I love sprinkling alfalfa sprouts on my salad, but the ones at salad bars and even grocery stores totally gross me out. Who knows how long they've been sitting there, which means they could be a breeding ground for E. coli bacteria. Growing your own is so incredibly easy anyway, so now you can enjoy sprouts on your sandwiches and salads without having to worry about getting sick.
1 1/2 tablespoons alfalfa seeds
1 teaspoon bleach
A glass jar, at least quart size
12 inch square of muslin or pantyhose
2 dark-colored dish towels
- Disinfect the seeds. If not properly disinfected, all seeds have the possibility of carrying E. coli bacteria. Soak alfalfa seeds in a two percent bleach solution (one teaspoon bleach to one cup hot tap water) for 15 minutes. Then rinse the seeds thoroughly in water.
- Measure out 1 1/2 tablespoons alfalfa seeds. Remove any broken seeds. Place the seeds in the jar and partially fill with room temperature water. Swirl the jar around to clean the seeds, then slowly pour the water out, being careful not to let the seeds pour out. Then fill the jar with water again, about three quarters full. Cover the open end with the piece of muslin, and secure with the rubber band. Cover the jar with the two dish towels to prevent light from reaching the seeds. Allow the seeds to soak for 8 to 12 hours.
- Remove the towels and pour off the water, it'll take a long time if you let the water pour through the muslin, so carefully peel back part of the muslin so the water can pour out more quickly. Then secure the muslin back on the top of the jar. Take advantage of the fact that the wet seeds want to cling to the jar's inside surface. Roll the jar around, causing as many seeds to stick to the surface as possible, then lay the jar on its side. Cover the jar again.
- Rinse the seeds at least every 24 hours with cool water. If you have the time, rinse them two to three times a day. Within a day or two, you'll see them start to grow. These sprouts aren't quite ready yet.
- Alfalfa sprouts are ready to harvest when they are one to two inches long, usually after the fifth or sixth day. A day before they're ready, leave the jar uncovered (in indirect sunlight) so they can turn green. When you're ready to eat them, give them one final rinse. Store uneaten sprouts in an airtight container in the fridge. They should stay fresh for about a week.
- Other, Salads, Condiments/Sauces
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