Sproutibles

14 03 2009

I know…it’s not a “real” word, but it stands for Sprouted-edibles.  I’m very pleased to say that we’ve had our own sprouts consistently since January, with only the slightest little problems…we ran short of sprouts one week, and were a little overboard another.  Here’s the story of the lifespan of a sproutible.  Don’t blink…it goes by pretty darn quick!

Day 1 –

srpout1

While I’m in the kitchen prepping dinner, I grab a wide-mouth pint canning jar and fill it halfway with slightly warm water.  We usually have a mixture of sprouts:  Alfalfa, radish, red clover and broccoli.  I add 1 teaspoon of each seed to the jar, shake it a little to break up the bubbles, and leave it set for about 24 hours.

The technical part of what’s going on here, is that we’re softening the hulls of the seeds so that the embryonic plant inside can soak up some of that water and sprout!  Water and the right temperature are the two things that tell seeds it’s time to grow.  One without the other doesn’t work well.  The seeds can be the right temperature to grow, but without moisture, they remain dormant.  Water at the wrong temperature will yield swollen soggy seeds that can’t grow if the water is too cold, or cooked seeds if the water is too hot.  It’s kind of that Goldilocks thing…it has to be “just right.”  “Just right” and room temperature have a lot in common.  That’s why lots of houseplants do well…it’s the right temperature for plants that don’t like a lot of drastic changes.  But we’re sprouting edibles…back to it!

Day 2 –

sprout-24hrs

After 24 hours, the water is slightly cloudy, and said to be full of nutrients.  It is recommended to save this water for adding to anything that will be consumed soon.  That having been said, I’m usually in a bit of a rush, and simply drain them and give them a good rinse.  Rinsing temp should be about room temp.  If the water is cold, it will shock the seedlings a bit and they won’t start growing again until they return to 60-something degrees.  Rinse, drain, rinse, drain,  set aside will our mantra for the next few days.

Day 3 –

sprout-1rinse

It’s now Wednesday morning.  We perform the mantra… Rinse, drain, rinse, drain, set aside.  We do the same thing at lunch time…Rinse, drain, rinse, drain,  set aside.  And now it’s time to fix supper again, and here’s what’s happened in just 48 hours:

sprout-48hrs

The seeds are beginning to sprout.  Look closely, you can see some of the root-tails coming out.  Many of the seed hulls have split.  These are all good things.  Rinse, drain, rinse, drain,  set aside.

Day 4
It’s morning.  Whe we went to bed, the seeds had started to split.  Here’s what we found this morning:

sprout-4rinse

There are lots of roots this morning!  Another mantra…Rinse, drain, rinse, drain,  set aside.  Do the same at noon…Rinse, drain, rinse, drain,  set aside.  And what does the evening bring?

sprout-72hrs

The jar is now about half full of sprouts.  It’s time to start swishing to loosen the seed hulls.  Once the seed has sprouted, it doesn’t need the hull any more.  When you rinse, just slosh the seeds around gently.  We’ll be graduating to the next size screen soon.  The leaves can’t access the light and turn green, by creating chlorophyll until they’re free of the seed hulls.

sprout-lid

Sprouting lids or screens come in different sizes because seeds come in different sizes.  This is a fine screen-lid.  It will permit water to enter and be poured off but will keep seeds from flowing out with the water.  At least once they’ve been soaked it will.  The next size screen will be just a little larger and will do a very good job of keeping most of the sprouts in the jar while permitting the seed hulls to wash out of the jar.  Seeds the size we’re using will only need these two screens.  Seeds like mung bean seeds will start with the second screen, and graduate to one that has 3/8 inch openings.

Day 5 –

It’s Friday morning now…sprout-fri-am

We’re still in the pint jar, but we’ve graduated to the next larger screen-lid.  The jar is mostly full of sprouts.  They’re suspended in water in this picture.  We’ve got roots and bright green leaves now.

sprout-fri-pm

It’s Friday evening now.  We’ve had to move the sprouts into a larger jar.  This is a wide-mouthed quart jar-squarish, so it doesn’t roll.  There are still seeds just beginning to sprout, so we aren’t ready to package them up just yet.  There’s lots of plant life in the jar now. They’ll definitely need rinsing frequently if the days are very warm.

Day 6 ~

sprout-sat-am

Saturday morning. Late morning, but still morning.  Here are our sprouts before rinsing.  Notice the condensation?  That means it’s pretty warm inside the jar.  The sprouts generate a certain amount of heat on their own…all that growing going on!

You’d be able to package these up in a ventilated container (save a sprout container…justify it because it’s the LAST you’ll ever have to buy!) and keep them in the refrigerator at this point if you wanted.  I’m going to let them go another day or so.  I’m interested to see where we are after 7 days…if they aren’t too “grown” up that is.  I have a strawberry carton that I saved for sprouts.  It holds a quart jar full.  This batch may go to the half-gallon jar before they’re mature.

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One response

19 03 2009
Kayte

Wow…I loved learning all about this and the photos were so great to show each stage…what fun this looks like, so impressive. I think I could maybe do this! Thanks for sharing.

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