Ramblings of a Grower: 6

Hello my avid readers and spam commenters! I know its been a while since I last posted but I’ve been busy harvesting away. Today I want to talk about sprouts. For those of you who don’t know, sprouts are basically just baby plants. They are kind of like microgreens, but they are grown for significantly less time. But both sprouts and microgreens are very tasty and very nutritious. You see the plant will store energy and nutrients in the seed for the new baby plant to use while it is growing and establishing itself before it can produce enough on its own. And when you are growing and harvesting sprouts, you are consuming the seedling while it still has all of those stored nutrients available. AKA sprouts are highly nutrient dense and very good for you.

A lot of plants you wouldn’t commonly think of as being wholly edible are actually common sprouts. I myself just started soaking seeds of amaranth, peas, sunflowers, and some mustard greens. You can actually eat the entire baby sunflower plant! I know! It is definitely weird, but theres even more sprouts than that! You can do tomatoes and kale and kohlrabi and so much more. I personally am a big fan of arugula but let me tell you it is a pain to deal with. When you soak the arugula seeds, they form a mucus like layer around their seedcoat, making them very sticky and very annoying. Trying to spread them out in a nice even layer in the growing tray is basically impossible. But man is it tasty.

Amaranth is another tricky one. The seeds are so small they just fall right out of the drain holes in the trays, and they clump together like its nobodies business. Today I attempted a new strategy of laying them out, so we shall see if it actually works! Some sprouts are really easy on the other hand. Sunflowers and peas both have nice large seeds so they are very easy to handle and to spread out to the appropriate density.

If you are wondering how on earth you are supposed to eat these tiny plants, fear not for I shall tell you. The answer is……… pretty much anyway you want! Eat them straight as a tasty snack, put them on a sandwich for an extra pop of flavor, throw them on a fancy dinner as a garnish, mix them in smoothies, however you want! There are so many with so many different flavors you really can match a sprout to any kind of dish you want. And like I said, they are super nutritious!

I will warn you, some sprouts are really strong in their flavor, so you should probably start mentally preparing yourself for that now. The spicy ones really are spicy, I promise. Others are more mild but you have to know which ones to look for. Some, in my totally professional and technical opinion, just taste very plant-y to me. But some people love them! Its all about what you like. Maybe you just want a fancy garnish–amaranth sprouts are a stunning red color, theres others that are a rich purple, or your classic greens of many shades.

Basically, sprouts are really cool. They are nutritious, delicious, they look stunning, and they are a fun talking point if you grew them yourself too!