Sprout Your Own Salads from Natural Meals In Minutes

by Rita Bingham

Growing a "garden" of sprouts requires much less effort than traditional outdoor or window gardens. Rinsing and draining several different kinds of sprouts takes only about 15 minutes a day and can provide a large variety of fresh vegetables not available in markets...and all for just pennies a day.

Combinations of Dry Seeds to Sprout Together

  1. 2 t. alfalfa or clover, 2 t. mung, 1 t. wheat and 1/4 t. radish - good in salads, sandwiches, soups and omelets
  2. 2 t. mung bean, 1 t. lentil, 2 t. soybean, 2 t. sunflower, sprouted 2-3 days - good in stir-fry dishes, salads, sandwiches, casseroles and patties
  3. 2 t. mung bean, 1 t. sunflower, 2 t. lentil, 2 t. garbanzo bean, sprouted 3-4 days, then cooked and mashed - good as sandwich spread, in casseroles, and as the base for patties
  4. 2 t. alfalfa, 4 t. mung, 2 t. lentil - good as lettuce replacement on sandwiches, tacos, as a decorative border around cracked wheat or pasta salads

Sprouting Times

These seeds sprout in 2-3 days: wheat, all beans, rye, oats, rice, sunflower, lentil and buckwheat

These seeds can be sprouted until green leaves appear, usually in 4-5 days: alfalfa, radish, clover and cabbage

After 2-3 days, when hulls have fallen off of the small seeds, place sprouts in a large jar and cover with water. Mix and stir to separate sprouts from hulls. Unsprouted seeds will settle to the bottom and hulls will float to the top. Skim off hulls, then hold on to sprouts as you pour off remaining water and unsprouted seeds. Return to original container to finish sprouting.

Sprouting in a Quart Jar

Put seeds in a quart jar (2 T. small seeds like alfalfa or clover, 1/2 c. beans or grains), and cover with 3-4 times as much water as seeds. After soaking, place a piece of nylon net or fiberglass window screen over the top of the jar. Secure with a jar ring or wide elastic band. Pour off soaking water (contains nutrients, so save for making soups, to replace liquid in recipes, or to water your plants), and rinse well with lukewarm water.

Most failures at sprouting occur because sprouts sour and mold if they are too wet. For better drainage, drain for up to hour with jar tilted at an angle. When no water drips from sprouts, roll jar so that most seeds coat sides of jar. Then lay jar on its side in a warm (about 70 degrees), dark place and rinse with lukewarm water twice a day (or just often enough to keep moist for alfalfa or clover) until sprouts have reached the desired length. Beans should be rinsed thoroughly and not overcrowded in the jar.

Sprouting in a Tray

Spread soaked seeds evenly in homemade or commercial trays with plastic mesh or fiberglass screen bottoms. The mesh should be fine enough to keep small seeds from falling through. Drain with the tray tilted so that surface tension is relieved. When no water drips from sprouts, put tray in a warm place (about 70 degrees) and cover with a lid or cloth to retain moisture and keep out the light. As with jar instructions above, small seeds usually need to be rinsed or sprayed with lukewarm water often enough to keep moist, but beans and larger seeds should be thoroughly rinsed with lukewarm water at least twice a day and not overcrowded.

Don't drown your sprouts!

Sprouting seeds are mini-gardens, and NO garden likes to be drowned in water. Keep sprouts slightly damp, but never dripping wet. If you have several trays, they can be stacked on top of one another, covered with a burlap cloth and watered through only the top tray. Again, pay special attention to beans. A wick can be created by rolling a paper towel and placing one end in a container of water and the other on top of a tray or stack of trays which have been covered with a paper towel. When the water container is higher than the trays, the water will travel down the towel to the lower surface. This is especially helpful in keeping sprouts moist when you are away from home. Lower trays do not stay evenly moist, so be sure to rinse each tray thoroughly once a day.

Curried Rice Salad

2 c. cooked brown rice
2 t. beef bouillon
1 c. diced celery
1/2 c. fat-free grated cheese (opt.)
1/2 t. curry powder
1/3 c. fat-free mayonnaise
2 T. chopped onions
1 c. alfalfa sprouts

Mix all ingredients except sprouts together and serve, topped with sprouts and freshly diced tomatoes, if available. This is also an excellent pita bread filling. Serves 4.

Super Easy Sun Salad

2 c. 2-3 day sprouted sunflower seeds
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. olive oil

Mix all ingredients (add salt to taste) and serve plain or on a bed of lettuce or sprouts. Serves 4.

Cucumber and Sprout Salad

1 cucumber, diced
4 tomatoes, diced
French or Ranch dressing
Salad greens
1 c. alfalfa sprouts

Mix cucumber and tomatoes and place on a bed of fresh salad greens, surrounded by alfalfa sprouts, and topped with French or Ranch dressing. This is also good with sprouted or toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top. Serves 6.

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Garbanzo Bean Salad

1 c. chopped mung bean sprouts
1 chopped tomato
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 c. chopped celery
2 c. sprouted garbanzo beans
1/2 c. diced cucumber
1/4 c. chopped green onion
French or oil and lemon dressing

Steam garbanzo bean sprouts until tender/crunchy. Cool and mix with other ingredients. Chill and serve with Sweet and Sour Sauce or Ranch dressing. Serves 4. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

Article Copyright (c)1996, Natural Meals In Minutes.

Natural Meals In Minutes - High-Fiber, Low-Fat Meatless Storage Meals-in 30 Minutes or Less!, including over 70 FAST sprouting recipes, including Eggs Olé, Sprout-Filled Won Tons, Enchilada Casserole, Hearty Sprout Stir-Fry Salad, Frozen Banana Haystacks and No-Bake Cream Cheese Bars. Cookbooks with recipes you can count on to provide complete nutrition, and GUARANTEED to save you time and money!

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