Thursday, 29 July 2010

Sprouts

Ok, I'll admit it, I've never been a big vegetable eater. I have been working on this, however. I know that they're good for me, and frankly a lot of them taste really good. One thing that I don't jump up and down for is a salad. Salads have become very boring for me. Lettuce isn't always that exciting and the fastest salads use lettuce, some fresh veggies and then dressing. BORING!

I recently posted about the avocado, cucumber and tomato salad that I like to eat. It is fast, doesn't involve lettuce, and was invented one summer day when I was looking in the fridge for ingredients for a light lunch. I really needed groceries, but did have an avocado to use, some tomatoes, and a lonely cucumber. Just like that, the salad was 'invented.'

In my quest to eat more greens, I am always on the lookout for new ideas. At our local farmer's market I found a fellow who was selling home grown sprouts. He had your usual alfalfa and bean sprouts. He also had brocolli, mungo bean, sunflower, pea, clover, pepper, pea, and other varieties of sprouts. I bought some sunflower sprouts to try them out.
There are far too many sandwich mixture seeds in my
sprouter, here; I got carried away

Sunflower sprouts are really sweet and succulent. They are also a great source of various vitamins and energy. While I can always buy more sprouts from this fellow at the next farmers's market, I've decided to experiment with sprout growing.

I've got a sprouter I bought at the local health food store and currently I have a sandwich mixture of alfalfa, clover, raddish and canola in one of the bins. In another bin I'm trying sunflower seeds. I've already harvested a couple of the sandwich mixture crops, I'm still experimenting with the sunflower seeds.

Sunflower seed sprouts. The actual seeds become the first leaves.
Once they are a darker green, they'll be ready for eating/harvesting.
The sunflower seeds seem to do best if they are shelled already. They are a bit more labour intensive as there is a little skin that covers the raw seed inside of its shell. The skin floats to the top of the water when you soak your seeds, but some sticks to the seeds. It wouldn't be a big deal, except if you leave the skin it can make your sunflower sprouts smell moldy.

These sprouts will be turning green pretty soon and they will be ready for harvesting. My next batch will be ones with the shells still on and they will be covered with a thin layer of compost/dirt. I did some research on growing these sprouts. This is one site: http://www.ehow.com/how_4430694_sprout-sunflower-seeds.html if you're interested.

My husband loves sprouts, so there's always a willing taste tester at our house, and what doesn't get used in some sort of salad will be put on a sandwich. Right now they're sort of like berries for me. I eat them as fast as I can pick them!

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