You know, you make me want to SPROUT! Kick my heels up and… SPROUT! Come on now…

(10 points to whoever can name the artist of that fantastic tune first!)

For those of you who are following my quest to get fit in Italy (#fitaly on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram… please, no more social media accounts, please!), an important milestone has been reached.

I can now officially report that my sprouts have sprouted, and that I have consumed said sprouts without dying (apparently a valid concern).

So, I think that’s a pretty good outcome.

Here’s what I learned along the way:

1. Do your research on sprout-growing containers (sprouters) first.

This whole adventure sprouted (sorry, couldn’t help it) from a trip to an organic shop in Reggio Emilia that was selling these pretty little terracotta sprouters made by Geo. Upon returning home with my new sprouter, I read some reviews about sprouters.

My first suggestion would be to actually invert the order of those events, as crazy at it may sound. Read the reviews BEFORE purchasing the sprouter. Genius, I know.

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Many pro sprouters use plastic trays or even glass mason jars instead of fancy systems like this. They probably know what they’re doing. I love this little guy – he’s very pretty – but he has the smallest drainage holes imaginable. The alfalfa and flax seeds got stuck in them, and I had to use a needle to clean them out afterwards. So, Tip #1: research. More than I did.

2. Clean the beans or seeds very well before soaking them.

I find it somewhat amusing that the FDA has a warning out since the 90’s on the safety of sprouts, when somehow the USDA beef lobby has been able to plow through E.coli scares without a scar. I suppose the alfalfa lobby is a bit less intimidating.

In all seriousness, E.coli and other bacteria are always a serious concern when consuming raw foods. Remember to steer clear of sprouts if you are pregnant. To minimize the risks, it is always best to source your beans or seeds well and clean them as thoroughly as possible (I rinsed mine several times in baking soda water) before growing your sprouts.

Many will say that if they are contaminated, there’s not much to be done. And, frankly, I will hesitate before ever eating store-bought sprouts again. However, I’m pretty comfortable with the risks of home-grown sprouts. I have even been known to take a bite (or two) of raw cookie dough… and occasionally eat rare meat. I know, I know. I’m a wild child.

3. Soak mung and alfalfa for 8-10 hours.

I also have my sunflower seeds soaking in this photo, but they ended being a disaster… so DON’T do what I did with them! The flax seeds don’t need to be soaked.

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4. Keep them in a dark corner, and rinse them 2-3 times each day.

I rinsed them after each time that we had a meal. At first they would all swim around in the tray, but once they establish themselves, it’s more like rinsing grass. As I mentioned, I’m leaving the disastrous sunflower seed part of this experiment out… In the photos below, I have mung beans, alfalfa, and flax seeds. Note that the flax seeds were… how should I say this… a pain in the ass! They get all slimy and slippery, and they stick to everything. Tasty though!

Here’s what they looked like on Day One, just peeping out of their shells:

Day Two – it was so fast, I felt like you could see them grow! Next time – time lapse video!

Day Three – here where they start peeping out of the Geo trays.

I was pretty excited at this point. Note that the mung beans were probably done here… I grew them a little too long I think. They started rooting, and lost their sweetness.

Day Four – I popped them in the fridge, and we made sandwiches almost immediately! Like I said, the mung should have been fridged sooner. The alfalfa were fantastic, though!


Anyone else wan to to kick your heels up and SPROUT?! Come on now… don’t forget to say you will…

16 thoughts on “You know, you make me want to SPROUT! Kick my heels up and… SPROUT! Come on now…

  1. The only SPROUT! … errr … SHOUT! version I know is Johnny O’Keefe – how many points for trying?
    I have never seen a sprout sprouter, but haven’t been looking for one either, I could be in the market for one now though, sounds like a healthy idea.

    • I’m sorry, folks, we’re looking for the original artist, here. I’ll take the next caller!
      (5 points to Robyn for the attempt!)

    • Why, thank you – I’m excited you’re excited! Let’s sprout away!

      (All normal, i.e. non-sprout-obsessed people – don’t worry. We will still tackle other subjects besides sprouts.)

  2. I have been attending living food classes since January! I havent sprouted yet, though, i am too scared to do something wrong, forget to rinse and end up intoxicated 🙂 your work looks perfect! please tell us how the detox from pork and tomato sauce goes 😀

    • ah, yes. You see the key to do this: stick your fingers in your ears and shout “lalalala”. Then rinse, and repeat.

      From everything I can tell, the scares about sprouts are based on statistics that are FAR less scary than the scares about tons of other things we eat on a daily basis. They are the scares of basically all industrialized foods, with the added note that by the nature of seeds – washing them may not have an absolute effect.

      boh! ci proviamo!

  3. Holy hell, I had no idea they grew so fast!

    Congratulations on consuming them (and not dying as a result)!

    • I know- it was crazy! I swear, you could sit there and SEE them grow.
      Thanks. I’m pretty happy about that second part too. 🙂

  4. thank you for your post on this GEO sprout grower, I have not been successful and have missplaced my instructions and have not been successful at growing sprouts yet I will get back to it and try again

    • I love love love it. Still use it all the time. Although I’ve switched the alfalfa sprouts over to a jar because they just got stuck in the holes too much. But for mung beans, it’s great

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