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Day 6.5   Breakfast and Dinner with Sunflower Sprouts!

Day 6.5 Breakfast and Dinner with Sunflower Sprouts!

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Please follow and like us:Breakfast with 2 kinds of sprouts! I began clipping sunflower sprouts this morning around 10.  The breakfast included scrambled eggs with okara (the white paste left over from making soy milk.  For 2 eggs I spooned in about 2 tablespoons of […]

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More About Sunflower Sprouts: Day 6: Let’s Eat!!!!

More About Sunflower Sprouts: Day 6: Let’s Eat!!!!

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Please follow and like us:More About Sunflower Sprouts: Day 6: Let’s Eat!!!! Day six saw a field of sunflower seed sprouts!  Both teams are up and at it in force!  I moved them to a brighter spot for more indirect sunlight to help them grow […]

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More About Sunflower Seed Sprouts: Day 5: Houston, We Have Sprouts!

More About Sunflower Seed Sprouts: Day 5: Houston, We Have Sprouts!

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More About Sunflower Seed Sprouts: Day 5: Houston, We Have Sprouts!

 

Oops, a bit fuzzy on the focus… apologies!

Finally we have a little something to look at.  Team 2, hulled seeds, is racing away toward the finish line!  Hundreds of lovely green sprouts are raising their leaves out of the dirt, heading skyward. Even Team 1, in-the-hull seeds, are taking off big time!

 

In-the-hull seeds are rising together and lifting the dirt up in a large sheet… interesting effect.

The hulled seeds are up and greening, preparing to move skyward!  Another day or two and I can start trimming what I want to add to my daily diet!  So exciting.  It’s clear I planted way too many seeds.

From now on, I’ll use my smaller whole-chicken-take-away dish for batches.  Then, I’ll start a second one 3 days into the sprouting process. This way, I’ll always have fresh batches of fresh home-grown sunflower seed sprouts.

Initially, the dirt level was below the level of the black plastic. Now, it’s poofed up about 2″ with sprouts raising the dirt level!

There is an interesting phenomenon with the in-the-hull sprouts.  They are all rising at once, lifting the surface dirt up about 2″ into the air!  I think by waiting another day to sprout, the surface dirt had dried and caked.  I will water them a bit today, although the pallet is still heavy enough to indicate there is enough water.

So here they all are!  In a day or so, I figure it will be about equal on both sides.  Our experiment is showing many new things.  First, it doesn’t really effect the outcome much whether the seeds are hulled or in the shell.

Cost and effort are effected.  The bird seed sunflower sprouts, in the shell, cost $1.99 for about 8 batches worth.  The hulled seeds cost $1.35  for 2 batches worth. Also, the hulled seeds take more time to prepare, about 5 minutes more, since I have to cull the broken seeds out to keep them from getting funky and spoiling the batch.

A Tentative Major Conclusion

If I have a choice, I’ll use the in-the-hull seeds to save money and effort in the process.

A Major Conclusion

Whichever sort of seed you can find seems to work to grow sunflower seed sprouts!  That’s good news because if you are like me and have a hard time finding sprouting seeds locally, you double your chances to find sunflower seeds for sprouting.

Do the Math

So, the hulled seeds will grow about 2 batches for my $1.35.  that’s $0.68  per batch.  This batch size is equal, roughly, to about 6 of the batches you can buy in the store, if you can find them already sprouted.  That’s about $48 for the retail value of the sprouts, figuring about $4 per batch, retail!  So, it’s a good deal, economically.

The in-the-hull seeds will grow at least 8 batches the size we grew. We are growing the equivalent to about 8 batches in this one tray.  So, that comes out to $260 worth of sprouts, figuring about $4 per batch, retail!!!

Either way pays off quite well in consideration of the savings and considering how little work it takes to actually grow them!

Moving Forward

I plan to continue following these batches to the finish in order to show myself and my friends just what the lifeline is for the process.  Stay tuned for more, my self-health for self-help friends! – Jim B

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Here Comes Spring! And More Sprouts for Breakfast!

Here Comes Spring! And More Sprouts for Breakfast!

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Please follow and like us:Here Comes Spring! And More Sprouts for Breakfast! Spring signals in more fresh fruit available for breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner.  This morning, I realized there were 5 different fresh fruits present in my breakfast. I hadn’t planned it. It’s just […]

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More About Sunflower Seed Sprouts: Day 4: Babies Are Up!

More About Sunflower Seed Sprouts: Day 4: Babies Are Up!

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Please follow and like us:Day 4: Babies Are Up! And, another post beginning with a nice picture of sprouts, rather than bore you with a picture of dirt! LOL. Not much happening in the sunflower pan, so far.  However, there is a  lot of little […]

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“More About Sunflower Seed Sprouts! Day 3: More About Sunflower Seed Sprouts! Day 3:  30 Seconds to Water!

“More About Sunflower Seed Sprouts! Day 3: More About Sunflower Seed Sprouts! Day 3: 30 Seconds to Water!

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“More About Sunflower Seed Sprouts! Day 3: More About Sunflower Seed Sprouts! Day 3:  30 Seconds to Water!  Please note that the lovely picture of sprouts at the top of this post has nothing to do with this particular post. I just figured you’d want to see something like that, as opposed to a picture of dirt sitting in a pan!  LOL.

Day 3: just seeing some peeking out. Hulled seeds on left can be seen sprouting. In-the-hull seeds on the right… all quiet!

How boring!  No work, really!  I spent a few seconds, half a dozen times just looking at the tray of dirt!  Pretty quiet down there.

But just a minute ago, I looked at it one more time and was about to walk away when something caught my eye!  A sunflower sprout!

Sure enough, I could see several shoots forming just beneath the surface of the dirt!  It has begun!  The magic of sprouting, gardening, farming, or whatever you call it. Life is sprouting out!

Day 3: Life emerging! Several sprouts can be seen from the hulled seeds side!

So, day 3 consisted of pouring a glass of water, slowly and gently around the 14″ x 14″ plastic tray.  That took all of 30 seconds to get the glass and fill with water, pour, and place the empty glass in the dish drain board.

After all that heavy lifting, I’m ready for a break. Sat down to share the progress of my babies.  Team 1, the sprouts in their shells are laying there like little blobs. Team 2, the sprouts already hulled, are showing about half a dozen sprouts that are maybe 1/2″ long.  I took a picture of the easiest one to see.

Beneath the surface of the dirt, there are likely may dozens more yawning, stretching, and coming to life. Tomorrow should show many more beginning to peak out above the soil.

So for today, not much to report, aside from the fact that growing sprouts in dirt, although a bit messier to begin with, isn’t much more labor intensive in the long run.

As I said in earlier editions of this particular post, most seeds do well in a sprouter, without dirt. But some, like sunflower seeds seem to need dirt for them to grip in order to pop up and present their wonderful, delicious little green sprouts of health!

When I try to grow sunflower seeds in my regular sprout jar, the sprouts grow curly and tangled making it hard to separate the delicious sprout from the bitter roots. The results are bitter and far from ideal.

Wheatgrass grown in dirt in re-purposed plastic trays. Note about half has already been harvested for wheatgrass juice!

If I am growing wheat for wheatgrass for juicing, I use the same sort of method, sprouting in dirt.  I’ve had great success with that for years now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wheat sprouts! Harvested while short and before greening… best grown in sprouter!

However, if I’m sprouting wheat for the short, 1/4″ to 1/2″ sprouts, not greened up, but sweet and savory in their nutty goodness, then regular sprouting jars, trays, sacks, etc work just fine, sans dirt.

Great in salads, sandwiches, soups, as nutty-crunchy snacks by themselves, and in oatmeal in the morning!

Day 3 was such a slow day for this project, I had to find filler to give some connection between this project and sprouting in general. Otherwise, a slow day in Sproutslandia, TX.

Now I’m off to research the final leap for me, either complete vegetarianism or, the gold ring, pure veganism.

Best to all my self-help/self-health friends out there: the ones I’ve met and the ones I haven’t met, yet!   -Jim B

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More About Sunflower Seed Sprouts!  Day 2: Planting Day!

More About Sunflower Seed Sprouts! Day 2: Planting Day!

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Please follow and like us:More About Sunflower Seed Sprouts!  Day 2: Planting Day! If you are just tuning in, this is the second installment of More About Sunflower Seed Sprouts!  You can find all my related posts at www.BeginnersGuideToSprouting.com. So it’s been over 24 hours […]

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More About Sunflower Seed Sprouts! Day 1: Getting Started!

More About Sunflower Seed Sprouts! Day 1: Getting Started!

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Please follow and like us:More About Sunflower Sprouts! A while back, I wrote several posts about sunflower sprouts.  I’ve gotten a fairly consistent system down for the process, which for me includes using a bit of dirt. Supply has been the hard part for me. […]

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Sprout Pictures!  Very Photogenic Food!

Sprout Pictures! Very Photogenic Food!

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Is it the sprouts?  Could it be the colors?  Maybe the textures?  How about the design of the layout?  Nope. It’s just pictures I take when I sit down to eat. Honest. Professionals may scoff at my lack of technological ability, but I never get tired of looking at pictures of the wonderful food I eat nowadays!  So here’s a post of just that, pictures of sprouts in a myriad of settings.

 

No matter how they get dished up, they are wonderful!  Thanks for all your support!  Good luck with your own self-health self-help!  – Jim B  3-2-17

 

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Make Your Own Soy Milk Aboard!

Make Your Own Soy Milk Aboard!

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Please follow and like us:Make Your Own Soy Milk Under Weigh! Save money, save time, live healthy and well on the hook! Gonna move aboard and cruise long-term in your boat? Want to minimize the amount of energy requirements: propane usage, refrigeration usage, cooking time […]

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Sprouts for Breakfast… and So Much More!

Sprouts for Breakfast… and So Much More!

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Please follow and like us:Plant Based Diet!  Nothing sounded worse to me when I was at my  bottom (obese, diabetic, perforated diverticulitis, back problems, knee problems, pooping my pants once a week or more, impotence, chronically depressed, and staring at early death or worse (bankruptcy […]

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Sprouts on Nachos, Amigos!

Sprouts on Nachos, Amigos!

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Yep, sprouts go great with nachos!  I prefer to add them AFTER heating the nachos.

All you have to do is make up nachos like you like them. Use your own recipe.  The idea is to take what is often a very unhealthy food and bump up its real nutrition level a bit!  By covering them in sprouts when you serve them, you get several additional bonuses.

First, you get some raw veggies on your otherwise minimal nutrient-value meal.  I don’t have a recipe for healthy nachos and I rarely make them any more. Last night was just a fluke, nothing else to make and serving folks who prefer that sort of food.

Next, sprouts dress up any meal!  Before, it looked like a fried, broiled, burnt mess… which is a selling point for most people for nachos.  Once I added a lovely carpet of nachos on top… they suddenly looked healthier and gourmet!

Finally, it seems I went years without including any raw veggies in my food.  Nowadays, even if I eat a poor-quality  meal, I try to include my sprouts in it.  It gives me some nutrition and some natural fiber. Also, the improved looks make it easier to eat, hiding the toxic waste look of naked nachos (without spouts).
I’m guessing certain types, like lentil sprouts would go well heated right on the nachos!  Might improve the flavors and give it a bit more flavor.  Go ahead and spread fresh, home-grown spouts on top of them when you serve them!  I haven’t done that, yet!  These are the first nachos I’ve made in a year or so… so, let us know how it works for ya.

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Soy Milk and Juicing Produces an Abundance of Healthy Foods, for Pennies!

Soy Milk and Juicing Produces an Abundance of Healthy Foods, for Pennies!

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Please follow and like us:Soy Milk and Juicing Produces an Abundance of Healthy Foods for very little money! If you’d made a statement like that not too many years ago, I’d have responded, between bites of my dollar hamburger and fries, you’re nuts!  Things change… […]

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Black Lentil Sprouts! My New Faves!

Black Lentil Sprouts! My New Faves!

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Please follow and like us:My new favorite sprouts: Black Lentils. If you know me, you know I have about a half-dozen “favorite” sprouts. Until recently, I’d never tried black lentils. They’re much smaller than the ubiquitous green lentils available everywhere… and black lentils are not […]

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A Batch of Sprouts Went Bad!

A Batch of Sprouts Went Bad!

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It  happens!

For me, it’s been 3 batches in just over 3 years.

The first two were mung bean sprouts.  It began with a new batch of dried, organic mung beans I’d bought from a reputable retailer.

As the batches moved closer to harvest, there came a white cake-type grunge between the sprouts in a small area of the sprouts.  It looked like some ricotta cheese had been spread between about a fourth of the sprouts.

At first, I just rinsed them a few times and ate them anyway.  Nothing happened.  But my mind went to work on me.  It seemed that such an unusual growth might not be a good thing. If it were bacterial in origin (and it likely was!), rinsing wouldn’t get it all gone.

Sure enough, it came back.  Sure enough, I dumped the sprouts into the compost. Then, I scrubbed the sprout jar vigorously and let it dry thoroughly.

The next batch was also mung bean sprouts from the same batch and the same thing happened.  This time, I dumped the sprouts into the compost right away and dumped the rest of my small bag of dried organic mung beans.

I bought more, from a different store, hoping it was a specific batch problem. It apparently was.

I haven’t had a re-occurrence of that fiasco, since… so far.

And I marked it off to the price of growing lots of sprouts over a long time.  You can get a bad batch now and then.  Oh, well, clean things well and keep a watchful eye… and move on. Don’t give up on a healthful process because of a few failures. Instead, learn and grow from them.

It is important to be ever vigilant with your sprouts.  It is the same way with ANY food you are going to put into your body-temple!

When in doubt, toss it out!

 

When in doubt, toss it out! That’s the watch-phrase I learned years ago!  It has served me well!

Rather than worry and obsess, I simply keep a good watch on all of my food, whether growing in the garden, growing on my kitchen counter, or cooling off in my fridge.  My efforts are doubly important when I’m eating out!

Bad Batch! Note brown leaves and stalks!
Bad Batch! Note brown leaves and stalks! Also, many of the stalks are shriveled up!

So this week, I was getting ready to harvest a batch of Zesty Sprout Mix. I’ve had about a half-dozen wonderful batches from this particular bag so far.

As the sprouts became ready to green up, I put them on the kitchen table which is by a nice window allowing plenty of indirect light.  Instead of greening up, they browned up.  The leaves turned brown and the stalks turned brown, too.  Many of the stalks appeared to shrivel up when they turned brown. They smelled moldy to me.  Certainly not the lovely fresh bouquet I’m accustomed to. They smelled like veggies gone bad!

I took a picture of them to show you. Funny, though, my camera only saw the good in them, the picture doesn’t show the depth of the brown discoloration.

breakfast-11-22-3For comparison, here is a picture taken that same morning of the same sprout mix I’d harvested less than five days before. Note they are green and have nice white stalks!  No brown coloration. None of the stalks look shriveled, either. They look fresh and good.

But the batch I was about to harvest was bad!  I tossed them and ran my sprout jar and screen through the dishwasher to get it doubly clean.

Since, I’ve started another batch, of course. I always start a batch right when I harvest another.  The beginning of the process is a good cleaning of my sprouter.

Then I began to wonder what happened.  Hard to say.  The next batch is coming along nicely too.  I will update you if they fail. So, if you don’t hear from me on that, it’s because they were fine.  Remember, most batches are just fine.

In the final analysis, I came up with a few possibilities for this batch going bad.

  1. I may have soaked the sprouts too much.  At one point, I remember that they seemed really dry, making a clicking noise when the jar was shaken. So, I filled the jar with fresh water and set it on the counter, intending to drain them in just a couple of minutes.  Later that day, I remembered them and drained them. That may have put them over the edge.
  2. I may not have paid enough effort to cleaning the jar when I harvested the batch before.  If not, you get a buildup of plant material, mold and bacteria that can grow and be carried over to the next batch.  I remember being a bit lazy on my cleaning before my last batch (Actually, I remember only giving a quick rinse and a cursory wash the last couple of batches!).  I vowed to myself to be consistently more thorough cleaning between batches.
  3. The third possibility is still an unknown to me.  I will wait and see how this next batch turns out.  If it comes out well, I will figure it was either number 1 or 2 above.  If not, I will dig further to find the problem.

This is not a huge problem. Rather, it’s an opportunity to re-affirm my basic process for sprouting. It IS simple! It IS easy! It DOES NOT take much time, money, or effort! BUT it DOES take a consistent good process to produce regular, abundant, healthful, and delicious batches of fresh, home-grown sprouts.

I continue to attempt to eat well, live well, and grow healthier each day.  It seems more important when I consider the increasing un-healthfulness of the food chain around me.

sprout-t-shirthope you will weigh in on this post and share your “failures” with us all to help us learn to feed ourselves better!  Here’s a big thanks to all of my fellow self-help, self-health friends!  Please feel free to share this with anyone and everyone who might appreciate it.

 

Yours in abundant health!

 

Jim B – Nassau Bay, Texas  October 27, 2016

 

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Sprouts for Breakfast… Again!

Sprouts for Breakfast… Again!

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Please follow and like us:Yep, sprouts for breakfast… AGAIN!  And again, and again, and again!  That’s the most healthful idea behind all the changes I have made in my lifestyle.  Once I do something healthful for myself, I must set myself up to do it […]

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Sprout Your Support for the Sprouting Lifestyle!

Sprout Your Support for the Sprouting Lifestyle!

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Please follow and like us:Yep, we’re going fashionista… just a bit.  Check out these new t-shirts!  The idea is to help build inner support by telling the world about the wonderful lifestyle, health, and dietary changes you are making. Home Grown Sprouts! Self Health for […]

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Sprouts on Nachos?

Sprouts on Nachos?

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0901162030cI just made up a small batch of nachos for 2.  I used my own recipe for nachos. Tonight I had some leftover shrimp to use up and a little bit of organic pesto, so I made some pesto/shrimp nachos.  I diced up a bunch of fresh cilantro and gave them a generous coating, too.

0901162030dOur reaction was notable.  Sometimes the momentum of eating well pays off.  In the old days, I would have made a much “worse” batch of
nachos and likely made twice as much.  But tonight, we carried through with some raw  veggies on our “bad” food.  And it was good.
There’s something about the texture, the crunch, and the flavors of sprouts placed on those nachos when I served them.  It’s something special.  I think it’s my body’s memory of the good nutrition coming my way.  Also, it’s my body’s joy at getting some good nutrition served up.

0901162030aSo, there ya go.  Whatever your nacho recipe, whether it’s super healthy or super junk-foody or whether it’s somewhere in-between, pull out the fresh, home-grown sprouts and put them on top.
I grab a generous pinch from the bowl and place it on each nacho as I prep0901162031are to eat it.  So good!

Just remember to pull the sprouts out at every meal, just like you are working to remember to start-up a fresh batch of sprouts right when you harvest your latest batch.  Getting in those habits brings that momentum of health. Change for the better comes from that.

Jim B 7 9 2016 Galveston BeachThanks for reading this and trying to improve your own self!  Please share with anyone who might appreciate it.

Self Help for Self Health People!  –  Jim B

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Gardening on a Boat!

Gardening on a Boat!

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Please follow and like us:Yep, you heard me.  It doesn’t matter how small a boat, as you’ll soon see.  It’s really a deep subject and one that needs lengthy examination if you plan to be “out there” for any length of time on your boat. […]

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Sprouting and a Small Garden!

Sprouting and a Small Garden!

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Please follow and like us:Even a small garden helps offset my nutritional needs.  We just moved a month ago, right into the major heat of Houston, Texas.  Sad to leave our kitchen garden behind. Fortunately, our new house has wonderful gardens in place and is […]

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Juicing Sprouts!

Juicing Sprouts!

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My sprouts book gains much of its strength in the simple process of continual sprouting.  I emphasize that the most because that’s what shot me down the most in years past.  I can’t recall how many times (well, like, EVERY time!) I starRevised Front Coverted a batch of sprouts, got them harvested, and then put the sprouter away.  Too soon forgotten.

A week later, a month later, next year, I would get a reminder to try to eat better.  Then I’d go digging around the galley looking for my sprouter.  The longer the dry period of no sprouts, the deeper the sprouter would be hidden.

So my process today, and for the past three years has been to maintain ongoing sprouts… often 2 different batches at a time, usually harvesting on different days, too.  I adjust the quantity of sprouts to fit my household needs for the time it takes to renew them.

Pics 8 22 2015 141For me, I’ll sprout about 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of larger sprouts, like lentils and/or 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of smaller seeds like alfalfa, clover, or broccoli seeds.  When they are harvested, I’ll have enough to use with each meal until the next batch is done.

Pics 8 22 2015 003But, there are lots of times I have some left… sometimes a lot, like when I end up eating out a bunch.  When the new sprouts are ready to harvest, I simply toss the current batch into the juicer to add that much more fresh, home-grown nutrition to my juices.

Ready to juice! Just add sprouts!
Ready to juice! Just add sprouts!

I’m a kitchen sink juicer, meaning that I will juice whatever is laying around the kitchen:  generally tidbits of remaining veggies and fruits.  Usually I can clean up some cabbage, celery, carrots, parsley, cilantro, lettuce, kale, spinach, squash, tomatoes, and the like… And, of course, I’ll toss in sprouts.

Keep in mind that I juice sprouts as a part of my regular juicing, too. The quantity goes up at times that new batches are ready to harvest.

I don’t know how good or bad the various things are for juicing. I just juice veggies and drink it.  There are no ingredients, per se, as the veggies are just that, veggies.  I also know that the more of them I get via fresh juices, the better my health seemed to get.  Maintenance involves the same commitment to real food.

I shy away from nutritionism products like dried powders and concentrates that promise the world.  Been there, done that.  If it’s got ingredients, it’s not gonna end up being the fresh, whole nutrition that has cured me of my six chronic illnesses! Simple.

Pile the sprouts into the juicer!
Pile the sprouts into the juicer!

So, plan to use your sprouts in every way possible: raw or cooked; at every meal; in soups, casseroles, and loafs; in sandwiches, burritos, and tacos; by themselves; and even on french toast and pancakes! AND be sure to add them to your regular veggie juicing regimine.

I’ve been posting a lot about juice lately.  It’s a part of my life and my recovery from the American industrial food complex.  And, it’s a way to increase my raw veggie intake substantially without having to chew raw veggies all day!  And, the juice is almost always delightful in some way!

Jim B 7 9 2016 Galveston BeachHere’s to your health, my self-help, self-health friends!  – Jim B!

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Cantaloupe Juice! Another Euphoric Drink on These Hot Days!

Cantaloupe Juice! Another Euphoric Drink on These Hot Days!

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Please follow and like us:All that talk about watermelon juice got me refreshing for several days from the juice of a half a seedless watermelon!  Then, it was still hot and humid here south of Houston, Texas. It was so hot, that just stepping outside […]

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We Are Past Due for Watermelon Juice!

We Are Past Due for Watermelon Juice!

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Please follow and like us:Watermelon Juice!  Ahhhhh! My favorite juice in the summertime!  Oh, it’s great any time, but summertime is the best! Quenches thirst, cools me down, and gives me some nutrients to treat the heat! I enjoy juicing so many things, but on […]

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Sunflower Sprouts!

Sunflower Sprouts!

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IMG_0455Sunflower Sprouts! My faves! I tend to say that about a half-dozen different sprouts.  Why? Because they are!  Sunflower sprouts have the taste, texture, and nutrition I crave.

I was relegated to buying them from dealers at farmers markets for years. But, after a year of searching, reading, and experimenting, I finally came up with a good system to grow them myself. Here ya go!

Sprouting Sunflowers: Sprouting in Dirt

Getting a good system for sprouting sunflowers has eluded me. I kept trying to do it without dirt. The results were always the same, twisted sprouts, poorly formed yellowy leaves, and roots that taste bitter.

I went searching.   YouTube gave me some good answers, but I didn’t want to hear it. I thought I should be able to sprout everything without dirt. Wrong!

To get great sunflower sprouts, the only solution I could find that worked simply and was easy to reproduce, was to sprout them in dirt. I watched a bunch of YouTube videos on the subject. Each looked to work well. But none fit my criteria of simple, easily reproducible, cheap, and with consistent results.

Trial and error. I looked at hydroponics for a while. That meant that I spent countless hours pouring over everything I could find on the subject on the internet. And there’s a lot to pour over on that subject on the internet!

I almost bought a bunch of shallow tubs, coconut grass mats, chemical fertilizers, pumps, and grow lights. What a mess. How complicated a setup was that? And the expense was way more than my cheap-natured perspectives on feeding my self whole and healthy food.

At the same time I began researching Wheatgrass and Barleygrass sprouting. I love the healthfulness of those greens when juiced.   I had the right juicer to juice them.   But, like sunflowers, how could I do it when sprouting in a jar just didn’t get it done anywhere near what I’d hoped for.

Then I watched a nice Midwesterner who showed me how she grows her sunflower sprouts in dirt. It was simple. It was reproducible. It was fairly cheap. It looked like it needed some tweaking to get it to work in the winter, when there’s not much sun in my windows. She used foil cookie sheets with raised edges and poked holes in the bottom to let the water drain out. I thought that was good and could get the trays, new, at the dollar store at the rate of two for a buck. Not too bad.

But those trays wouldn’t be durable enough to continuously rotate new crops of sprouts. I needed something stronger for that.

Repurposing Refuse Plastic into Micro-Mini Greenhouses!

Greenhouse2Then came Christmas.   We had a party. Yes, I served tons of fresh home-grown sprouts. And a friend brought a deli-pack of fresh veggies already cut for dipping. It was a large black square plastic bowl with a clear lid that snapped firmly in place, the kind you see everywhere these days.

GreenhouseI didn’t think about it until afterwards when I was cleaning up, washing up, and tossing out the trash.   I picked up the big container and rinsed it out prior to putting it in the plastic recycling container.

Then the vision of a micro-mini greenhouse hit me! I could see dirt in the bottom and sunflower sprouts about 4” long smiling up at me!

Of course!

I didn’t poke holes in the bottom. Why? I wanted to be able to place this on my kitchen counter without seepage problems. Well-soaked seeds wouldn’t need to be swimming in water. I figured that if I put enough water in them that would dry out in a day or so, they might be fine. They were!

It’s winter. No sun in the window. So as they began to sprout up I put them in the back yard on a cool day in the low 40’s. A while later I looked out and saw to my horror, a squirrel was enjoying MY sprouts!   I went out and shoo’ed him away.

0130161023dI simply snapped the lid firmly in place on top to keep him out. Voila! A terrarium of sorts was created. The sun heated up the inside causing the water to vaporize and condense on the lid. Then it would rain periodically inside.

It was a micro-mini greenhouse of sorts. Portable! Durable! FREE! Re-usable!

And they grew! And they grew so nicely! And I tried a few and they were as wonderful as the pricey ones I’d bought in stores and at farmers’ markets, when I could find them. I was finally onto something!

The plastic container kept the dirt in and my kitchen counters clean. I could set them outside to green up during sunny winter days and bring them in at night. I could resist adding water until the container felt as if it had nothing in it, meaning they were dry. And, the true test, they tasted great.

Once a batch was done, as defined by the sprouts having their second sets of leaves just budding up between the first 2 leaves. I would cut them off, rinse them, and eat them.   It’s just like picking asparagus and trying not to eat them all before you get in the house! Wonderful!

The reason a normal sprouter doesn’t work for me with sunflowers is that the sprouts curl up on themselves and the roots are tangled up with the sprouts. The roots, to me, are bitter-tasting. When I buy sprouts at farmers’ markets and at stores, they don’t include the roots. I know why.

I was about to toss out the harvested dirt when I noticed that there were late bloomers just breaking the soil surface. So I watered them and kept them going a couple more days.   Lucky me! It gave me another full batch of sunflowers! Once they were harvested, the dirt/roots complex went out to the garden area to build up the soil for next spring.

As a side note, be careful on warmer days.  I set a batch out on a day when it was in the upper seventies.  I came home after being gone all day and found my sprouts cooked!  They were brown and shriveled up!  They smelled nasty like over-cooked garbage.  Oops!  Important note to self: Keep an eye on them when in direct sunlight!

Sprouting Sunflower Seeds:

  • Measure out a half cup of sunflower seeds

0131161131

 

  • Put them on to soak for over 2 nights.       It takes longer to soak them since they have the hulls that have to get soaked up, too.

 

  • 0127160954aClean your micro-mini greenhouse. You can use the larger ones like specialty platters come in from the deli or smaller ones like they sell whole cooked chickens in.  If you are a vegetarian, just ask your meat-eating neighbors to save you a chicken container.

 

  • 0127160954bSet it out on the counter and fill the bottom with about 1/2″ of organic potting soil (or good soil from your own backyard garden!). Use soil that says it’s specifically made for growing food for people. Not just flowers. Why? I’m not sure why, but it makes me feel less vulnerable.

 

  • 0127160957a_Burst01Spread soaked seeds out over the soil evenly and cover with ¼” or so of more soil.
  • Water lightly and wait. I set them on the kitchen counter or the kitchen window sill.

 

 

  • In short order, they begin to grow!
0130161023d
Snap the lid to keep squirrels and birds out! Careful on warm days not to cook your babies here!

 

  • Set outside on cooler / cold sunny days, covered to keep animals out and warmth in.
0127161014
The Lower Micro-Mini Greenhouse is raining!

The terrarium it creates also rains several times a day! How cool is that?

  • They grow more!

0126161856a

  • Use scissors to cut the sprouts as they begin to bud out their second leaves.

 

  • Rinse them in a colander. Doesn’t take much water. You can wait and rinse them as you use them, too. Just remember which method you choose.

 

  • 0129161717After harvesting, set the micro-mini greenhouse back on the sill for a day or so to see if more are gonna sprout. Harvest as they come.

 

 

  • Clean the micro-mini greenhouse thoroughly. Soak another 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds for 2 days. Repeat this process.  The key is always in repetition. If you maintain a steady supply of sprouts, you’ll always have them and eat them.

 

0129161716b

Above, you see the second leaves just budding out between the first ones.

When you grow enough to have extras, just put them in the fridge just as you would any other sprout. I like to trim them as they grow and keep them growing longer. But some people are better at developing a consistent one-time harvest process. Maybe I’ll get there some day. At least I have a beginning for these, my absolute favorite sprouts!

And that’s the end of the very rough draft of a chapter on sprouting sunflower seeds in soil. The pics need work, the writing needs help, and I need to take some better pics along the way.   I’ll also be adding Wheatgrass and Barleygrass in future posts.

Please send me any comments, criticisms, ideas, enhancements, or impressions you have to share. It will help me do a better job of serving our sprouting friends.

And please share this post where appropriate with friends, family, and other sites that might have interest.

Best health my self-health, self-help friends!    – Jim B!
Amazon Link for My Sprouting Book!

 

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Lentils, My Old Reliable Standby Sprouts!

Lentils, My Old Reliable Standby Sprouts!

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Please follow and like us:Lentils: My old standby!  I’ve grown them in all sorts of climates, in all sorts of living situations, and in all sorts of sprouters.  They always seem to come through for me.  I don’t even need to buy organic or special […]

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Jim B’s Story!

Jim B’s Story!

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Please follow and like us:Current conventional wisdom says that we should be eating at least 60% raw veggies and fruits in our diet, each day! And many folks believe that up to 100% raw foods is the best way to thrive!  For years I wasn’t […]

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4. Harvest & Re-Start

4. Harvest & Re-Start

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IMG_0455Finally, it’s time to harvest your sprouts!  Simple, quick, easy.  Cheap, too.

So far you’ve spent about four minutes growing your sprouts (review posts 1, 2, and 3). The sprouts, on the other hand, have been busy growing and becoming a wonderful food source for you and your family.  They work 24/7 to make this happen for us all!

0527150838a(1)For newbies, it’s always weird trying to figure out when to harvest a first batch of sprouts.  As time goes on, you develop a better feel for this.  But in the beginning, just go by the numbers.  After 3 to 5 days of this process, most all sprouts are ready to harvest.

  1. Simply rinse them well.
  2. Remove the sprouts from the sprouter.  Note the heading picture for this post.  It shows that the sprouts grew to fit the container and came out in one jar-shaped bundle!
  3. I generally put the sprouts directly into a large bowl or soup pot and flood with water.  Swirling gently, all the hulls tend to fall to the bottom or float to the top.
  4. I dip a soup ladle in to pull out the gathered floating hulls.
  5. Then, I gently pull the sprouts out, one handful at a time, and place them on a cutting board to drain.
  6. At that point, they are ready to store and eat.  Feel free to pinch a few and pop them in your mouth while you are working away.
  7. 0620151008I generally put my sprouts in a refrigerator container:  glass, plastic, or bag.
  8. Often I’ll spread them out a bit and let them get more indirect sunlight to green up for the day.
  9. Then, off to the fridge!
  10. IMMEDIATELY after harvesting from your sprouter, (This is a crucial step toward maintaining an ongoing supply of fresh, home-grown sprouts!) wash the sprouter and put another batch of sprouts on to soak!  Right then. Not tomorrow. Not sometime. Right NOW!  Never put that off or you’ll find yourself without sprouts, often for months at a time.  So, be sure to get the next batch started.

Discussion

After you have grown a few batches of sprouts, you’ll get a better handle on how many to sprout per batch.  I try to sprout enough to use while the next batch is growing.  That way, I always have plenty.

0714150954I attempt to err on the side of too many sprouts, rather than too few.  This way, I rarely run out. Remember, I use them with every meal.  And, if a new batch comes ready, I can simply toss the other into the juicer for my morning green drink.  Nothing gets wasted.

As a side note, if you have chickens, it’s good to give them a few sprouts, too. They’ll grow to love them as much as we do!

Revised Front CoverClearly there is more to this process, but you now have the overview at hand.  My sprouting book goes into much more detail and gives plenty of pictures to help you get started on a regular practice of indoor gardening: sprouting.  It’s available in print form and ebook form.  The original edition is still available as well as the revised edition. And, if you have a Kindle Unlimited account with Amazon, you can read my book for free!

Thanks for taking the time and energy to invest in your own self-health!  Sprouting is a great way to invest in your life’s vigor and health!  – Jim B!
Amazon Link for My Sprouting Book!

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3. The Next Few Days!

3. The Next Few Days!

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Please follow and like us:   Welcome the the third installment of sprouting overview! After you’ve soaked your seeds overnight (the first installment!), drained them and set them on the counter on day two (the second installment!), you are just about done with the process! […]

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Sprouts for Breakfast?  You Betcha!!!

Sprouts for Breakfast? You Betcha!!!

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Please follow and like us:I remember the first time I suggested sprouts for breakfast.  Everybody got that, “Who farted” look on their face!  It still elicits that same grimmace to first-timers! But trust me on this… it’s the best! Here’s my breakfast this morning.  Nothing […]

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2. After Soaking Overnight!

2. After Soaking Overnight!

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Sprouts Logo 2 inYesterday, we got started sprouting!  I told you about how to get started and got you to soak some seeds.  You were gonna let them soak overnight.

Let’s review the basic sprouting process before we move on:

  1. Get some seeds
  2. Soak them in water overnight
  3. Drain them and spread them out in your container
  4. Rinse 2 or 3 times a day
  5. After 3 or 4 days, put them in a container and begin serving them
  6. Wash your sprouting jar / tray and repeat steps 1 through 6

Once you have the sprouting seeds or beans in your pantry and have a jar set aside for soaking, you are only gonna need a minute or less to get successive batches started.  That’s not much time and effort, is it? Remember, it’s simply a matter of measuring out seeds, covering with water, and setting on the counter overnight.

Keep in mind, too, that the whole process of sprouting a good-sized batch of sprouts only takes five minutes or less over the course of 4 or 5 days, too!

So here we are at day 2: Now you are ready for a blistering 20 seconds of work.  On day 2, you simply pour off the soak water, rinse the seeds in fresh water, drain again, roll out the seeds on the edges of the jar, and set the jar on the counter, sideways, for the seeds to begin germinating… which THEY do, on their own at this point.

That’s it!

IMG_20150218_185249Day 2 Review: Drain, rinse, drain, spread out seeds, and set on the counter.

I usually make sure I have a fresh dish towel under the jar to catch any water that may try to seep out of the jar.

If you don’t have a screen for the top of your jar, you can use a bit of fresh cheesecloth to drain without losing the seeds.  Fiberglass screen material works too.  Of course you can buy a screen lid at lots of health food stores and online.  Or you can just buy a sieve screen over the opening when draining.  The point of that is to be sure bugs (fruit flies, flies, and the like) don’t get into the nursery area!

Pics 8 22 2015 133I highly recommend the NOW Foods sprouting jars!  They’re dirt cheap (usually selling for $5.50 to $7.00 in stores) and provide plenty of room to sprout a large amount in each batch.  The screens are stainless steel so there’s no corrosion.  The last one I bought (and I buy a bunch of them for myself and friends). Another advantage to these is that you can go online to the NOW Foods site, put in your zip code and they will show you nearby retailers that sell them.  Very convenient.

I have a couple of NOW Foods’ sprouters that I have been using daily for over 2 years… and they still look like new!  I had used screen material, stainless and non-stainless on canning jar lids… but over time, the canning jar lids began to corrode from use even when I was using fiberglass screen material!  The canning jar lids, themselves, simply corrode over time… they are not made for repeated use.

If you have a sprouting tray setup, Day 2 is essentially the same, except that you pour the seeds and water into the sprouting trays and allow them to drain normally in the tray system.

Another note for Do It Yourself-ers!

Fiberglass screen material is pretty cheap as is cheese cloth.  Cheese cloth works pretty well with larger sprouts like lentils, but can get the seeds enmeshed with smaller seeds like alfalfa.  Just sayin’.

End of Day 2

Pics 8 22 2015 214Another grueling day of sprouting.  By now, you can see that sprouting is a really easy, simple, low-effort method of home gardening.  You don’t even have to go outside! After you are done with your sprouts, it’s time to go outside and weed your veggie garden, prune your fruit trees, and water the garden… a job which may take significantly longer than 20 seconds.

Hopefully, people will wake up soon to the myriad benefits of sprouting.  Sprouting is not meant to replace gardening. Rather, it’s intended to augment your healthy diet.  Funny, when I post about growing sprouts on gardening sites, I get a lot of flack from fellow gardeners. They seem offended by the very notion of sprouting belonging on the gardening site.  I just smile and hope they can wake up to the joys, health, and wonders of sprouting.

I hope to continue this discussion with the next stage of the process tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

And, for more information about our sprouting process, find a copy of my book: Sprouting: REVISED Beginners Guide to Growing Sprouting! Just click the linked picture below for more information at Amazon.com

 

Thanks for checking in with my blog site.  Good luck on growing sprouts.  Be sure to comment and feedback about my posts to help others and to help me be sure to provide you with the best info you can get.

And, check out our Facebook Page:

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www.facebook.com/BeginnersGuideToSprouts

Please feel free to share this post with friends and family.  Like us and Follow us on Facebook, too.  By getting involved, it will allow you to keep moving ahead in your own health!  Feel free to share, where appropriate, with other groups and pages.

Social media is new to me, so please forgive my naiveté.  I’m always open to learning new things, so help is certainly appreciated.

Have fun working for your own best health!    – Jim B    6/6/16

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1. Getting Started with Sprouting!

1. Getting Started with Sprouting!

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Please follow and like us: This post is the beginning of the process of sprouting.  It’s an overview. There are follow-up posts to fill in the rest of the process. I hope it helps you!  Please feel free to post comments, questions, and anything else […]

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Jim B’s Book Catalog!

Jim B’s Book Catalog!

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Please follow and like us:All of the Books by Jim B! Dirt Cheap, Chock-full-o-Good-Info, Worth-a-Fortune, and Downright Fun! This is an easy page… simply click on the book you want to learn more about and you’ll be sent to the book’s page at Amazon.com.  There, […]

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