Friday, November 14, 2008

Those Amazing Sprouts

The guineas have successfully transitioned to the outdoor brooder and have made it through several freezing nights. Whew! I was getting tired of sharing my bathroom.
With the encouragement of the peavines in the garden, which have survived the freezing nights so far (despite losing their blossoms), I am working to complete a small section of greenhouse in which to start seeds and hopefully some winter greens.

In my frustration with lettuce failures this year, I had forgotten all about that most basic of hippie homesteader foodstuffs - sprouts. I now have two batches of sprouts going at all times and am thrilled to have some crunchy green stuff to eat with supper and in sandwiches. Not to mention the vitamin and fiber packed benefits. I am sprouting lentils because I have an abundance on hand, and they are particularly yummy as a salad. I have also tried wheat sprouts, and although they are tasty, they stick together, and are a little too much for me as a salad, but would probably be great run through the juicer, as wheatgrass juice. I might try throwing in a few mustard or celery seeds to add a little spice in the next batch. To have a sprout salad, just throw in whatever you would add to a lettuce salad, add some dressing and enjoy.

To sprout seeds: choose any non-treated legume, chemically treated beans can make you sick. Mung beans, alfalfa, wheat berries, lentils, dried peas, garbanzo beans, other dried beans, mustard, radish, curly cress are all good. Place about 1/4 cup seeds/beans in a clean quart jar and cover plus about 2 inches with water. Let sit overnight. Cover jar with cheesecloth and a rubber band. Drain seeds in morning, rinse, drain, cover and lay jar on its side in a cool, dark place, I put mine on top of the fridge. Continue to rinse and drain twice a day. Sprouts should be ready in 3-5 days.