refrigerated at all times after sprouting? I wouldn't do any less for my family.

As a precaution, you can rinse them yourself when you get home using a solution of 1 t. citric acid (available at most health food stores or pharmacies) and a quart of water. Or use some grapefruit seed extract in water.
Ah grainlady I should have known you would say what I was thinking. Only you do it much better then I.

Sprouting is easy once you get into the swing of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
867 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
For sprouting, do I still want to use seeds in the $2.00 pack at Lowes, etc. or do I want to look for bulk suppliers?

Or is this question addressed in one of the website folks have provided links to that I haven't had time to look at all of yet?

I'm concerned that it will be more expensive for me to grow sprouts than can be found at my current supplier ($3.50 / 1/4 pound - sounds expensive, but $5 worth feeds me for a week of lunches combined with my steamed fish).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
For sprouting, do I still want to use seeds in the $2.00 pack at Lowes, etc. or do I want to look for bulk suppliers?

Or is this question addressed in one of the website folks have provided links to that I haven't had time to look at all of yet?

I'm concerned that it will be more expensive for me to grow sprouts than can be found at my current supplier ($3.50 / 1/4 pound - sounds expensive, but $5 worth feeds me for a week of lunches combined with my steamed fish).
I've always found seeds to be MUCH less expensive than purchasing sprouts. There is a general rule of thumb for processed foods - for every set of hands that it takes to make a food item, the more it will cost. The closer to the whole food, the less it will cost. As an example, there is approx. 17-cents worth of grain in a box of cereal. You pay a very high price for processing, packaging and advertising. While I pay for grain and make my own cereal for pennies.

I keep hundreds of pounds of a large variety of grains/seeds/beans in storage, as a major source of food in our diet, so they are my major source for sprouting. I also keep seeds specifically FOR sprouting and rotate them out of stock after one year. This will keep sprouting seeds fresh.

As an example...

Two tablespoons (about 20 grams) small seeds like alfalfa, quinoa, clover, radish, cress, or cabbage seeds yields 2 c. of sprouts. The 16-oz. (454 g.) bag of NOW Alfalfa Sprouting Seeds cost $8, so that's about 3-1/2 cents for 2 cups of alfalfa sprouts.

One cup of wheat - 3 c. sprouts
There is 2-1/4 c. wheat in a pound. I'm using wheat that cost $5 for 25# (or .20-cents for over 6-cups of sprouts)

One-half cup of lentils = 1-1/2 c. sprouts.

You can check your local health food store for a variety of SPROUTING seeds, or check on-line. Amazon.com always has a large selection of them from a variety of venders.

In a time of "need" I would consider sprouts an important source of fresh "living" food. Sprouting seeds are one of the "Seven Survival Foods" (grains, legumes, sprouting seeds, sweetener, salt, oil, and powdered milk). You can actually subsist on wheat alone if you sprout a portion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
682 Posts
My local drug stores and health food stores sell organic seeds for sprouting. Grainlady mentioned that mixing seeds is not a good idea since they sprout at different rates, my store however does sell mixes made for sprouting. So they have taken the time and trouble to find which seeds sprout at the same rate.
I have also sprouted lentils I've bought at Kroger in the dry bean section :)
HTH
Andrea


For sprouting, do I still want to use seeds in the $2.00 pack at Lowes, etc. or do I want to look for bulk suppliers?

Or is this question addressed in one of the website folks have provided links to that I haven't had time to look at all of yet?

I'm concerned that it will be more expensive for me to grow sprouts than can be found at my current supplier ($3.50 / 1/4 pound - sounds expensive, but $5 worth feeds me for a week of lunches combined with my steamed fish).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
867 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Could I just use high concentration sulfite solution for initial sanitization like I do for my homebrewing?

For the citric acid solution, any reason not to buy a gallon of distilled water and just make a big batch of citric acid solution? Hmmm... do sprouts need the minerals found in tap water?

Once the jar is full, can I just take out what I'm going to eat that day and keep rinsing and growing until it is all gone? I am eating a total of about 1/3 lb this week for my lunches. I think that is maybe 1/4 of a mason jar by volume. I wonder if a nearby farm market / greenhouse would carry sprouting seeds...

What is the best source for the jars if one doesn't have any?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,430 Posts
Could I just use high concentration sulfite solution for initial sanitization like I do for my homebrewing?

For the citric acid solution, any reason not to buy a gallon of distilled water and just make a big batch of citric acid solution? Hmmm... do sprouts need the minerals found in tap water?

Once the jar is full, can I just take out what I'm going to eat that day and keep rinsing and growing until it is all gone? I am eating a total of about 1/3 lb this week for my lunches. I think that is maybe 1/4 of a mason jar by volume. I wonder if a nearby farm market / greenhouse would carry sprouting seeds...

What is the best source for the jars if one doesn't have any?
1. I'm not familiar with using sulfite for sanitizing, however there are numerous studies showing the efficacy of using citric acid when it comes to preventing bacteria growth in sprouts as well as foods you dehydrate. Using the citric acid is what I was taught in a food safety class.

Instructions on the NOW brand of alfalfa sprouting seeds: We (NOW) recommend adding 1/4 t. NOW FOODS Citric Acid Powder (item # 7320) to each rinse cycle as a preservative against spoilage.

2. Some sources say chlorinated water can prevent seeds from sprouting. I've used tap water and distilled water and have always managed to get sprouts.

3. You sprout the seeds to certain lengths. You can find charts that will give you approximately how many days it takes for each kind of seed, and the "harvest length".

For example: 1-1/2 to 2 T. alfalfa seeds will generally fill a quart jar with sprouts. Growing time is 4-5 days and the harvest length is 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches (you grow them to the length you like). Place them in direct sunlight 1 to 2 days before you harvest them to develop the chlorophyll. Rinse the hulls away. You can leave the hulls in, but they are a good source for forming mold, so to minimize mold problems I remove as many hulls as possible. Once the final rinse is complete, drain the jar for 30 or so minutes, place a plastic screw-cap (specially made for wide-mouth and regular canning jars) and park your jar of drained sprouts in the refrigerator. Stored sprouts must be kept cold or they will spoil.

In order to have on-going sprouts, you can sprout a smaller amount (1-2 teaspoons of seeds) in a pint jar and start consecutive batches so you get a new (smaller) batch every day, or every other day. Using this method you might have 3 or 5 small jars of sprouts at different stages of growth.

Some "little" things...

-It's difficult to find unhulled quinoa, and when you do it's expensive, so you can probably cross them off your sprouting list.

-Both flaxseed and chia seeds are very gelatinous when mixed with water and are difficult to sprout; and you have to use a different process than a jar.

-Food-grade Hydrogen Peroxide, Grapefruit Seed Extract, or bleach can be used to sterilize your sprouter/s. Soak your sprouter for 10-20 minutes in a bleach water solution (1 T. bleach per PINT of water). This is what is recommended by some Health Departments and the FDA for people who grow sprouts professionally. Whatever kind of sanitizer you use for your sprouter/s, CLEAN is GOOD!

-Check your local library, or have them get these books through Inter-Library Loan.

The Sprouting Book and Recipes for Longer Life by Ann Wigmore.

Sproutman's Kitchen Garden Cookbook and Recipes from the Sproutman by Steve Meyerowitz.

-I also soak almonds, pecans (and other nuts) in lightly salted water (overnight). This begins the sprouting of the nuts and decreases the hard-to-digest enzyme inhibitors. Drain them and dehydrate them until they are crispy. This makes more nutrients available and makes them easier to digest.

-Best source for jars... You can use glass canning jars (new in the box or check thrift stores), or recycled "one-trip" jars from foods you purchase at the grocery store. You can also use plastic jars or storage containers. I have several sprouters, but generally use glass jars. You might enjoy this web site: Sprouting Supplies | Organic Sprouting Seeds, Kits, Sprouters & More
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
867 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I did some window shopping on the way home. I can swing a 12 pack of wide mouth 1 Q canning jars new. I also found a limited supply of sprouting seeds at a store on the way home. They are out of alfalfa and their broccoli is the most expensive at $40/lb. Clover is $15 or so a pound. Stopped by my homebrew store and bought some citric acid. Bought some plastic canvas to try to use maybe two together out of phase as a screen.

Maybe I'll get started with the clover and start taking notes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
867 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Bought some 1 Q wide mouth canning jars (Ball) and some sprouting seeds today - mung bean, alfalfa and red clover. I figure I'll start each in a separate jar and take notes.

When people say to keep them in the dark, do we mean to aim for the complete absence of light or is a closet / cabinet with a closed solid door ok?
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top