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Growing sprouts in your home is a delicious and nutritious hobby. Unfortunately, many people believe that in order grow sprouts you need specialized equipment, extensive knowledge and a green thumb. None of this is true. Sprouts can be grown in any window of your home that supplies sunlight with little more than seeds, cheese cloth, a rubber band and a glass container.
Begin by buying seeds at any local store or garden center. Keep in mind that you do not want seeds which are being sold for planting in the garden because many have been treated with fungicides. The most common seeds related to sprouts are alfalfa, mung bean and soy, but for a delicious, spicy combination you can also sprout mustard, clover, radish, corn, celery, wheat and barley. Dried vegetables, bought at the grocery store, such as lentil, peas and beans will also make delicious sprouts. Stay away from potato and tomato seed because these sprouts are poisonous. It is not a good idea to mix your sprout seeds due to a difference in the amount of time it takes certain seeds to sprout. But, experimenting can be fun and I have found that some seeds like radish and clover will sprout together giving you a delightful blend of flavor. Be sure to buy at least 1\4 cup of each seed you have chosen to sprout. This will yield approximately one to two cups of sprouts.
When you get the seeds home you will need to rinse them. This is best done by placing them on a piece of cheese cloth or strainer so that none of the seeds are lost. The next step is to soak the sprout seeds in cool water overnight. The seeds will absorb a lot of moisture so make sure you use no less than 1 cup water to 1\4 cup of seeds. While they are soaking you can choose a wide mouth glass jar to grow your sprouts in and make sure it has been sterilized. After soaking the seeds overnight, drain off the water and place them in the wide mouth jar. You can also use a glass bowl but remember to purchase enough cheesecloth to completely cover the mouth of the bowl. It is very important to keep the seeds damp, not wet. They will need moisture and plenty of air to sprout. Take a single sheet of cheesecloth and fit it over the mouth of the jar. Secure the cheesecloth with a rubber band and place in a window. Seeds should be rinsed twice a day unless you are using larger seeds such as beans, peas or soybeans and these need to be rinsed six times a day. You can do this by filling the jar with water and gently swirling the seeds in a circular fashion. The cheesecloth does not need to be removed but be certain when you pour the water off to shake out all excess moisture. At this point you will need to gently shake the jar or bowl to redistribute the seeds so they are not in clumps. After a few days, depending on the choice of seeds you are sprouting, you will begin to see the sprouts pushing out of the seed pods. Most sprouts will be ready to eat when they are 1 to 1 1\2 inches long.
Home grown sprouts can last up to 6 days in the refrigerator, but if you are interested in really spicing up a sandwich or salad, they can be eaten right out of the jar. Most of the seed pods should wash away with daily rinsing but a final rinsing after you have removed your sprouts from the jar is recommended. One of the spiciest sprouts you can grow are radish sprouts although each type of sprout will have its own unique flavor to dress up your meal.