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Quinoa sprouts!

After successfully sprouting the lentils, my interest in sprouting was renewed and I decided to give quinoa a try. I read that quinoa is quick and easy to sprout, and it is definitely true. It takes two days, tops, to get lovely sprouts. I used organic tricolor quinoa from the supermarket bulk section. The sprouts are so good.

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So far I have only tried them in salads. Their subtle, nutty flavor goes beautifully with a Greek salad, one of my favorites. This version of the Greek salad contains cucumber, tomato, feta, onion, spinach, olives, and a handful of quinoa sprouts topped with olive oil and black pepper.

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Tonight I tried something a little different: spinach salad with raspberries, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, blue cheese, and quinoa sprouts with pomegranate balsamic vinegar and lemon olive oil. This was fantastic.

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It’s like a dessert salad!

I went a little crazy with the quinoa and now have a sprouts that need to be eaten in a couple of days, so I’ll probably be eating a lot of these salads. But what to sprout next?

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Sprouted lentils

After my seed sprouting failure, I was determined to try something that would work in my sprouting jar. I remembered seeing these directions for sprouting lentils and decided to give it a try. I know lentils are really good for you, but I’m not a huge fan of the texture and flavor of cooked lentils–I figured sprouting them might be a good way to include more of them in my diet. I bought organic red lentils, since they were the only ones available in the bulk section of the local supermarket. They were a little less than $3.00 a pound.

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I soaked them for 24 hours and rinsed and drained them twice a day until they looked satisfactorily sprout-like. I think it took about 2 1/2 days.

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I was pleased to find that they taste really good. The taste and texture remind me of fresh baby peas. I think they will be good in stir fry, in pasta salad, or with tomatoes and feta. I’m very pleased to have a sprouting success.

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Sprouting seeds day 5(?): This is supposed to be easy!

After five days, my sprouts looked…pretty disappointing. Although I did have some reasonable-looking sprouts, I had a ridiculous amount of unsprouted seeds.

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I did some research on what went wrong and found that I likely didn’t drain the seeds well enough. I tried another batch with fewer seeds and drained them very carefully, but my results weren’t much better. This is supposed to be so easy that a child can do it! I will probably try this again with a different type of seed to see if I get better results.

On the bright side, the few sprouts that I got did taste good.

 

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Sprouting seeds day 3: Germination!

Well, technically they started germinating a couple days ago, but today their little roots are finally big enough to be visible without close scrutiny. I think they will really take off today and tomorrow. The seeds need to be rinsed and drained twice a day and kept in the dark. Since cabinet space is at a premium, I keep them on the counter, angled on a dish drying rack and covered with a towel. It is more exciting than it probably should be to check on them twice a day.

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This was the best photograph I could get through the glass jar.

The process has been a bit slower than I anticipated; I think the temperature may have something to do with it. The instructions say that a temperature of 70 degrees is ideal, but our house is never that warm in the winter. This is unfortunate both for me and the seeds. Unlike me, though, the seeds do not get a space heater.

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Sprouting seeds

Jared’s parents recently sent us a sprouting jar. Having been wanting to try one of these for quite a while, I was eager to get started. Along with the jar, they sent a pound of zesty sprouting seeds–a mix of clover, fenugreek, and radish. As per the directions, I added four tablespoons to my 1/2 gallon sprouting jar.

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The seeds smelled delicious.

I added one teaspoon of citric acid and 3/4 cup of water, then put it in a quiet corner to soak. They are supposed to soak overnight, so I’ll check on them in eight hours or so.

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And that’s it for the first step. If all goes well, I should have sprouts in about four days.