Thursday, April 3, 2008

Growing Sprouts and Juicing Carrots & Apples

My friend, Judy, wanted to see pics of my sprouter, so here it is! It was made by NK Lawn & Garden, and I don't believe they even make them any more. I just happened to find this one at Raley's Supermarket in Benicia, CA., near the racks of garden seeds. There were three of them in very dusty boxes. Inside was a coupon that expired in 2000 so you know these things were sitting around in a warehouse for years until someone came across them and said, let's just put these out and see if they sell.

Well, I bought two! One for us and one that I sent to Michael in China. I had been looking for a sprouter for several years. They are hard to find these days. Sprouting seeds at home seems to have gone out of style along with the rest of the 70's fads and fashions. I had to go online to find seeds to sprout. I found the greatest website: Sprout People. Check it out; they have all kinds of seeds and sprouters, fast shipping, and reasonable prices. Besides that, ANYTHING you want or need to know about sprouting seeds can be found on this website.

Anyway, Judy, this is my sprouter. You can see it's got three stackable trays for seeds. The topmost white tray is where you pour in water to rinse the seeds. The water is siphoned down into the first tray of seeds, then onward through the successive trays until it ends up in the bottom white tray. It's an easy way to rinse the seeds in all three trays at once. You can use one tray or all three at once. I most often just use two trays, but sometimes I do like to start several trays of the same seeds (my favorite is red clover) on successive days so that they are ready to eat on successive days.
Here are the trays partly taken apart. Each tray has a little cap in it, under which is a drain hole. The caps siphon off the water in the tray and then pass it down to the tray underneath.
This tray has seeds from Sprout People's "French Garden" mix. It contains red clover, arugula, cress, radish, fenugreek, and dill. We love this mix, though we do wish it had more radish seeds as we like the zip of radish sprouts.
This tray is "Beanie's Awesome Mix" also from Sprout People. It contains lentils, 3 different peas, garbanzos, and adzuki. Yeah, I don't know what adzuki is either. But this mix is great when sprouted and used in salads. Mmmmm!
Here are the seeds as they arrive from Sprout People. To the right side of that photo you can see the sprouter with the steamy looking sides. The seeds are busily soaking up water, giving off some condensation, and getting ready to sprout!

Sorry I don't have any photos of the seeds actually sprouting. We ate them too fast. I will try to get some soon, though. I'm putting some seeds in to sprout this evening so I should have pictures in a few days. A note here about rinsing the seeds: once mine have begun sprouting I usually run each tray under a running faucet to rinse them instead of using the siphoning method. I find each tray gets a more thorough rinse that way and I can jiggle the tray around to keep the sprouts loose and not clumped up. Just my preference

Bottom line is: sprouting seeds is super easy. Stick em in the trays, run the water through twice a day to rinse them, and eat them when they're at the length and maturity that you prefer. A lot of people soak the seeds before sprouting. We experimented and found it didn't seem to make any difference so now we just skip that step ('cuz we're lazy).
Here's another thing we've started doing as part of our new, slower-paced lifestyle. Our boys gave us this juicer several years back and we generally get it out in the summer when produce is plentiful and cheap. We've got it out early this year and have been making carrot/apple juice and is it ever yummy

So easy, too, all we do is make sure the produce is cut small enough to fit into the opening; we don't bother peeling or taking cores/seeds out of the apples, or peeling the carrots. I love the juice best when it's ice-cold right out of the fridge. I can drink 2 or 3 glasses in a row. We're hoping if we drink enough of it our eyesight will improve! Most likely we'll just turn orange. Oh well, it still tastes great.

Between the sprouts and the juice we just may get healthier in spite of all our efforts otherwise!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to your blog. I enjoyed reading, you write well and have wonderful photos which remind me to open my eyes when I am racing about in my work. Many of your topics remind me of living as a child on 80 acres in washington with a huge garden, sprouts, juice, milking cows and living a carefree life. Thanks, Tim

Mary Bradley said...

I am really impressed...truly and inspired too! Sprouts are sooo yummy on a sandwich and in salads. We've been going to the Farmers Market here in Chico and they have wonderful wonderful produce that could be juiced. Yum yum! Hey, are your beautiful red roses blooming? I can still remember their wonderful fragrance. I cut everyone that bloomed and set it on the desk by my computer so I could smell it all the time ;-) There are some wonderful yellow ones blooming here and I picked up a bunch of Sweet Peas at the market...there are tons of flowers for $5 a bunch. Yea, I'm in heaven.

Audrey said...

I have one of these and it doesn't work. It does not seem to drain enough water and all I get are soggy seeds. I sprouted years ago using a jar using plastic lids/screens of different sizes as the sprouts grew. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Jenette said...

Thank you for posting photos. I found the same sprouter while cleaning out a friends house that had passed away. I couldn't figure what it was. It will be put to good use now :)