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How to Safely Make Edible Sprouts

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Written by Aupoet   

fresh sprouts

Many types of common garden seeds can be eaten as organic sprouts, which are very high in nutritional value and great tasting as snacks and in sprout recipes.

Edible sprouts include all types of bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, and even sprouts from pumpkin seeds, grains such as buckwheat, and peas and peanut sprouts. Use this method for sprouting seeds quickly and cheaply at home.

1. You will need the following supplies: Edible seeds, Absorbent sterile cloth, Clean water, Plastic wrap, and a Plastic or glass tray

2. Buy seeds for organic sprouts or harvest home grown seeds. Never use seeds packaged for planting as they are usually treated to prevent insect pests and diseases.

Dried beans and peas sold at grocery stores have usually been heat treated to kill pests and may not sprout reliably. Health food stores and organic food stores are usually the best places to buy sprouting seeds. Then there are always organic seeds grown in the home garden that can be dried and saved especially for sprouting. Do not save the seeds from tomatos, potatos, or tamatillos, as these members of the nightshade family have poisonous sprouts.

3. Get a flat tray of a size large enough to hold a single layer of the sprouting seeds, yet still easy to handle. Trays should not be made of metal because the constant dampness during sprouting may cause rust and the metal may give an off flavor to the seed sprouts. Plastic trays and glass baking dishes are good seed sprouting containers as are wooden trays. Line the tray with several thicknesses, 3 to 5 depending on the thickness of the material, of a clean, absorbent cloth. Cheesecloth, terrycloth, and cotton sheeting will all work well.

4. Clean the garden seeds by washing them repeatedly with good clean water. Don't use water that has chemicals such as chlorine in it. Place the seeds in bowl with the water and swish them around, then pour off the water along with any floating matter that comes out of the seeds. Repeat the process until they are clean. Put the seeds in a colander to let them drip dry somewhat. Remove any discolored or split seeds. Larger, thicker hulled garden seeds such as beans, peas, corn, and pumpkin seeds will sprout faster if soaked in water overnight in a covered glass jar kept out of the light.

5. Moisten the layers of cloth by soaking them in clean, chemical free water. Line the tray with several layers of the wet cloth. Place a single layer of seeds on the cloth and cover with a piece of clean plastic wrap. Place the sprouting tray in a dark, room temperature place such on a pantry shelf or in a closet. Depending on the type of seeds being sprouted, in from 2 to 6 days the seed sprouts will be ready for eating. Check on them daily to keep them moist with a misting of clean water and to watch for any signs of mold or mildew.

6. Store the sprouts in the fridge for up to a week or they can be frozen for later use in salads, sandwiches, soups, and as tasty snacks. Some garden seeds will sprout better using the jar method rather then on trays. Read my other article "How to use a Jar to Sprout Seeds" to learn how to use the jar method. Do you have a favorite seed type for edible sprouts? If so add them to my comment section so others can give them a try.

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