Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Sprouting Alfalfa Seeds

There is a lot of power packed in those tiny alfalfa sprouts.

I eat them on salads, veggie wraps, sandwiches, and my youngest daughter eats them alone.  By the tiny handfuls.

Alfalfa sprouts are a good source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A.  They are rich in calcium potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.  And they can help lower your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and bone loss.

Plus, I think they taste great.

Alfalfa seeds are easy to sprout.  It typically takes five days until they're ready, so I keep about 3 jars on a rotating schedule, because we seem to run out pretty quick!

You can buy bulk alfalfa seeds from online seed companies and Mountain Rose Herb.  I purchase my seeds from Azure Standard.

I have this handy sprouting screen that I purchased through Azure Standard, but you can find one like it on Amazon and probably various other online sources.  You can also use a cheese cloth instead of the sprouting screen, but the screen is oh, so handy.  It fits right inside a wide mouth mason jar ring.

Day One:  Put one tablespoon of alfalfa seeds into a quart sized jar.  Cover with water and let soak for 4-8 hours.  Drain the water, then more than cover the seeds with water again, swish around and drain.  Don't turn the jar upside down to drain the water, otherwise, the seeds will stick to the screen.  Turn it on its side and slowly drain the water.  I like the seeds to stay on the side of the jar near the opening, but not to cover the opening.  I think they get plenty of air flow that way, and you won't have any trouble with the possibility of your seeds becoming moldy.  

Once the water is pretty well drained out, leave the jar on its side, or at a slight incline, with the mouth facing downward.

Day Two:  You can see the seeds are just beginning to sprout.  Put more water in the jar, swish around a bit, gently drain the water again, and set the jar on its side.

Day Three:  It's amazing how quickly these seeds sprout.  Fill the jar with a bit of water, gently swish and drain, leave the jar on its side.

Day Four:  You can eat the sprouts at this point, but I like to give mine one more day.  There are more greens on the fifth day.  Fill your jar with water to cover the sprouts, gently swish and drain, leave the jar on its side.

Day Five:  Ready to eat!  I remove the screen and replace it with a regular lid, and store the sprouts in the refrigerator.


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