Sprouting seeds

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!). 20151211_085151[1]

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).

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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?).20151214_060424[1]

After a couple of days of rinsing every morning and every evening as per the magazine instructions, my beans had started to sprout (right)!20151217_182902[1]

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!

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