Enjoy Fresh Sprouts and Microgreens in the Winter
The following article is a great primer on how to start growing sprouts and microgreens over the winter months. It’s easy to do and the results taste great!
The winter months can be hard on us all, especially gardeners. The summer months brought sunshine and healthy plants, and autumn gave us a great harvest. Many outdoor subsistence gardeners don’t have indoor gardens.
Sprouts and micro-greens are a great way to add some homegrown nutrition that preserved garden fruit and vegetables cannot.
Sprouts and micro-greens are rich in enzymes, chlorophyll and nutrients, and they can be easily grown indoors inexpensively without lights, nutrients or a complex hydroponic system. Here’s what you’ll need to start growing your own delicious, nutritious sprouts at home:
- 1 quart-sized mason or canning jar
- 1 canning ring
- 1 sprouting screen (a stainless-steel mesh screen to fit over the mouth of the jar)
- Seeds for your favorite sprouts such as broccoli, soy beans or radishes
- Non-chlorinated water
- A dark place
To start your sprouts and micro-greens off right, pour 2 to 3 tbsp. of sprout seeds into the jar. Then, place the sprout screen over the mouth and use the canning ring to fix it in place. Add 16 to 24 oz. (2 to 3 c.) of non-chlorinated water into your jar.
Swirl or stir the water to rinse the seeds, then drain. Then pour another 16 to 24 oz. of non-chlorinated, pH-balanced water into the jar and let the seeds soak overnight in a dark place.
In the morning, drain the water from the jar by tipping the jar. The canning screen will keep the seeds from falling out. Repeat the process of adding non-chlorinated, pH-balanced water, rinsing and draining.
Make sure you drain as much water as possible. You can place the jar screen-side down in a dish drying rack or on a dishtowel for more than 30 minutes to allow excess water to drain. Do not leave the mouth of the jar covered for too long as it will limit air circulation and lead to potential mold or fungal issues.
Over the next three to seven days you will need to repeat the process of adding 16 to 24 oz. of non-chlorinated, pH-balanced water, rinsing, draining, and putting the jar screen-side down.
The seeds will germinate and sprouts will begin to grow (get a little bit larger each day). The sprouts and micro-greens will eventually fill the jar and turn green.
Once the sprouts have reached a level of growth that you are satisfied with, you must stop adding water. This will slow or stop further growth and help prevent spoiling.
Make sure the sprouts are relatively dry and then place them in the fridge. If properly dried and refrigerated, the sprouts and micro-greens will stay fresh for four to seven days.
Now it is time to eat your delicious, healthy and fresh sprouts and micro-greens. They go great in salads, on sandwiches, as garnishes on soup and other dishes, or in stir-fries. When it comes to enjoying your homegrown sprouts and micro-greens, the possibilities are endless.
Growing your own sprouts and micro-greens indoors throughout winter has never been simpler. All you need are some seeds, a mason jar, a seed screen and a desire to grow delicious, fresh sprouts all year-round.
Written by Matt LeBannister