I've been spending a lot of time out of the kitchen lately. This is new territory for me.
Life here has been all about planning my garden for spring and attending gardening classes at Seattle Tilth. This weekend I planted my first seeds of swiss chard and spinach. I've always used plant starts before so it's going to be really fun to see what comes out of the ground later this week.
There's something about planting a seed in the ground that makes me feel so connected to this earth. With all of the recent events in Japan and around the world, it's hard not to have a constant reminder about how small our planet is and how interconnected we all are.
When I was in graduate school we talked a lot about what it means to be a global citizen. My thoughts on this have shifted even more lately. Even though I am aware that our planet is a system, it still somehow shocked me to watch the quake in Japan turn into the destruction of Sendai and then unfold into waves that traveled over the Pacific.
|Sprouts: Day 2|
It's easy to stand by and feel helpless in those moments. It's also easy to want to turn a blind eye and look away. I haven't been able to shake the feeling lately that I'm not doing enough to help my community. This feeling inspired me look more critically at my life and think about how I can lead a more sustainable lifestyle: less consumption, less waste, and more DIY projects. I may not be able to save the world, but I can definitely do my part to take better care of this earth and the people on it.
That's where mung bean sprouts come in. I love using sprouts in my cooking. Alfalfa are my favorite for sandwiches and salads, but mung beans hold a special place in my stir-fries and phad thai. Since I have phad thai on the menu for later this week I figured it was time to get sprouting.
Growing your own sprouts saves money and is easy. Anyone can do it. Sprouts are super healthy and are packed with vitamins, iron, and protein. It's fun to watch them grow over several days and making them at home is entertaining for the entire family - cat included.
DIY Mung Bean Sprouts
1/2 cup organic dried mung beans
Large glass wide-mouthed jar
Cheesecloth (or another light cloth) to cover the jar
Water for rinsing
You'll want to start by choosing some organic, dried mung beans and rinsing them very well before soaking. Remember that the sprouts will at least double in size so you only want as many as you can eat in a few days. I used a half cup of beans and found this to be more than enough. Remove any stones or other debris that might be mixed in with the beans. Also remove any broken or discolored beans.
Put the beans in your glass jar and cover them with water. Put the cloth over the top and secure with your rubber band. Soak them overnight or for at least 8 - 12 hours. In the morning, rinse and drain them well. There should not be any water left sitting in the bottom of the jar. If water sits and collects, this is where mold will develop and your sprouts will go bad.
Leave the jar in a cool, semi-lit place while the beans sprout. I left mine in a corner of the kitchen. (Note that the jar was only put by the window for lighting purposes in the pictures.)
Rinse and drain the beans well about every 8 hours. As long as you are diligent about rising them and not leaving water in the jar you should not encounter problems with slime or mold.
After two days, the tails will be about 1/4-inch long. You can continue growing them for up to four days for larger sprouts. When the sprouts have reached your desired length, give them a final rinse and then transfer to the refrigerator.
I stored mine in a long shallow glass snapware container with some paper towels. They usually last about 5 days.
|Sprouts - Day 4|