FOOD TO GROW IN WINTER = SPROUTS!
In 2016, I want you to get out there and grow something. Not just anything - I want you to grow something you can eat! Most food producing plants need sun to grow which makes winter a difficult time to “get growing”. The good news is winter is great time to get sprouting! Simply put, sprouts are freshly germinated seeds. Sprouts are packed full of nutrients, many are a good source of protein, Vitamin A, Niacin, Calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper and are low in saturated fat and sodium!
Growing sprouts is easy! They don’t need light and within just a few days sprouts are ready to harvest. Water Cress can easily be sprouted in a paper towel, alfalfa seeds germinate well in Mason jar, and for those serious about sprouting, I suggest purchasing a sprouter from your local health food store or garden centre.
Make sure to purchase seeds produced specifically for sprouting. Some seeds may contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can cause food borne illnesses. To reduce the risk, avoid eating sprouts if you suffer from a weakened immune system and sprouts should not be consumed by children, the elderly or pregnant women. Another option is cooking sprouts which will kill any harmful bacteria. Buying seeds produced for sprouting is your best solution to staying bacteria free.
Here are the basics of sprouting:
- Store your seeds right: Keep them cool and dark until ready for sprouting.
- Soak them: Soaking turns dormant seeds into nutritional powerhouses.
- Rinsing: Do this daily and use water liberally.
- Draining: Drain after rinsing this means every single drop, you don’t like sitting in a tube for endless hours and neither do sprouts!
- Air Circulation: You like to breath and so do sprouts, never keep them in a closed container, there should always be holes for air circulation.
- Keep it clean: Cleanliness is key! Use clean seeds produced for sprouting only, clean your sprouter after use and sterilize often.
- How long do sprouts last? If stored properly fresh sprouts can keep for up to 6 weeks in your refrigerator. Never refrigerate wet sprouts.