At the time of this writing the world is dealing with the COVID-19 (“Corona”) Virus. Many stores have empty shelves and folks are on the edge of panic. “Preppers” have always advocated stocking provisions at home or remote locations that can be accessed when needed.
I have enjoyed learning about wildcrafting or foraging for food but there are seasons when these edibles are scarce. When acquiring provisions for emergencies such as power outages, inclement weather, or food chain interruptions, dry goods are preferred as they have a good shelf life and seeds can provide greater nutrition. A sprouted seed is like taking a “live” vitamin. When you can’t grow plants in a field you can sprout seeds indoors any time of year.
Sprouted seeds include broccoli, celery, chia, clover, fenugreek, radish, kale, and onion. Beans or legumes can be sprouted as well and include adzuki beans, chickpeas, green peas, lentils, mung beans, and soy beans. It is best to buy seeds specifically sold for sprouting as they are untreated and chemical free. Ordinary seeds can sometimes be used but are more risky.
There are two methods for germinating seeds, one is in water and the other is in soil. Seed and bean sprouts that we see in the store are germinated in water and “Micro greens” are germinated in soil. The sprouts take about a week and micro greens can take 1 to 3 weeks but are more developed. You can eat the seed and stem of seed sprouts whereas micro greens are harvested above the soil so you can eat the stems and leaves.
I have only raised seed sprouts and find it fascinating. One teaspoon of alfalfa seeds will fill a whole quart jar when it is ready to eat! I began by soaking the seeds in water overnight then rinsing them a couple times a day. I kept the jar in a kitchen cabinet so they were in a warm dark place. Because bacteria grows in the same environment it is important to keep the seeds rinsed throughout their germination. You can use a coarse cloth or strainer to cover a jar to retain the sprouts while emptying the water.
The sprouting process makes it easier for a body to absorb nutrients because it breaks down a seed and that means less work for your digestive system. I use mine in sandwiches or salads but they can also be cooked. In any event they are a nutritious food that can be raised in an emergency or just because you enjoy them during good times.