Lots of parents know a sure fire way to trick their kids into eating healthy, have them help you grow food! When Fall and Winter come around, there's no running out to the garden to grab a tomato, especially in the Pacific Northwest. There's an easy way to grow fresh food indoors and get some superior nutrition for your children at the same time - sprouting! Just check out the antioxidant info/cancer preventive properties of broccoli sprouts! While you're at it, you can give your kids a science lesson or two.
Sprouting has been a popular method of providing fresh food with great nutrition for many years. In the early days of its popularity, most growers just used a Mason jar with a cheesecloth or mesh lid. Now, there's tons of different equipment to make your sprouting as easy as can be. The Mason jar remains the most popular. Sprouting has one small danger, bacteria like salmonella and e coli. You can lessen the danger dramatically by following some simple rules:
- Always purchase Certified Organic sprouting seeds (there's never been a problem with certified seeds)
- Wash your seeds before soaking
- Rinse with the highest pressure from your sink
You can find more detailed information on sprouting from the link below. The basic directions are:
- Wash your seeds, remove any debris. Non-chlorinated water is best.
- Add 1-2 Tablespoons of seeds to your jar, cover with 2-3 inches of warm water. Soak overnight.
- Drain using cheesecloth (attached to jar with a rubber band) or a specialty sprouting lid.
- Rinse very well, twice a day until they are the desired size. This can take 1-7 days depending on the seed.
- Store in the fridge inside a food storage bag with a paper towel. Eat within a few days.
Sprouts are great on sandwiches, in soups and in dips. You can 'hide' them in food like meatloaf to give your kids, and yourself, a good nutritional boost!
Detailed information on sprouts: