We love to eat sprouts on our sandwiches. They give a satisfying crunch and flavor to a ham & turkey on whole wheat. I used to purchase sprouts at the grocery store, but I often found that they weren’t super fresh or would go bad quickly. I knew there had to be a better way and I remembered that my mother used to grow sprouts on the windowsill when I was a kid. So I did some research, I ordered a sprouter and some seeds and the rest is history! Growing your own sprouts is so easy. Homegrown sprouts are fresher and tastier than store bought. Additionally, there are some really great sprout blends that you probably wouldn’t find at a Safeway that you can purchase online. And of course, growing your own is so much cheaper!!! I use a sprouter that I purchased, but I’ve seen other solutions online that include nothing more than a mason jar, some cheesecloth and a rubberband.
Here’s the skinny. Sprouts can be ready to eat in 5 days (we’re talking fully grown, ready for your sandwich). You can also use seeds that have been soaked for 24 hours in breads (have you heard of sprouted grain breads?). You only have to know a few things to be a successful sprouter:
- Keep your seeds in the freezer until you are ready to use them.
- Soak your seeds for 12-24 hours.
- Drain and Rinse your seeds ever 8-12 hours after the initial soak. Use lots of cool water to thoroughly rinse the sprouts. As the sprouts get bigger and thicker, make sure you have good water pressure so that the water gets all the way through them. (The sprouts go through the rinse/drain cycle for 4-5 days or until they look like they are ready to be eaten.)
- Make sure your sprouts & seeds have good air circulation (no airtight lids). Additionally, if you don’t drain your sprouts well enough and you don’t have good circulation you could end of growing bacteria in addition to your sprouts. Yuck.
- I usually give my sprouts a good wash and dry before storing them in the refrigerator.
- When they’re ready make sure you store them properly. I’ve found they last longest when they are pretty dry and in a container with the lid on.
My favorite sandwich is fresh whole wheat bread, avocado, ham/turkey, cheese (sharp cheddar, swiss or munster), dijon mustard and lots of fresh sprouts. Yes, please! Second favorite is fresh pita pockets with homemade hummus and sprouts.
I’m currently growing a batch of sprouts and will post some more photos of the progress: