Do you love the alfalfa sprouts or shoots of corn, broccoli, radish, or red cabbage you can find at the store? Did you know that you can easily grow them in your own kitchen? It’s simple and starting this type of home gardening requires little equipment. Here’s how to do it.
The long and short of sprouts and shoots
Sprouted grains and shoots are very trendy right now. They’ve become part of our grocery landscape: you can find them everywhere. Just a few years ago, only alfalfa and sprouted beans were known to the average cook. We clearly all fell in love with them!
Sprouts and shoots have a delicate taste resembling that of the mature vegetable. You can expect the same sweet taste for corn shoots, or a little more “bite” for mustard shoots!
Sprouts or shoots?
Sprouts are small seeds that have only just begun to grow. The leaves are generally not yet completely formed. Sprouts are harvested after 2 to 7 days, without any growing medium, in a glass jar where the humidity needs to be maintained constantly by regularly rinsing the seeds.
Shoots need a growing time of about 7 to 10 days (or more). At least two small leaves should be completely formed before harvesting, and they need to grow in potting soil or peat moss. You cut them off at the base when you’re ready to eat them.
Small seeds packed with nutrition
Sprouted seeds and shoots are very beneficial foods to add to your diet because they are very rich in vitamins and minerals. The more colorful they are, the more vitamins they contain!
According to certain studies, sprouted seeds are rich in antioxidants, help with better absorption of certain minerals, and contain more vitamins than their mature form. Be careful not to view them as a miracle food, but rather as an excellent way to eat more vegetables every day!
As soon as they are sprouted or ready to be cut, sprouts and shoots need to be eaten quickly. Otherwise, they quickly lose their vitamins and crispness. Sprouted seeds can be kept up to 5 days in the fridge.
Sprouts at home
There are lots of advantages to trying out this experiment in your kitchen. Sprouts and shoots sold in stores are particularly expensive. To grow them yourself, you should ideally start with the jar sprouting technique. It requires no initial investment (apart from the seeds themselves). If you like it, you can always buy a small kit to grow your own sprouts and shoots at home.