Sprouting Seeds the Easy Way

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We had a great suggestion on our Instagram from fellow bloggers, The Tin Can Travelers, about posting a how-to on growing microgreens and sunflower sprouts. We thought about doing a video but we’re still having technical difficulties with our editing software, so here goes…

Step 1: Purchase Quality Seeds

It is VIP to buy the right seeds. Though almost any seed will sprout, not all seeds are meant to be eaten as sprouts. Seeds and legumes that you purchase from the grocery store bulk bins can have harmful bacteria on them (like e.coli or salmonella) or have been irradiated to keep them from sprouting in transit (which means they will never sprout, no matter how long you wait). We use organic microgreen seeds from Seeds of Change and organic sunflower seeds from Hometown Seeds.

Step 2: Select Your Equipment

We use two wide-mouth quart jars with mesh screens – one jar for each type of seed. We purchased the screens and stands here, but you can make them yourself using a piece of cheesecloth as a screen and a bowl as a stand. We’ve tried both but find that the stands are more secure than the bowl.

Step 3: Wash, Rinse, Repeat
Place 1-2 tablespoons of seeds in your jar and cover with approximately two inches of warm water. Place the mesh screen or cheesecloth and ring on the jar. Let the seeds sit overnight.

The next morning, drain the water. Rinse the seeds by adding water to the jar, swishing the seeds around, and draining. Turn the jar upside-down on the stand to continue draining any remaining water.

Repeat this twice a day, every day until your sprouts are the desired size.

Sprouts do not need sunlight so it’s best to place your jar in a room-temperature location where there’s little sunlight. We place ours in the dining room/office area on our rolling kitchen cart.

Step 4: Eat and Enjoy!

Rinse your sprouts one final time and remove the sunflower seed shells. Store in the refrigerator in a mesh produce bag of open container. We’ve found that sprouts tend to go limp when they are in a closed container with no air circulation.

All parts of your sprouts are edible, even the hairy little roots of the sunflower seeds; but if you prefer, you can trim these off. Sprouts are especially good on salads and sandwiches.

A Little Fun Along the Way

A lot of my recent posts have been about the logistics and the emotions of leaving my job. While those things are important, I want to let you know that we’re not just working our butts off. The whole point of leaving was to spend our time in pursuit of something besides just money. And so, last weekend, one day after quitting my job, we ran the Amazing Race (err…the Bledsoe Creek State Park Amazing Race, that is). And when I say ran, I mean it. Let’s be clear, I am not a runner, nor did I eat a big enough breakfast to sustain a 3-mile jaunt through the woods, but somehow, we managed to come in third out of the nine teams in the race.

The next day, we worked on our apartment garden. Instead of growing our sprouts in soil, we decided to do the wash, rinse, repeat method and set up two stations on the counter. (Spoiler alert: we harvested a nice assortment of microgreen sprouts and sunflower sprouts today and will be posting a detailed how-to guide on Friday if you want to grow your own.)

We’re also trying lettuces, kale, and spinach under grow lights in the laundry room. Success of failure there is yet to be determined but the grocery store celery stalk that I planted has come up, so there’s hope! I don’t think we’re going to be self-sufficient in our food production any time soon, but I do think we can keep our salad costs to a minimum this way.

The highlight of this week though was a 3-day adventure with our great niece. We visited an apple orchard on Thursday, where we all enjoyed our first-ever apple cider slushie and picked a peck of Granny Smith, Rome, and Jonagold apples. If you ever happen to be in Adams, TN (which is most famous for being the home of the Bell Witch), you have to stop by Shady Tree Farm and Orchard. The ladies there were so nice! They let Addison pay with her special debit card (which was really just my Parking Spot membership card) and treated her as if she were a VIP.

We spent some time at Nanny’s house, where Addison got to play in the dirt, replanting weeds from the yard in her “vegetable garden”.

And on Saturday, we went to the Fall Fest at Hendersonville Produce. Addison loved playing with all the outdoor toys and getting her face painted. She also loved the free samples.

As for us, we had a blast! I think this was the most relaxed visit we’ve had all year. No rushing around to do work or home chores before heading to my mom’s house for a quick visit. We just enjoyed the moment, as if it were all that mattered. Because, truthfully, it was.

On Sunday, Angie and I started off with the intention of relaxing and watching football all day. But the apples we bought kept calling to us and we spent most of the morning dreaming up delicious things to do with them. The end result, we watched about 20 minutes of the Titans game and spent the rest of the afternoon making an apple pie, apple butter, and apple juice for jelly later on.

The simple pleasures in life have always brought us great joy, yet much of this year, I’ve found myself just skimming the surface when it comes to true happiness. I knew I wasn’t happy at work, but I never realized just how much it was affecting the other parts of my life, until I left. It’s as if a huge weight lifted off me and I felt free again – free to live in the world of right here, right now; enjoying every little moment.

I’ve said it before but I can’t say it enough, life is too short to be unhappy with your job, your life, your direction, or anything else for that matter. If you’re not happy, do everything you can to try to fix it. If you can’t right now, don’t give up. The day will come when a door will open and all you need to do is be ready to step through it.