Sprouting: It’s not just for hippies and raw foodists anymore. Walk through your local farmers market or flip through a recent issue of your favorite cooking magazine: You’ll see a lot more than scrawny alfalfa sprouts layered in soggy veggie sandwiches. Today, home cooks and professional chefs alike are composing eye catching and palate pleasing dishes featuring these highly nutritious tiny shoots, sprung from an array of nuts, beans and grains.*
Growing your own sprouts is an easy, sustainable and economical way to enjoy these nutritional powerhouses. They’re full of concentrated vitamins, minerals, enzymes, trace elements, amino acids and proteins; organic sprouted seeds are often easy to digest and can be grown in the kitchen all year. It’s hard to get more local than that!
But how do you get started? Sprouting kits are a great way to begin. Most use either a glass jar, hemp bag, cup-shaped sprouter or small tray. Below I’ve put together a list of my favorite sprouting kits, including one you put together yourself. Whatever method you choose, it’s best to buy organic seeds intended for sprouting. Check out the options below or visit your local health foods store for kits and organic seeds.
DIY Sprouting Jar
Create your own kit! All you need to get started is a clean one-quart glass Mason or Bell jar, a double layer of cheesecloth, one rubber band and a half cup of organic sprouting seeds such as lentils or mung beans. Carefully follow the instructions outlined by the Sprout People and you’ll be growing your way to a harvest of raw deliciousness. Total cost ranges from $6 to $14.
Hemp Bag Starter Kit from Sprout House
Sprout House offers a reasonably priced organic sprouting kit complete with a hemp bag, organic lentil and sweet green pea sprouting seeds and a healthy recipe for sprouted bread. This kit costs $12.95.
Sprout Starter Kit from Sprout People
This is a great gift for anyone eager to get sprouting. The kit offers two growing methods and comes with a cup-shaped Easy Sprout Sprouter, one hemp bag sprouter and a sampler pack of 20 organic seeds that will yield ten pounds of sprouts. The Easy Sprout Sprouter is a popular BPA-free container that can sprout almost any kind of seed. The kit costs $69.96.
Sprouting Essentials Package from Sproutman
If you love books and charts, this is a great option. The kit gets you growing with Sprouts: The Miracle Food, a book about sprouting and its nutritional benefits by Sproutman Steve Meyerwitz; a hemp bag; a handy, colorful chart with sprouting instructions; one 16-ounce bag of organic seeds; and a green, “Be Sproutful” t-shirt. The kit costs $44.95.
Kid’s Sprout Kit from Sprout People
Sprouting is a fun and educational activity for kids — it also makes them more likely to eat the bounty! The Sprout People have a terrific beginner’s tray kit with organic sprouting seeds for burgeoning gardeners. The kit costs $17.95.
*Sprouts are a raw food and when handled improperly can result in rare cases of food poisoning. If you have a compromised immune system, health professionals suggest that you avoid eating raw sprouts.