Sprouting Your Own Beans
When I showed my nephew my newest project he was intrigued. He is used to all the funny things that his Auntie Steph does, like keeping worms on the porch to digest food scraps, but this was especially exciting. Each time he came over he could see the change in my newest little plants. Like I mentioned before, if you can’t grow your own garden in your backyard, this project will transform your meals into something “homegrown” with as little effort as watering 2x a day.
You can sprout beans in a variety of ways, and I experimented first by sprouting in my mason jars with cheese cloth. After it molded around the edges, I tried a metal screen, but found that the lid got a rusty ring around the edge.
Frustrated, I finally invested in a sprouter: Sprout People taught me the basics of how to water them, harvest and care for them. I am on my second batch now, and I plan on using the alfalfa sprouts for a sushi party I am hosting this Thursday.
These little guys here on the left are only 2 days old, and hopefully by tomorrow they will be big enough for lunch.
Below is a photo of the sprouting devise. It’s simple, you just choose something to sprout (lentils, quinoa, alfalfa, black beans, mung beans, etc). Then you water them each morning and evening. Watering is easy, you just lift the lid, add water and let it drain to the bottom. Next time you water, you empty the bottom tray.
On my first try I included the following:
Level 1: Red Lentils
(These didn’t do as well, I think I needed to keep them drier)
Level 2: Mung Beans
These worked great and I used them on the Blueberry, Walnut and Bean Sprout Salad.
Level 3: Alfalfa Sprouts
These were the tastiest! We ate these in our breakfast burritos and this time around I made two layers of these tasty guys. They grow slower (about 4 days total) but have the best taste.
Let me know if you give this a try! I’ll be anxious to see what other uses you can think of for the harvested sprouts. So far I have included them in 2 salads, burritos, a topping for a gardenburger, sushsi, and a quinoa leftover salad.
Added 8/12/09*** When my mom saw this post she laughed and told me: “This used to be all the rage when you were kids! I used to sprout at home and we had so much fun with it.” She told me how she had forgotten about this and how she should get back to it again. Thanks, Mom for all your encouragement!