The Rising Cost of… Sprouts?


The rising cost of living has always been an issue. So what’s new these days? Well, 2011 has started with a bang for sure: from the overthrow of government in Egypt, the unrest in Lybia, North Korea attacking South Korea, to the earthquake in New Zealand and now the triple disaster of earthquake followed by tsunami followed by nuclear explosions in Japan. You could say the ripple effect is in effect, and we are feeling the unrest in our wallets. Oil and gas prices have skyrocketed, as well as the price of sugar, dairy and meats. That’s not all. My favorite drug/vice/antioxidant is about to get more expensive. Coffee beans. What’s a person to do?

For my next few blogs, I will tell you what I am doing – maybe you’ll be inspired to do something as well. This time I’m talking sprouts, alfalfa in particular. Did you know that those little sprouts in plastic boxes in the grocery store are a powerhouse of nutrients? They have protein, fiber, trace minerals, vitamins A, C and K. They also have magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorous and potassium. But wait – look at the price of those things. You can pay a much as 3$ for a little square box of them, and most of the time they are already days old.

My family likes sprouts on our sandwiches, more than lettuce, spinach or anything else. I got tired of buying them half rotten and expensive at the grocery store, so we started making our own. It takes about four days from seed to leafy green sprouts, and at a fraction of the cost, they couldn’t be fresher. We pay 1.49$ for a bag of sprouting seeds at the health food store and there is enough there for about 10 one litre bottles of sprouts. That’s a saving of about 200%.

All you need to get started is a large mason jar and some netting for the cover, or you can buy mesh covers at the health food store for that very purpose. They come in sets of three sizes of mesh for different stages and sizes of sprouts. I put a tablespoon and a half of seeds in the jar and cover them with water for a couple of hours. After that I drain the water and put on a mesh cover. I rinse the seeds a couple of times a day through the mesh cover and drain. After a couple of days the sprouts are starting to grow; when they have leaves, put them in a sunny window until the leaves turn green, still rinsing twice a day. When the jar is full and the leaves are green, store in the fridge in the same jar. The next day I usually start another batch so that we are never without sprouts.

The sprouting process

We use sprouts on our sandwiches and also on top of salads. They are so pretty and they give a nice crunch to whatever you’re eating.

It’s so easy, I hope you’ll try it, and let me know how you did. If you have any questions, just ask!

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