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Getting your seeds for sprouting at the grocery store

 
master steward
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I like sprouts, they are good on a salad, on sandwiches and in Chinese food.  I don't like to spend $5.00 for a few ounces of seeds so I get mine at the grocery store.

The sprouts that are easiest to grow are also commonly eaten raw: mung beans, alfalfa, lentils, chickpeas, and adzuki beans.

I have heard that you can buy dry mung beans at an Indian grocery store for $1 a pound or so.  I don't have any Indian or Asian stores where I live so I use lentils, small white beans, pinto beans, peas  or what ever my store might have.  15 Beans Soup will give you a variety of 15 beans to try.

How to Grow Bean Sprouts in a Jar

Sprouting-your-own-Sprouts/

I would love to find an economical place to buy alfalfa and mung bean seeds.



Sprouts.jpg
[Thumbnail for Sprouts.jpg]
 
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You might be able to find bulk alfalfa seed at an animal feed store/ or agricultural supply store which sells seed to farmers.  
 
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I bought agricultural alfalfa from farmers co-op store for many years. No guarantees about whether they are organic, but they sure did grow well & were very inexpensive compared to those from whole-foods stores.
 
Anne Miller
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I'll check the next time I am at the feed store for alfalfa seeds. It will not surprise me if they do not have them.  Because of deer, I doubt anyone around here can grow it. When we went to the store this week I tried to buy more beans to sprout.  Some they had some they didn't have, even the ones I bought last time.

I also read that pinto beans could be toxic.  I thought they were a little yuck, but didn't have trouble eating them.  They looked yuck.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Sprouted beans, peas and lentils can produce some phyto-chenicals that are hard for humans to assimilate. Some people can not tolerate them at all. In order to avoid some of this, sprout them in the dark, or only eat the shoots of them that are grown in soil. If eating whole sprouts instead of green shoots, be sure to rinse them thoroughly.
 
Anne Miller
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Roberto pokachinni wrote:Sprouted beans, peas and lentils can produce some phyto-chenicals that are hard for humans to assimilate. Some people can not tolerate them at all. In order to avoid some of this, sprout them in the dark, or only eat the shoots of them that are grown in soil. If eating whole sprouts instead of green shoots, be sure to rinse them thoroughly.



Thanks, Robert, for bringing that up.  While some people cannot tolerate beans I have read that sprouting them makes them more digestible.

"Pinto beans are a versatile, inexpensive legume, delicious in soups and stews, tacos and burritos. But they can be a bit difficult to digest. Sprouting the beans makes them easier to digest. As a bonus, sprouting also makes beans more nutrient dense and helps them to cook faster. ... Sprouted beans require cooking before consuming."  [I put mine into Chow Mein or soup.]

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/sprouting/how-to-sprout-pinto-beans/

"Lentils are small, round legumes that come in many sizes and colors. They are popular in traditional dishes around the world. While lentils, like all legumes, can be difficult to digest, sprouting before cooking makes digestion a bit easier for most people. ... Unlike most legumes, lentil sprouts may be eaten raw. However, some may experience discomfort from consuming too many raw lentil sprouts. We recommend cooking sprouted lentils before consuming. "

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/sprouting/how-to-sprout-lentils/

This article by Dr Mercola explains digestions and about eating vegetables and sprouts.  "Naturally-grown fresh vegetables, raw sprouts, and sun-ripened fruits are rich in light energy. ... One of the benefits of sprouts is that you can grow them year-round, even when it's cold and dark "

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/04/08/eating-sprouts.aspx

Since we don't do a lot of gardening in the winter, I save doing sprouts for fall and winter so I can have "fresh" vegetables.
 
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We buy raw sunflowers in the shell from Vitacost for a bit over 3 dollars for a 20 ounce bag, which is quite large, because they are light. I grow them in the self watering pot in the soil. They are our favorite sprout or microgreen.
 I also grow buckwheat sprouts, and buy seed from whole foods bulk bin (I think about 3 dollars per pound), and I tried adzuki beans, but I found stem to be too stringy for my taste. I didn't try yet French lentils.
 I prefer to grow in the soil, because then I do not need to wash them all the time, and I do not need to water much either in self watering pots.
 
Anne Miller
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Joy, I have read up on doing microgreens.  They sound wonderful and a great market opportunity though I have not tried them.

I got interested in sprouts when we were on vacation in Ouray, Colorado a long time ago.  My salad was served with alfalfa sprouts.  I have never been to any other restaurant that serves them. Maybe the ones that specialize in macronutrients do.

All the rinsing does not bother me any more than having to water plants.  I have a system that uses a strainer.  I pour the seeds into the strainer, then wash them.  I don't use the jar method either.  I bought a sprouter which was well worth the money.

This is like the one I have.  

https://sproutpeople.org/botanical-interests-sprouter/
 
Joy Oasis
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With that equipment is probably easier, but you still have to remember 2-3 times a day to do it, right? For sunflower though you need a bit of soil or at least that is, what I read. Of course, just if you want leaves. Here they are, bottom one is getting a bit old (you can see true leaves forming and at this stage they have to be all picked and put to the fridge, upper one is fine to pick just how much we want to use that day:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/feltingme/28622503482/in/photolist-bvzack-4yJ3vQ-KBgP6m-akYrW1-
Sorry it is a link, I try to post the photo, but it doesn't work.
 
Anne Miller
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NATURAL TOXINS IN SPROUTED SEEDS: SEPARATING MYTH FROM REALITY

http://www.sproutnet.com/Natural-Toxins-in-Sprouted-Seeds

"some popular writers have attacked sprouts (particularly alfalfa and legume sprouts) as containing natural toxins. These writers may have heard something about a lathyrogen toxin, saponins, canavanine, and maybe other nasty-sounding toxins, and concluded that the sprouts of legumes are toxic in the raw state and so should not be eaten. These statements are taken out of context. ...

Some of the substances commonly referred to as anti-nutrients are actually powerful cancer-protecting phyto-chemicals. These include protease inhibitors and tannins. The problem in most diets is that we don't get enough of these substances. "
 
Anne Miller
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This is something I found on a blog and want to try:

sweet buttery infant spinach (Start with a few tablespoons of spinach seeds in a wide mouth mason jar with a sprouting lid, allow to grow until it looks like little spinach grass)
 
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I get 20lb bags of "wild bird seed" for 8$ and sprout them for my birds and also grew some bird seed from these as well. I do not know how much organic bird seed would be.
 
Joy Oasis
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So we sprouted some organic alfalfa and it is so delicious -much more crunchy and fresh tasting than store bought sprouts.
As far as beans go, it seems like there are two ways to do it - sprout it just for 3 days and eat the whole thing or let sprouts grow longer, and eat just stem/leaf parts, but most varieties (like mung beans) get bitter, when leaves are green, so people sprout them covered from light. Adzuki beans though do not get bitter, so I might try it. Asian stores carry tray with holes and solid bottom box sets specifically for bean sprout growing. They are a bit easier than jars to rinse, however they wouldn't work as well probably for sprouts, that we want to become green, unless we have very sunny place for them.
 I got some raw peanuts, so I might try to sprout them too.
 
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Beware of alfalfa seeds from farm suppliers. I bought some last week that had fungicide & Alegence on it. Returned that immediately!!!
 
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I only use seeds sold as human food for sprouting, since like the alfalfa seeds you mentioned, seeds prepared for use as seed/not intended for human consumption are often treated with fungicides etc. I had lovely sprouts from fenugreek seeds I bought at the Indian grocery.
 
Anne Miller
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Ben Zumeta wrote:I get 20lb bags of "wild bird seed" for 8$ and sprout them for my birds and also grew some bird seed from these as well. I do not know how much organic bird seed would be.



Thanks for sharing, that is a great idea  that I will have to remember next time I see bird seed.
 
Anne Miller
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Here is an article about sprouting for those of you that are new to srouting:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Sprouting-your-own-Sprouts/


Here are some mung beans though you can use any beans that you can get at the grocery store:




Here are some dry mung beans I got at an Indian grocery store for $1 a pound or so. The broken ones won't sprout, but the others will. Mung and plain old regular lentils germinate with more vigor than adzuki, chickpeas, soybeans, or any other of the seeds I've tried. That makes it easy because dead seeds want to spoil. When there are no dead seeds your sprouts will stay good longer and require less rinsing.







 
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