Children love growing, eating little sprouts

Sabin, Davis, Hetrick, Anderegg, Macalady, Walker, Darling, and Katers

When outdoor color is mostly brown or white, it’s time to add some green inside by growing sprouts with kids. Young children may turn up their noses at ordinary salads, but will often think sprouts are kind of cute and grab them by the handful. Sprouts are available in stores, but are often expensive and not fresh.

Sprouts can be grown in the kitchen with a quart size mason jar, and a mesh cover. You can keep it simple or really get into the fun and epicurean pleasure of sprouts. Children love to grow them because they see results quickly.

Growing sprouts

Although sprouts are tasty, sunflower seeds are children’s favorites. They are a substantial nutritious little plant with just the right nutty, not spicy, flavor and fresh crunch. Sunflowers seeds for sprouting can be purchased at local food co-ops or ordered on line.

Other sprouting seeds include: alfalfa, mustard, soy beans, beets, peas, wheat berries broccoli, chia, clover, lentil, mung beans, and many others. If the full grown plant is spicy, the sprout is spicy. Stay away from those if you are growing for children.

Check labels that they are for sprouting and have no added chemicals. There might be local growers in your area, too. They probably grow microgreens, sprouts grown in soil. Microgreens have a longer germination time and require misting, a grow light, and warming bed to keep the sterilized soil and seeds at an exact temperature.

Sprouting sunflower seeds

Directions for seeds may vary slightly. Here are simple directions for sprouting sunflowers. Check that the raw sunflower seeds are sprout-able and without the hull.

You’ll need a very clean Mason 1- quart jar with a mesh- like gauze or fine screen held by the screw- on top to keep the seeds inside when rinsing the jar. Wash the jar with dish detergent and rinse thoroughly every time you grow a new batch.

Place between ¼ and ½ of sunflower sprouting seeds in the jar. Fill with cold water and cover with the sprouting screen or mesh sprouting lid. Soak for twelve hours.

Drain all water off the seeds. Set the jar in a bowl at an angle with the lid pointed down so the seeds will drain and air is allowed to circulate. After 12 hours of draining, rinse and drain again. Repeat rinsing and draining twice daily. Tiny sprouts will begin to form in 12-18 hours. Sprouting will complete when you see most of sprouting root tails emerging. Drain the sprouts well before eating.

Sprouts do not keep well. Use immediately or cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for a few days, maximum. For more see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com, Pinterest, and wnmufm.org, live and pod casts.