Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Make-Your-Own Alfalfa Sprouts

As a kid, my dad used to buy alfalfa sprouts in the square package at the grocery store every time he would make chicken teriyaki sandwiches. Mmmm...Just thinking about them gets me salivating...grilled chicken topped with slices of cucumber and a pile of alfalfa sprouts drizzled with teriyaki glaze on a soft hamburger bun.  Yum!  The sprouts served a special purpose though, they tangled together to form a perfect nest for the teriyaki glaze to seep onto, and instead of the sauce sliding right off the sandwich, it held perfectly in place so each bite had sauce.  The sprouts also had a nice fresh flavor and added a bit of a crunch to the sandwich. 

When I married my husband, his father taught me how to make my own alfalfa sprouts. It only took three days and it was very little work, just a little rinse and drain a couple times a day. Plus, growing your own gives you an even fresher product. So today, I share with you what he taught me.

To make your own alfalfa sprouts, you'll need the following:

  • Quart jar, or larger, with a draining lid, screen, cheesecloth, or sieve that provides thorough drainage
  • Paper Bag or Towel
  • 1/3 glass jar full of water
  • 1 Tbsp. alfalfa seed
  1.  Mix seed and water in the glass jar and let sit 8 hours in the dark (overnight). 
  2. Drain and rinse and drain again.  Leave jar tipped slightly on it's mouth and propped in that position to allow good drainage, and cover with a paper bag so it remains dark.  I like to leave it propped in my dish drainer.  
  3. Rinse 2 times per day, drain, and keep under bag.  In 2-3 days, when sprouts are 1"- 1&1/2" long and yellow leaves are starting to sprout, uncover and let the sun bring chlorophyll to the leaves (6 hours or so), being careful not to burn or cook the sprouts.  
  That's it!  Store them in a refrigerator and enjoy on sandwiches and salads!  Makes approximately 3 cups of sprouts, loosely packed.

My grilled chicken salad for lunch yesterday had alfalfa sprouts!
I drizzled it with my favorite poppyseed dressing.

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