I'm just getting started with sprouting and am wondering if anyone has any experience of buying seeds for sprouting. There are loads of garden centres online who sell seeds, but which is the best? Are there suppliers of organic seeds? If anyone has any tips, I'd be very grateful.
It seems that there are many types of seeds that can be sprouted, as this list I've found shows, so I'm looking forward to getting cracking with this!
Seeds for sprouting
Buckwheat groats (hulled)
Sesame seeds (un-hulled)
Sunflower seeds (hulled)
Grains for sprouting
Oats (very hard to find raw)
Wheatgrass (un-hulled grains/berries)
Wild rice (technically a seed)
Beans, pulses and legumes for sprouting
Aduki bean (Adzuki)
Black eye bean (Cowpea)
Mung bean (Bean sprouts)
Vegetable seeds for sprouting
Hi Lizzie -
I wonder if you have managed to sprout all of those seeds that you list? I have a very small kitchen and really only space for one or two containers of seeds and I was wondering which ones would be the best to focus on.
Fortunately I have a great organic store locally where I can buy a good range - alfalfa, lentil, broccoli and various mung sprouts. They do seem to be very fresh and not too expensive - but I cannot believe that it would not still be better to sprout your own.
Have you found that they make any difference to your health/digestion - or are you just doing it because you think it is a good thing to do? I do have quite a lot of problems with digestion - mainly gut ache - and I was wondering whether eating sprouted seeds might help. I think they do but it is really hard to tell.
As you say, it's difficult to know exactly what effect sprouts have on your health. I'm doing this because it makes sense to eat things that are as fresh and natural as possible, and my sprouts are so fresh, they're usually still alive at the time I eat them, not 'dead' after several days in transit and sitting on a shelf in the shop.
I still don't seem to have got very far, though, with my sprouting, and have spent most of the time since that last post trying out different sprouting methods - and just marveling at how 5 grams of tiny seeds can turn into over 100 grams of vigorous plants in just a few days, with nothing but water!
I gave up on the jars and other separate sprouting containers because I kept forgetting to wash them, so the sprouts weren't getting a regular supply of water and often dried out or went mouldy. I've now settled on a much better way to grow them - an EasyGreen auto-sprouter (http://www.energiseyourlife.com/Easy...ter-pr-65.html). This is basically a clever 17 by 22 inch plastic box into which you place plastic trays containing your seeds and it does everything for you automatically. You just have to add water to the built-in storage tank once a day and empty the used water that drains into a separate container.
I did look at another auto sprouter, the Freshlife 2000 Automatic Sprouter (http://www.wholisticresearch.com/sho...id/214/page/1/) but this keeps recirculating the same water over and over until you change it, which I thought was a much less good idea than the EasyGreen system which uses fresh clean water for every misting cycle.
The EasyGreen's misting system is powered by electricity, so needs a handy power point, but it's only actually 'on' for a short time each day, so doesn't cost much at all to run. You get a timer switch with it that switches the water mister on and off at selected times. The instruction book is excellent and very thorough and it's obvious that a lot of research and development has been done to produce this sprouter.
You can put the EasyGreen on a worktop next to a sink and connect it direct to a tap, and let it drain straight back into the sink, but I have mine on top of a cupboard, with the drain tube running into a 5 gallon plastic container that used to hold washing liquid. This container is the only thing you have to find yourself if you decide not to have the sprouter by the sink, and everything else comes with the EasyGreen.
This sprouter is quite expensive at £149, but it really is worth it because it will grow a lot of sprouts with no more effort than the daily refill and empty, plus a weekly clean, which also pretty much takes care of itself. To sterilize it, you just put 2 litres of water along with 10 ml of 35% Food Grade Hydrogen peroxide (http://www.wholisticresearch.com/sho...id/358/page/1/) in the tank (you can use bleach, but I doubt anyone on this forum would want to use that stuff!) and switch on. The sterilization cycle then takes care of itself, and you're soon able to put the sprout trays back in and carry on sprouting.
I really like sunflower sprouts, but the ready-hulled sunflower seeds that I got from my usual supplier (Goodness Direct) were a disaster as many of them didn't sprout and just went 'manky'. I don't know whether this was just a poor batch, or because sunflower seeds don't sprout as well once they've had their hulls removed, but they tasted OK when eaten un-sprouted. However, the unhulled sunflower seeds (http://www.wholisticresearch.com/sho...id/338/page/1/) that I got from the Wholistic Research Co. all grow into perfect, healthy sprouts and taste absolutely delicious!
I also grow a lot of alfalfa and mung bean, of course, but I've had trouble sprouting the bigger things like peas and soya beans. I was amazed at how hot mustard sprouts are when you grow them without any cress - but very nice all the same! - and I'm experimenting with various other seeds and beans at the moment.
I do find that quite a few sprouts are rather chewy, so I often put the shoots (when they're a couple of inches long) into a salad, and then juice the lower part of the sprout and its root along with other veggies, so I get the nutrients without having to chew my way through too much fibre.
There are some people who have a number of EverGreens, which stack neatly on top of one another, and these guys often grow wheat grass as well as sprouts in some of them. It's certainly a simple and very efficient way of gardening indoors, but I'm just a beginner, and still working my way through 'Sproutman' Steve Meyerowitz's book, 'Sprouts - The Miracle Food' (http://www.wholisticresearch.com/sho.../id/91/page/1/).
When I've got more sprout miles under my belt, I'll be back to report some more...
Hi Lizzie -
That all sounds amazing! and I must admit that your does-it-all-itself sprouter does sound as though it might be worth the investment. I just need to find room near my sink.......
I am interested in your comment about the sunflower seeds. I seem to remember that when I went through a sprouting in Kilner jars phase a few years ago (when I had more space!) I used to do sunflower seeds very successfully and I am sure they were hulled - so maybe yours was just a slightly dodgy batch.
Anyhow, thank you very much for all the information and advice - I shall go and see if I can reorganise my kitchen!