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Sprouting at home is easy and requires little or no equipment not already have on hand. To save a few pennies, improve the taste, texture and nutritional status of your favorite recipes and to ensure you are eating well produced, safe and healthy sprouts, start sprouting in on your own kitchen counter today. See Monday’s post for a list of good seeds, beans and grains to sprout as well as some nutritional information on the super-food quality and power of sprouts.

What you will need:

  • 1 wide mouth jar (the bigger the better – ½ gallon or bigger)
  • Cheesecloth or a fine mesh screen to cover the mouth of the jar
  • A rubber band, string or fine wire to secure the lid on the jar
  • Your sprouting seed/bean/grain of choice

How to start

  • Use 1 part seed to 3 parts water
  • Place desired amount of seed in your jar. All of the following measurements will yield one quart of sprouts – 2 tbsp alfalfa or clover, ¼ cup radish or mustard, ½ cup lentils, 1 cup wheat or rye, 2 cups sunflower
  • Add the appropriate amount of filtered or spring water to the jar depending on what amount of seed you choose
  • Secure your cheesecloth or mesh screen over the lid of the jar
  • Let soak at room temperature for at least 6 hours for smaller amounts of seeds and 12 hours for larger measurements
  • Drain well and keep in a mild but warm dark place.
  • Rinse sprouts twice daily in a strainer and return to the jar
  • After three days place your sprouts in a slightly lighter area to increase the amount of chlorophyll, continue to drain twice daily
  • After 5 to 6 days your sprouts will be ready for consumption. Rinse before using and remove any hulls left behind from the original seed
  • Store sprouts in the refrigerator for up to one week in a clean and covered glass jar

Add sprouts to your favorite sandwich, wrap, soup, salad, pizza or stir fry. Spicier sprouts like radish and mustard make great garnishes for meats and seafood. Sprouts may be slightly cooked but provide the most nourishment when eaten raw and fresh.

Soba and Sunflower Sprout Salad with Cashew Dressing

2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves crushed garlic
¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp tamari
3 Tbsp smooth cashew butte
1 tsp chili sauce
2 9-oz packages soba noodles
3 cups fresh sunflower sprouts
6 green onions thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
2 carrots quartered and thinly sliced (on a mandolin if you have it)

Combine olive oil, garlic, orange juice, sesame oil, tamari, cashew butter and chili sauce in a small mixing bowl.  Whisk to combine. In a large saucepan bring water to a boil and add soba noodles.  Cook until just soft, drain and set aside. Toss cooled noodles with sprouts, green onions, cilantro, bell pepper and carrot.  Add dressing and toss until salad has a light coating and good flavor. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

*Add ginger soy grilled chicken or salmon for extra protein