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Bean sprouts are easy to grow at home any time of the year with only basic kitchen equipment. Many different types of seeds may be used for sprouting, although mung beans and soybeans are the most popular. Sprouts are high in nutrients, low in calories and easily digested by almost everyone, which makes them an ideal health food. Purchase seeds for sprouting that have not been treated with pesticides. Chemical-free sprout seeds are typically available at local health food stores and well-stocked supermarkets.
Fill a bowl with ¼ cup of the chosen bean seeds, then cover with ½ cup of water. Allow the seeds to soak for eight to 12 hours, then drain any excess water. Rinse the seeds in cool water to remove any dirt or debris.
Transfer the seeds to a wide-mouthed jar. Place a piece of cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar and use a rubber band to secure it in place. Set the jar on its side and shake gently to spread the seeds evenly across the bottom. Place in a dark cabinet with a constant temperature of 68 to 70 degrees F.
Wait 24 hours, then fill the jar about halfway with water by pouring it through the cheesecloth. Shake the jar gently, then drain the excess water through the cheesecloth. Replace the jar in the cabinet and repeat this step each day until the sprouts reach about 1 inch in length.
Remove the bean sprouts from the jar and rinse in cold water to remove the seed coatings, roots and any other debris. Eat the sprouts immediately after washing for optimum flavor, texture and nutrition, or store as necessary.
Store any uneaten bean sprouts in a sealed airtight container. Keep the container in the refrigerator at a temperature of 40 to 45 degrees F for up to six days. Do not eat bean sprouts that are more than a week old. Alternatively, freeze sprouts in an airtight container and consume within two to three months.
- Historical Materials from University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension: Growing Sprouts
- University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: Bean Sprouts
- “The Vegetarian Handbook: Eating Right for Total Health;” Gary Null; 1996
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