How to Grow Your Own Alfalfa Sprouts
News of alfalfa sprout recalls prompted us to call our mother. Why? Because when we were in kindergarten, she came and taught everyone how to grow their own sprouts in a jar. It seems like a good idea now that we’re adults looking for more organic, locally-grown food. Our own kitchen is as local as it gets.
All you need is a mason jar, some cheese cloth, a rubber band, and some alfalfa seeds. We bought our seeds at a health food store, which only sold one-pound bags, so we may need to find some neighbors who love sprouts, too.
To get started:
Put 2 tablespoons of seeds into the jar.
Cover them with a few inches of cool water.
Cover the top of the jar with cheese cloth and secure with a rubber band.
Allow the seeds to soak overnight, then drain off the water.
For the next few days, rinse the seeds in the morning and evening by filling the jar with some water, swishing the seeds around, and draining them. Store the jar in a spot away from direct sunlight.
After three days, we could see white shoots coming out of the seeds. After four or five days, our swishing was no longer a big, loose swirl of seeds but a thumpity thump rolling of a tangle of growing sprouts. This morning, we saw the green tips of the fully grown sprouts, tasted a few, and decided our work was done. We replaced the cheese cloth with the jar top and put them in the refrigerator.
We did have several clumps of un-sprouted seeds left in the jar, as if they didn’t have room to grow. Maybe they were casualties of a survival-of-the-fittest environment? Or maybe we should have used fewer seeds. Next time we might try one tablespoon instead of two. As for now, we’re buying cream cheese and a good loaf of bread to make sprouts sandwiches.