Stalactites? or Stalagmites? Does anyone remember which way each grows? Well a good memorization for that is this: “When the mites go up the Tights come down” Ok ok… Cheesey I know, but that is what the guy at The Oregon Caves told us and it really did stick. If you haven’t been to the caves, you should take a peak see. It is quite impressive.
So what brings up this question? Alfalfa Sprouts! That’s right… Alfalfa Sprouts. They are Stalactites depending on which way you look at the jar
This weekend after paying $3.99 for a small container of sprouts, I decided that I was going to make my own. I found the local organic store and purchased $1.49 worth of seeds, about 7 quart jars once grown. The process is simple, the yields are fresh and no worry about contaminated seeds, or how long they have been sitting on the shelf.
I wish I would have thought to do this when he girls were little. Easy to grow, and so much fun for a child to watch on a daily basis.
To start the seeds it took a quart jar, a clean pair of panty hose, cheese cloth, or muslin.
1.) Put 1 Tablespoon of seeds in the bottom of the jar, put a quarter cup of water in jar and set in a dark place where they can’t be disturbed for 24 hours.
2.) Pour out the water and let the seeds sit. You want to seeds to be wet and to have access to air. Therefore, don’t let the seeds gather in clumps at the jar’s bottom. In fact, take advantage of the fact that the wet seeds want to cling to the jar’s inside surface. Roll the jar around, causing as many seeds to stick to the surface as possible, then lay the jar on its side. If the surrounding air is cooler than 70° – 80°, the seeds will grow too slowly. Warmer temperatures encourage disease organisms. If you prefer growing them under warmer conditions, then rinse at least twice a day or more. If you are not rinsing enough, you’ll smell a funky odor in the jar. At this stage it doesn’t matter whether your sprouts have light or not.
3.) Rinse the seeds at least each 24 hours with cool water. Just run the water into the jar, swirl the seeds around, then pour out the water and repeat Step 2. The idea is to rid the seeds of disease organisms and toxins that accumulate in the warm, moist conditions inside the jar.
4.) When the sprouts are big enough — usually on the fifth or sixth day, spread them out and let the sun shine on them a few minutes — maybe 15 minutes, more if you want. This important step activates enzymes and makes the sprouts prettier by making their leaves greener. The brown seed-coats will have come off most beans. If you want, you can remove most of the coats by submerging the sprouts in water, then filtering out the coats, which tend to float to the top. Removing the coats won’t change the taste or nutrition.
5.) Now its time to enjoy! They are a great source of protein and vitamins added to any sandwich, salad or omelet.
Picture and instructions compliments of backyard nature.