Sprout your own Alfalfa
Sprouting your own alfalfa is an easy and fun activity that you can do any time of the year. It tastes delicious added to sandwiches or sprinkled on salads. Eating alfalfa is very good for you too: it’s full of vitamins C and K, antioxidants and even copper. My children loved this activity as the whole process only takes less than a week and they loved being able to see the seeds sprout!
What you will need:
A fine sieve
A muslin cloth
Twine/string or an elastic band
What you need to do:
Wash and dry your jar well, using hot soapy water and making sure you use a clean tea towel to dry with.
Measure 1-2 tablespoons of alfalfa seeds depending on how big your jar is. Rinse the seeds in your sieve and then pour them into your jar. Our sieve wasn’t fine enough and the seeds escaped so we just carefully poured the water away, holding the jar lid over the opening of the jar.
Fill your jar up with water, using filtered water if you have it. Put your muslin cloth over the top of the jar and tie hemp twine or string around it in a simple knot to hold it on. You could also use an elastic band if you have one.
Leave your alfalfa to soak overnight - make sure your seeds are left for at least eight hours.
The next day, drain the seeds and then rinse them again by filling up the jar, swishing the water about and draining the water out again through the muslin.
Place your jar somewhere indoors and out of direct sunlight, upside down, but at a slight angle to allow the water to drain out and to let air circulate around the seeds. We leant our jars in a container to catch any drips but you could also prop them upside down on a draining board.
Rinse and drain the seeds between two and four times a day. Make sure they never dry out completely.
Sprouts are at their best when they’re still on the relatively small side and just starting to turn green, so when they’ve all sprouted, they’re ready to harvest. This generally takes between five and seven days. You can leave the jar in the light for a day which will make the shoots green up which increases the nutritional content of your sprouts but make sure that they don’t dry out.
Give the sprouts a final rinse and allow them to drain well in your sieve, removing any seeds that haven’t sprouted.
Once they are dry (you could use a kitchen towel to soak up water more quickly), keep them in a covered bowl or container in the fridge and eat them within a week.
We hope you enjoy your alfalfa!
Author: Denise Hope, home educating mum of two boys