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Seed Sprouting 101

Seed Sprouting 101

Whether you have a very small (or nonexistent) garden, indoor sprouting requires very little space, and is an easy way to introduce some interesting new greens to salads.

Although Gardenista contributor Sarah lives in rural Virginia with ample garden space, she still finds herself starting jars and trays of seeds on the kitchen counter. Sprouting seeds is near-immediate in its gratification, as the harvest comes just a few days after you “plant” your seeds:

Photographs by Sarah Catherine Searle.

Above: Lentil sprouts have been a favorite lately. They’re a bit peppery and snappy, and go well in a summer salad. The process is simple: you’ll need a wide mouth glass jar, some cheesecloth, a rubber band, and some well-sourced lentils. Try to find organic or naturally grown varieties. Put the lentils—or other seeds—into a jar, leaving quite a bit of head space, as they will expand and grow. Here you can see split peas, sunflower seeds, and lentils on Sarah’s kitchen counter. She usually fills a jar about one-quarter full with whatever she’s sprouting.

Above: Now, through the cheese cloth, add water, and allow your seeds to soak for two to three hours. Drain them through the cheesecloth, and set them on a kitchen counter or windowsill that receives light, but not direct light, and is not too cold. Every day, you will need to rinse the lentils. This keeps them damp, and prevents mold from growing among the seeds. Unlike the initial soak, on subsequent days simply fill the jar with water, swirl around to make sure that the water penetrates all the spaces in between the lentils, and then drain through the cheesecloth.

After 24 hours, you should see tiny white sprouts begin to poke up. Continue to rinse the lentils daily until they reach desired maturity. Sarah prefer lentil sprouts very young— harvested three or four days after the initial soak. They can, however, be allowed to grow a bit more substantially before you enjoy them.

Before eating or cooking your sprouts, remove them from the jar. You may need to use a wooden spoon, as they become pretty packed in as they grow. Place the sprouts in a colander and rinse well. Pair with your favorite vegetables or put them atop a salad.

Read more: Eating for Health, Food, Green, Green Home Decor, Green Kitchen Tips, Raw, Remodelista, Surprising uses for ..., Vegetarian, , , , , ,

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Gardenista is a one-stop sourcebook for cultivated living, a guide to outdoor design and gardening. Helmed by former New York Times columnist Michelle Slatalla, Gardenista features inspiration, garden visits, and advice for all things outdoor living, from patios and peonies, to tables and terraces. Gardens matter, and Gardenista celebrates tomatoes on the fire escape as much as rolling acres of green.


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12:26PM PDT on Sep 17, 2013


7:25PM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

Thanks a lot for this!

8:39PM PDT on Sep 15, 2013


8:52PM PDT on Sep 14, 2013

Interesting. Thanks.

3:38AM PDT on Sep 14, 2013


4:28PM PDT on Sep 13, 2013

Sounds useful and easy, just like Chia Pets

2:42PM PDT on Sep 13, 2013


11:16AM PDT on Sep 13, 2013

looks nice.

8:16AM PDT on Sep 13, 2013

Thanks for the info.

1:27PM PDT on Sep 12, 2013

Very useful, thank you!!

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