Micro leaf and Sprouting seeds represent the point of greatest vitality in the life cycle of a plant, and pound for pound, Alfalfa sprouts are one of the most nutritious foods that you can eat. Alfalfa sprouts are among the most basic and easiest sprouts you can grow and are one of the most versatile sprouts to use.
A bit too delicate for cooking, this dainty, mild-flavoured sprout lends a wispy, almost-crunchy health bite to salads and sandwiches. Include them in wraps, soups, veggie burgers, or add them into your homemade juices, whichever method best helps you to consume the power of this amazing little sprout!
Seeds are fast growing and can be sow all year round. To grow white sprouts keep the container in a dark place; to grow green ones keep in the light. Alfalfa seeds are slower to sprout yet harvest more quickly than Mung beans. Sprouts of any kind are eaten best in raw form. Harvest in 2 to 5 days.
How to grow Sprouting Seeds:
Seeds are just plants waiting to happen; dry they are in a dormant state and only need water and light to become a living entity. Seeds sprout fastest in a warm light airy place, out of direct sunlight, with an ambient temperature of 18 to 22°C (65-72°F), which is pretty much the condition of most kitchens. All you need is a large glass jar with a screw top lid and water. You can use a purpose made sprouter, there are many inexpensive types available, or you can make your own by piercing the lid of a wide mouth jar to make drainage holes or securing a square of muslin over the top of the jar with an elastic band. Many of the sprouts can simply be grown on cotton wool or kitchen towel, remember when you were a child - one egg box, filled with cotton wool and - bingo! - mustard and cress is yours within ten days.
Sprouting the Seeds:
Put seeds into a bowl or into your sprouter. Add 2 to 3 times as much cool (16°C/60°F) water. Mix seeds up to assure even water contact and soak for 6 to 12 hours.
Empty the seeds into your sprouter (if necessary) and drain off the soak water, then rinse again and drain thoroughly. Draining is most critical - be as thorough as you possibly can be.
Set your sprouter anywhere out of direct sunlight and at room temperature (21°C/70°F is optimal) between rinses. Rinse and drain again every 8 to12 hours for 3 days.
On the fourth day if you've been keeping them away from light, move them into some light. Avoid direct sun as it can cook your sprouts. Indirect sunlight is best, but you will be amazed at how little light sprouts require to green up. Continue to rinse and drain every 8 to 12 hours. This is where your sprouts do their growing. Your sprouts will be done during day 5 or 6.The majority will have open leaves which will be green if you exposed them to light.
Before your final rinse remove the seed hulls. Hulls can be quite large (relative to the seed and sprout) and they hold a lot of water (which can dramatically lessen the shelf life of your sprouts), so we remove them
Transfer the sprouts to a big (at least 3 to 4 times the volume of your sprouter) pot or bowl, fill with cool water, loosen the sprout mass and agitate with your hand. Skim the hulls off the surface. Return the sprouts to your sprouter for their rinse and drain. Your sprouts are done 8 to 12 hours after your final rinse.
After the de-hulling and the final rinse, drain very thoroughly and let the sprouts dry a little. If we minimize the surface moisture of the sprouts they store much better in refrigeration, so either let them sit for 8 to 12 hours or use a salad spinner to dry the sprouts after their final rinse and skip the final 8 to 12 hour wait, instead going directly to refrigeration.
Transfer the sprout crop to a plastic bag or the sealed container of your choice.
They don't store as well as other sprouts as they are so fine (thin) and they hold so much moisture relative to their mass, so though they will keep for several days you may choose just eat them fresh!
Alfalfa Seeds are small seeds about the size of a pinhead and tan in colour. Often considered to be a grain it is actually a legume. Alfalfa seeds and sprouts were originally grown in North Africa. Now it is widely cultivated in various parts of the world. Over 27 million acres of America alone are devoted to alfalfa each year.
The alfalfa sprout is considered more nutritionally concentrated than other sprouts. It contains all known vitamins: vitamin A, the B complex, C, D, E, K, and U. It also includes biotin, calcium, carotene (equal to carrots), choline, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, sodium, sulfur, and tryptophan, and it is a rich source of chlorophyll. It acts as a diuretic, which benefits the urinary and intestinal systems, and helps to detoxify the body. Alfalfa sprouts contain 8 enzymes which help to assimilate protein, fats and carbohydrates.
A note of caution: alfalfa sprouts have higher than usual amounts of an amino acid called canavanine, which has been associated with worsening of inflammatory conditions. If you have a pre-existing inflammatory condition, you should consider alternative green foods to help improve your health and boost your immune system.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 50 grams Average Seed Count 3,000 seeds Seed Form Natural Seeds per gram 60 seeds per gram Common Name Microleaf or Miniveg Family Fabaceae Genus Medicago Species sativa Hardiness Hardy Perennial Harvest Yield: 5:1. Time to Harvest For 3 to 7cm (1 to 3inch) roots: 2 to 5 days. Notes Seed Shelf Life at 21°C°F: 4 to 5 years.
Sprout Shelf Life: 1 week