You can buy microgreens and cereal sprouts in the store, but growing them yourself is so easy that they are clearly not worth the money. All you need is a jar with a wide neck, gauze and a rubber band. And, of course, seeds.
Why are sprouts healthier than seeds?
The benefits of seeds, legumes, and even grains often cannot fully reach your body cells because the antinutrients in the seeds prevent them from doing so. Nature has provided for the potential offspring of plants this way of protection from the digestive system of living beings, because representatives of flora are not able to run away and hide from herbivores.
Soaking, germination and fermentation trigger the same processes in the seeds as in sowing: the seeds get rid of antinutrients and the stored vitamins and minerals become available for building new cells. Thus, sprouted grains, seeds and beans are of great benefit to humans as well.
How to grow seedlings and how long does it take?
First, get seeds that are intended for germination. Products for sowing in the garden are not really suitable, because they have not been properly cleaned for consumption and may contain bacteria. You can find seeds for germination on the Internet at specialized sites, and recently they can also be found in grocery stores.
The next step on the way to getting sprouts is to soak the seeds. Put them in a glass container and pour water at room temperature, and add 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Cover with gauze and leave it for several hours – the length of soaking depends on the type of seeds.
Soak legumes for 8-10 hours, most nuts for 8-12 hours, and only 4-6 hours for quinoa. The exact soaking times are listed in the table below.
After soaking, gently collect and transfer the seeds into a jar, filling it by ?. Fill the remaining volume with room temperature water and cover with gauze. Secure the gauze with a rubber band. Place the jar at an angle to allow the water to drain and the air to circulate and leave it for a couple of hours more (depending on the type of seeds).
After that, remove the gauze, drain the water and fill the jar with a new one. Put the lid back on. Shake the jar to rinse the seeds in it, drain the water again and close the lid.
Place the jar again at an angle, choosing a well-lit place for it. This will allow the seeds to dry out sufficiently and reduce the risk of mold. Rinse the seeds in the way described above several times a day for the duration of the germination and by the end of this time you will have finished sprouts. You can store them for a few days in the refrigerator in a jar with a paper towel inside to absorb any excess moisture.
As you can see, this is much easier than, say, planting a cucumber. So there’s no need to buy a microgreen sprouting machine if you have a jar, gauze and an ordinary rubber band.