Crunchy Lunchy

The last time I tried sprouts was MANY years ago, when they were only available in the health food store, and the health food store was a small, locally owned affair with hand painted murals on the walls and revolutionary music and patchouli in the air.  Lest I give you the wrong impression, this was in about 1991.  You may be surprised to find that I did not become a sprout loving Momma until recently.  When I tried them before, they were okay.  Just okay.  There were an awful lot of them, however, and they DO spoil; I didn’t like them enough to try to plan meals around them (planning really wasn’t my thing at the time), and since I was only preparing food for myself, the math simply didn’t work out.  They were too expensive.  Flash forward and EVERYTHING in that last sentence has changed.

I purchased some sprouts last summer, after having them with an awesome stir-fry Big Sis made for us at the beach, and they were good.  Liked them.  I still thought they were a bit pricey, but with more people to partake, the risk of spoilage was minimized.  Then I found out just how nutritious they are.  Then I realized my children liked them.  Then I realized that I LOVE them on everything.  The final piece of this sprouty puzzle was solved when I took 10 minutes on the internet to find out how to grow the little buggers… so here it is.  Your tutorial on a DIY sprouter and sprouting, for next to nothing.  What does this have to do with lunch?  EVERYTHING.  Know what makes ANY sandwich filling taste better?  Sprouts.  Know what makes any leftovers taste fresh and a little crunchy in a great vegetable kind of way?  Sprouts.  Know what makes you feel very clever when you grow them on your counter and include them in your thrifty and nutritious brown bag lunch?  Sprouts.  So without further ado…

To grow sprouts, you need a sprouter.  You are welcome to buy one, but I am too cheap to do that, so here’s my solution: large canning jar with 2 part lid and some mesh.  I happened to have clean window screening material from making beach bags for kids, but I imagine any mesh would work.

Next I used a yellow crayon to trace about 1/2 inch around the inner part of the canning lid and cut the circle of screening,

stretched the mesh tightly over the top of the jar and screwed the outer ring on tight to check for fit.
After washing everything, I added 1/4c of dried mung beans (purchased bulk from my food coop) to the jar,

My sister’s hand… oh wait, that’s me. Weird.

and added water until the jar was nearly full.  I left them to soak overnight, drained the water by turning it over (with the lovely screened lid still on…. doh). And the next day rinsed the beans with fresh water, and drained them again. Many of the skins had cracked. I proceeded to rinse them twice a day for the next couple of days and watched their astonishing progress.

Day 2

Day 3 – Pics through the glass did NOT get easier

There’s the sprouts we’re looking for – rinsed on the morning of day 4 and put in the fridge.

And so we’ve proceeded to eat them with everything, because they’re awesome.  And they cost me about twenty cents.  Yep, twenty cents to fill a one pound strawberry container with delicious homegrown sprouts.  Ahhh nothing more satisfying than some thrifty nutrition.

WHAT to do with so many flippin’ sprouts you ask?  Well aside from the aforementioned sandwich glorification, there is always the prospect of a great NAMUL!!!  Oh yes, we return to our friend the namul, and my new best friend Ani Phyo’s cookbook.  As a fabulous salad at lunch, my hubby and I enjoyed:

MUNG BEAN SPROUT NAMUL – adapted from Ani Phyo‘s recipe in Ani’s Raw Food Asia

  • 4 c mung bean sprouts
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 1 t maple syrup
  • 1 small clove garlic, made small however you like
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t minced ginger
  • large pinch red pepper or chili flakes

Doesn’t get much easier than this kind of procedure.  Put all in bowl, toss.  Wait 20 minutes or so.  Eat.  Love.

We had ours as a side to veggie burgers at lunch, but I could easily see adding it to the top of any Asian dish with crunchy scrumptious results.  While I must confess the kids wouldn’t touch this one, I should also say that I was glad, deep inside, that I got to eat that much more.  Delish.

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28 responses

  1. Oh boy oh boy. How did you get my hand in that picture? You’ve inspired me. Someone gave me a sprouter but when I work the rinsing part gets missed by the fellows. I think we can handle reminder notes to get big masses of cheap, healthy sprouts! Gonna go start some right now and make that Namul as soon as they’re done! Thanks Little Sis!

  2. This is perfect. I’m going to do it with my sunflower sprouts I bought be accident (meant to buy flower seeds, doh,) I didn’t wanna buy a sprouted, either? See HOW perfect this is for me? Thanks, ladies!

  3. I was kind of anti-sprout for a long time. Guess I’d never really encountered a good batch. But then I started sprouting at home and yes, totally changed my view point. I’ll put the little buggers on everything! In fact, just started a fresh jar…

  4. I just want to comment on the picture of sprouts with long white tales. I love to sprout mung beans too and the way I learned sprouting, it is not to leave the tale grow long, just a 1-2 cm. Do you know anything about? It seems like the best nutrients intake is when the tale is small.

      • SOrry – fell offline. They wanted them to look like the ones they’d had that they loved, and I figured that was the best starting point for our little experiment. I’ll check it out as it wouldn’t surprise me to discover that the ones they sell in the store have the least nutritional value ;-) Now that they’re interested, I can probably dial it back, or have different types at different times.

  5. I know cannot figure out why I was so intimidated by sprouting!?! So easy! Thanks! Maybe I think if I go too granola crunchy that I have to stop wearing makeup, or having cute hair…. Gotta get over it!

    • What are you, some kind of hippie?! ;-) I was intimidated too, and now I am fascinated by those little suckers on my counter. The kids like checking on them too. Very cool little lesson. My son wants to experiment – take some out each day and eat, leaving the rest to get longer. I LOVE that he wants to play with his food THIS way.

      • My neighbors are starting to call me the ‘vegan-obama-lover,’ as you can imagine – I’m a bit different then my Utah Mormon peers! Ah well as long as they don’t start throwing eggs at me I think I’ll be ok!

        Gotta get into sprouts now, my little guy will love watching them grow and playing with them too.

        Oh, and I totally can’t do the rock crystal deodorant or even Tom’s. I get too stinky! I’m trying to figure that one out……. One thing at a time!

      • ooooh. I need to check it out! Thanks for the link! I’m really hoping to find something to replace the ‘Secret’ crap.

      • So funny, I can stand sweat, stink – not so much. I have running friends that don’t sweat, they just glisten, I keep telling myself my body is just better then theirs are at getting rid of toxins. He he!

        Going to make it soon. I will report whether or not it takes care of this girl’s odor! That site is super fun!

  6. Pingback: A Singular Taste | my sister's pantry

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