Mustard can be grown as a sprout or to baby leaf stage. Tangy with a nutty crunch at the soaked stage, they have a wonderful, spicy flavour when they get to the leaf stage. They add a nice crunch in salads, on sandwiches and in raw soups and are often blended with alfalfa or clover sprouts.
Use when 1 to 2cm (½ to 1in) long and grow in the dark if you prefer your sprouts to be crisper. Mustard is a sprout that you may prefer not to green, if so, stop as soon as they have leaves.
Mustard is a member of the crucifer family, they are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, calcium and iron and are up to 35% protein.
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 to 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.
Never plant mustard and cress together if you want to eat them at the same time. Mustard grows faster than cress and so must be sown three days later for the two crops to mature at the same time.
Using a Seed Sprouter:
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 Mustard 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 to 12 hours for 3 days.
Brassicas tend to float. Try to sink those that do by knocking them down with your fingers. Most of those floating seeds will sink during the hours they are soaking.
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.
These wonderful little Brassica plants have a unique root structure. Brassicas will show microscopic roots starting around day 3. They are called root hairs and are most visible just before Rinsing when the sprouts are at their driest. When you rinse the root hairs will collapse back against the main root. Many people make the mistake of thinking these root hairs are mold, but they are not
Before your final rinse remove the seed hulls. Brassica sprout hulls are 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!
Don't try to grow Mustard if it is over 30°C (85°F).You can try to compensate by rinsing with the coldest water your tap puts out, or wait for cooler weather.
Mustard is the most demanding of the Brassica to sprout, but it is well worth the effort as its flavour is beyond compare!!!
- Additional Information
Packet Size 50 grams Average Seed Count 10,000 Seeds Common Name Microleaf or Miniveg Family Brassicaceae Genus Brassica Species sinapsis Cultivar Alba Germination Seed to Sprout: 3 to 6 Days Harvest Yield: 5:1. Notes Seed Shelf Life at 21°C°F: 4 to 5 years.
Sprout Shelf Life: 1 week