Windowsill Gardening: Sprouts & Microgreens

On Friday I held my last full-scale ZOOM cooking class on the topic of SPROUTS, my favorite topic. (New ZOOM classes to be announced soon.) Here are some photos and info that I gave as handouts to the participants. One or two people asked which were more nutritious: jar sprouts or microgreens grown in soil? The latter was shown by someone who Googled it, and I also looked it up today on this site: “Many studies have also shown that, depending on the variety, microgreens are more concentrated in nutritional value than their mature counterparts.” I suggest you go to this site for more nutritional info or click on “nutritional value” on the previous line.

Here are 4 previous postings on Sprouting from my website. If the link does not work, put the title (in bold below) in the SEARCH box on my Home Page. Thanx, ellensue

Bloom Microgreens: Small is Bountiful:…all-is-bountiful/

Spring is Sprouting: (3 recipes)

*The Sprout Book by Doug Evans: (Smoothie Recipe)

Spring into Sprouts! Earth Day Every Day…th-day-every-day/

Clover Sprouts for Spring (harvesting sprouts)…th-day-every-day/

I use sprouts in most of my salad recipes and as toppings on soups or bean/grain dishes, so these postings are focused on sprouts with recipes, but you will find sprouts as an ingredient in many of my recipes not necessarily labeled under sprouting.

*This book is the most current sprout book I own, which I reviewed. I have many other sprout books that I have accumulated over the years, but this one is quite comprehensive.

I also demonstrated how to harvest jar sprouts. Here is a photo followed by instructions for harvesting jar sprouts.

Basically, you fill a bowl with spouts and water with the water almost spilling over. The hulls are lighter and will gather around the edge.  The ungerminated seeds that are heavier will fall to the bottom. With your hand, gently scoop away the seeds gathered around the edges (compost them).

Then with a small strainer, lift the hulled sprouts only on the top of the bowl and place in a large colander with a bowl beneath to catch the excess water. What will be left in the water are the unhulled, heavier seeds that never sprouted. They can also be composted.

Place harvested and hulled sprouts in a strainer over a bowl near the window to receive sunlight and become green. I cover with the netting from the sprout jar and turn the sprouts around after 30 minutes to be sure they are not wet. When all the water has dripped (maybe one hour or more if you have a lot of sprouts) place in a  clean jar in fridge. (Use glass, not plastic, for sprouts to stay fresh longer, at least 10 days.)  Here’s what a jar of clover seed sprouts looks like when ready to put in the fridge.

I love sprouts and microgreens in my wraps, my salads, atop my soups, in stews and casseroles as a garnish and just on a cracker with avocado or cashew cheese.  Growing you own organic sprouts on your windowsill is about as local, fresh and organic as you can get!


10/25/21- P.S. My longtime sprout buddy, Jerry, sent me his notes after coming to class. Good suggestions! Thanx, Jerry.

    Purchase a metal screen for the large jars at a hardware store.  The thinner  material not only discolors, but develops holes through which the sprouts are lost when soaking and draining.  The sprouts come into very little direct contact with the metal screen.  Sprout Brothers sells a stainless steel lid, which works fine as long as it fits properly over the mouth of the jar.
    For the first two days of growth, I keep the glass jars covered with a towel, simulating the growth of the seeds in darkness in nature.  I make sure the mouth of the jar is open for circulation.
    Giving the sprouts a bath after three or four days is essential to keeping the sprouts free of mold and decaying odor.  I will gently pull the sprouts apart in the soaking pot.  If I put two jars of sprouts into the bath I usually fill the sprouts back into three jars, giving the sprouts room to breathe and expand.  Some sprouts, like radish and broccoli, will naturally have an off odor for the first four days..
    The mucilaginous sprouts like cabbage, arugala, quinoa, and mustard are best grown in a basket, as opposed to a jar or in soil. 
    I like your idea of filling the microgreen container with soil to the top.  This makes it easy to harvest the crop.

    I grow wheat in a jar.  After three days, I harvest the wheat sprouts and dehydrate them in the oven for a few hours at a low temperature.  I then mill the wheat into a flour, and use it to bake muffins; I also add it to oatmeal for a strong flavor.


World Food Day Zoom Cooking Class

Friday, October 16th is World Food Day and on that day I will be holding my monthly ZOOM cooking class sponsored by New Horizons Senior Center. It is: Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free and you are invited. Here is the link below. No fee.

The topic is jar sprouting and microgreens and I will be going over a recipe I posted some time ago that I am re-labeling Halloween Soup made with organic sweet potatoes and sprouted black beans. Also an early fall salad and maybe an appetizer.


Sunflower Microgreens for Windowsill Gardening


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