Sprouts for Spring

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In next month’s posting, I will feature sprouts, one of my favorite foods. Sprouting is also one of my favorite kitchen activities. When my first husband and I were in business together, we grew sprouts as our business, so I have become a sprout maven (Yiddish word for expert), and will pass as many “gems” as possible about sprouts and sprouting next month.

In the meantime, here is how to keep delicate alfalfa and radish sprouts from rotting:

1. Fill a large bowl with cool water. Place sprouts (from the store or your own home grown ones) in the water and swish with your hands, gently. (Important: Water should be right at the top edge of the bowl.)

2. The ungerminated seeds will fall to the bottom and can be discarded after you harvest the sprouts.

3. The hulls will float to the top and cling to the side of the bowl. With the side of your hand gently scoop off the hulls. When you have removed all the loose hulls, use a small strainer and scoop the sprouts into a collander to dry, but do not go deep down into the bowl or you will get some of the ungerminated seeds.

4. Allow to drain and place in a GLASS jar. (Plastic tends to impede freshness.) Alternatively, if you have a salad spinner, you can spin them dry, which helps keep them fresher even longer.

P.S. If you buy bean sprouts from the local supermarket or health food store, place them in a jar or bowl of cold water and drain off only what you need, changing the water daily. Left in their plastic bag from the store will shorten their shelf life considerably. In Asian markets, the sprouts are often already in water and the water is drained when you purchase them. At home, put them back in water, enough to cover the delicate sprouts.

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