When we lived with my dad over the summer, we ate out of his garden everyday. It really spoiled us. Need romaine for an egg salad sandwich? Kale for a gratin? Arugula for a side salad? 20 pounds of tomatoes for homemade salsa? No problem, just go to the backyard. Now we have our own place again and no garden of our own (let’s face it, I don’t want a yard. I’ll get a windowfarm someday), but we can still grow fresh food… in the comfort of our own home. That’s right, SPROUTS. The nutritious and crunchy additions to salads and sandwiches.
I grow sprouts in a mason jar, but you can also grow them using products made specifically growing sprouts, such as this seed sprouter. If you’re anything like me, you already have far too many kitchen gadgets. Considering the amount of canning my dad and I did this year, I have no shortage of mason jars in my apartment and they do the job just fine. If you go the mason jar (or any old jar that resembles a canning jar) route, make sure to have some cheesecloth on handy for draining, and a screw band to keep the cheesecloth in place. If you don’t have an extra screw band around the house, I imagine a thick rubber band would do the trick.
The sprouts I’ve been growing are a mix of lentils, mung beans, adzuki beans, and green peas from the Sprout House.They’re medium-sized sprouts which produce a slightly peppery taste. Not all sprouts are the same. The size, texture, growth rates and flavors will vary based on the type of seeds you use. For a comprehensive list types of sprout seeds and their tastes, I recommend checking out this blog post.
Once you’ve grown sprouts, what the heck are you going to do with them? I add them to salads, sandwiches, sprinkle on top of soups, and have even slipped them in burritos (heresy, right?). My new favorite way to eat sprouts is in a wrap with hummus and roasted cauliflower. We recently ate it for lunch for four days in a row.
Roasted Cauliflower and Hummus Wrap with Sprouts:
– 8 tortillas or wraps of your choice
– 1 medium sized head of cauliflower, chopped into bite sizes and roasted (pre-heat oven to 400 F, drizzle with a couple tablespoons of oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 40 minutes, but check on the cauliflower a couple times to mix them around to make sure they bake evenly.)
– 2 cups of hummus (if going the homemade route, I recommend this recipe by Desert Candy or this one by Smitten Kitchen. Both call for you to slip the skins from each individual garbanzo bean for the smoothest hummus possible. While I certainly appreciate the noble quest for perfect hummus, I skip this step. I’m still feeling burned after slipping the skins off 10 pounds of concord grapes last month.)
– 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
– 1 1/2 cups sprouts
– 1 lemon (small squirt of lemon juice for each wrap)
– a few shakes of dried parsley per wrap
– a couple pinches of sumac, for an extra sour bite
– 1 bunch of kale (optional), this isn’t a usual addition to the wraps but I had some leftover kale that needed to be used
Assemble all the ingredients onto the tortilla. I start with the hummus and add about 2 tablespoons to each tortilla. I never measure the other ingredients, but I know I’ve added too much when I can’t wrap the tortilla without half of the ingredients falling out. Roll up or wrap the tortilla like a burrito. Serve cold, if that sounds good to you. I prefer to heat both sides on a cast iron skillet for a few minutes, until the inside ingredients are warm and the tortilla is crispy.
How to grow sprouts:
– 2 tablespoons sprouts seeds
– clean mason jar (or any empty jar you’d find suitable)
– screw band (a thick rubber band would also work)
Add two tablespoons of sprouts to the jar. Fill the jar with several inches of water. Keep jar in on a counter or table away from direct sunlight, for 12 hours or overnight. Do not skip this step!
Drain water from the jar. Add enough water to the jar to cover the seeds and give the jar a few whirls. Drain the water from the jar again, and place the jar in a bowl, allowing it to tilt to the side to drain out excess water.
2-3 times a day, fill the jar with enough water to cover the seeds/sprouts by a few inches, and then drain. Return the jar to the bowl, allowing it to tilt to the side. Repeat this process for 4-5 days. When the sprouts are ready, store them in an airtight container for 5 or so days.