Sprouting alfalfa

Sprouting alfalfa

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From
V is for Vegan

‘Sprouting’ means germinating seeds, which you may have done at school to grow mustard and cress. You can sprout alfalfa, chickpeas, lentils, mung beans, quinoa, peanuts, fenugreek seeds… What do you think bean sprouts are? The sprouts of mung beans! Top chefs love their micro-greens, tiny versions of salads, herbs and vegetables including my favourite, tendrilly delicate pea shoots. Get sprouting seeds, grains and pulses for vibrancy and crunchiness in your diet. You can buy a special sprouting jar or create one yourself with a jam jar, an elastic band and a piece of muslin. Make sure the seeds are not stale and rinse them well before starting.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1-2 tablespoons alfalfa seeds

Method

  1. Add enough seeds to cover the bottom of a jam jar in a single layer. Rinse thoroughly, then add 5–10 cm water. Cover the jar with a piece of muslin, secure with an elastic band and leave to soak overnight. Drain the water out through the muslin lid. Add another 5–10 cm water, shake, strain, cover and leave overnight – and repeat every day for 5–6 days. You will have a lovely jar bursting full of nutritious sprouts.
  2. This is the simplest technique. Other techniques include putting damp cotton wool, then a sheet of folded kitchen paper in the base of an empty plastic vegetable container that has holes to drain. Dampen the cotton wool and spread the seeds on top of the kitchen paper.
  3. If you want to get fancy and start growing chic micro-greens, think about investing in a little perlite (available from garden centres) and cover the bottom of a plastic vegetable container with it, about 1.5cm deep. Set the container in a dish and add a little water to the dish. Cover the perlite with a layer of seeds/beans/nuts and place it somewhere light and warm. The perlite will soak up the water and nourish and hydrate the seeds. You will have usable shoots in 2–4 days. Scissor off the tops to harvest.
Tags:
Vegan
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