We are getting towards the depths of winter (although it’s still positively balmy at the moment!) and my fingers have been itching to sow and plant!
‘But it’s too early!’, I hear you shout! I know, I know! And whilst I am content to be in my allotment digging and clearing, I felt a yearning to plant something that would give me a quick cheeky winter crop to soothe my restless fingers! To distract me from lovingly stroking all my new packets of seed, and with my poly tunnel now out of action, I decided to give sprouting seeds a go to tide me over until the new season!
I dug deep in my seed box and came out with a packet of mung bean seeds I bought a while ago to make some lovely crunch beansprouts. So I gathered the seeds, Kitchen Garden’s handy seed sprouting article and set about to sprout some seeds.
I bought a Kilner mason-type jar, the type where the lid comes in two separate parts for canning, removed the flat disc of the lid and replaced it with a piece of cloth cut from an old jam straining bag (I am going to have to buy a new jam straining bag!).
I placed the beans inside and as per the instructions in my magazine article, I rinsed them with cold water a couple of times and then let them soak overnight (the magazine recommended 8-12 hours).
I poured off the water, then rinsed the beans again a couple of times and put them away in a cool cupboard to let them sprout. I had read somewhere online that with mung bean sprouts you should store them in the dark as they sprout as when grown in the light they can become bitter. I don’t know how true this is but I didn’t like the idea of bitter sprouts so I put them in the dark (works for rhubarb right?).
After a couple of days of rinsing every morning and every evening as per the magazine instructions, my beans had started to sprout (right)!
And after a week of rinsing every evening and every morning, my beansprouts looked like this (left)!
They actually are starting to resemble something I might buy in a supermarket! I confess that I was anxious to try them so added half the jar to a stir fry last night and the other half of the jar I put back in the cupboard to let them grow a bit more.
Eaten raw, they have a lovely nutty taste and they were not bitter at all. Cooked, the taste of the beansprouts got lost in the stir fry as I added too much sweet chilli sauce although they still added a nice crunch!
In the end, it was a great way to soothe those restless fingers!