Sprouts as a Healthy Treat for Animals & Humans.

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I was looking for easy healthy greens to grow for our animals and us when I came across sprouts; I thought to myself, "I love adding sprouts to my turkey sandwich at Jimmy Johns, this is perfect!"  Then I looked into the different kinds of sprouts and their health benefits and was happy with what I found, then I read about how easy it is to grow sprouts and I was sold. 

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Below is a short clip showing how to sprout wheat with mason jars and/or a miniature fodder system.

I also wrote out the process for both the mason jar process or miniature fodder system below.

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I began with the mason jar process, which is super simple, and perfect for growing sprouts  to add to salads or on sandwiches. 

Supplies needed:

  • Wheat, Barley, or Alfalfa seeds. You can buy wheat seeds at a farming agricultural store, or you can buy wheat berries for sprouting at Wal-Mart, see HERE.  
  • Mason jars with ring tops.
  • A funnel.
  • A strainer.
  • Burlap or Cheese Cloth.

The Process:

  • Measure 1/2 cup of seeds, rinse using the strainer, and then put the seeds in a mason jar using the funnel. Put enough water in the mason jar to cover the seeds. Put the lid on the jar, and let the seeds soak over night (8 to 12 hours).
  • After the seeds have soaked, rinse them out thoroughly using the strainer, then put the seeds back into the mason jar.  Cover the opening of the jar with a piece of burlap or cheese cloth and twist the mason jar ring over the burlap (the ring won't go on tightly or even, just make sure it holds the burlap on securely.).  
  • Set the mason jar in a windowsill or on the counter.  Make sure to rinse the seeds at least twice daily.  Just add water through the top of the burlap and then strain the water out through the top.  The seeds need to be wet, but not soaking in water.  
  • After about four or five days your seeds should have sprouted enough to enjoy on salads or in a sandwich.  Pull the sprouts out of the mason jar with tongs, rinse them thoroughly in a strainer, pull the clumps apart and serve.  
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The mason jar system wasn't working for me because I wanted to make enough sprouts for a nice treat for us, our rabbits, and our sheep.  So a smaller version of a fodder system is a better solution than having a bunch of mason jars with sprouts spread throughout my kitchen. 

Supplies needed:

  • Wheat, Barley, or Alfalfa seeds. I bought a 50 pound bag of wheat seeds from my local agriculture co-op store for $11.00.  
  • Disposable food storage containers. (Melt holes in each container using a hot nail (I warmed my awl over a lit candle), this will help to drain water off the sprouts.) 
  • Canned food organizing rack.  This is like the one I have.
  • A strainer. 
  • A funnel. 
  • Mason Jar(s). 

Sprouting process: 

  • Measure 1/2 cup seeds, rinse thoroughly using a strainer, put the seeds into the mason jar using the funnel. Add enough water to cover the seeds, then put the lid on the mason jar to let the seeds soak overnight (8 - 12 hours).  
  • The next day rinse the soaked seeds again using the strainer, then put the seeds into one of the food storage containers.  
  • Rinse the container at least twice daily, make sure to let the water strain out of the container. The seeds/sprouts should be wet but not soaking in water.  
  • Start another mason jar of seeds to soak, and start the whole process over again.  Move the most mature containers of sprouts up your shelving (canned goods organizing rack).  
  • Once your containers have grown at least 5 days (or longer), rinse the sprouted seeds and serve.  
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Notes to think about: The open container system dries out faster than the mason jar system so make sure to not skip a rinse.  Rinsing is also important to ensure mold or mildew doesn't begin to grow on the sprouts.  The longer the sprouts grow, they'll mature to grass, which animals will love and you may find the wheat grass delicious too, but the roots are the tasty bits for human consumption.  Remember, your nose is also the best warning system, if perhaps you missed a few rinses, and mold or mildew began to grow you'll smell it, and don't eat it. If you let your seeds soak longer than a couple of days the seeds and water will begin to ferment, not a good idea to consume, unless you're trying to make moonshine I guess. ;) Seeds that have soaked longer than a day won't sprout as well either. 

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