Windowsill Gardening with Sprouts

Homegrown sprouts are perfect for windowsill gardening any time of the year. Just add water and watch them grow.

Some of the freshest, most nutritious organic greens on the planet can be grown in your kitchen without special equipment, complicated instructions or time-consuming techniques. All you have to do is grab a quart jar, sprinkle in a few tablespoons of sprouting seeds, and add water.

In a week, you’ll have a jar full of sprouts you can use on top of salads, added to sandwiches or tossed into soups to add a delicious and nutritious touch. Some say sprouts are the most nutritiously dense food you can grow.

High-quality organic sprouting seeds can be found at natural food grocery stores, at online seed retailers, and some garden centers. Seeds popular for home sprouting include alfalfa, lentils, mung beans, clover, radish, sunflower and broccoli. There are also many seed mixes available.

Each kind of seed offers a different taste experience, from slightly sweet to tangy, but all offer a way to make ordinary meals special.

Sprouts can be grown in a store-bought stackable tray system or in a simple quart jar. The steps are the same in either case—soak seeds overnight, rinse with cool water at least once a day and drain. Most sprouts will be ready to harvest in about one week.

To get started:

  • Buy the organic sprouting seeds of your choice.
  • Add 2 tablespoons seeds to a clean, dry quart jar.
  • Cover jar with cheesecloth, a nylon stocking or mesh screen; secure with jar ring or rubber ban.
  • Cover seeds with water and soak overnight.
  • Drain water; rinse seeds with fresh water.
  • Swish water and seeds; drain.

Rinse seeds with cool water once a day and drain. The sprouts will be ready to harvest in about 7 days. Use fresh sprouts or they can be stored in the fridge for several days.

Here are a few ideas for using sprouts in the kitchen:

  • Add a cup or more of bean sprouts to your favorite chicken or vegetarian stir fry recipe just before serving.
  • Cut a pita pocket bread in half, stuff with tuna or chicken salad and top with alfalfa sprouts.
  • Use sunflower sprouts in wraps filled with deli meat and cheeses for a tangy twist on a sandwich.
  • Replace parsley with a handful of lentil sprouts in homemade chicken noodle soup.
  • Top a cheese and tomato sandwich with alfalfa sprouts instead of lettuce.
  • Create crunchy veggie tacos with black beans, salsa, cheese and broccoli sprouts.

Do you have other ideas for using sprouts in the kitchen? If so, please add them here!


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