Alfalfa sprouts

There’s More to Sprouts than Alfalfa

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Most of us met our first sprouts at a restaurant.  We ordered a sandwich and there was this wad of little roots with some of the seed shells still attached stuck between the slices of bread.  Alfalfa sprouts were used in exchange for or in addition to lettuce.  No doubt, someone said that you had grass on your sandwich.  They were witty, weren’t they?

You’ve probably had mung bean sprouts, too.  They are the tasty crunchy tidbits used in Asian cookery.  Many Chinese dishes include them.

If you’re like me, it was years before you realized there were more sprouts than alfalfa and bean.  I bought alfalfa sprouts regularly at the grocery store.  I added them to sandwiches, salads, and anything else I could think of.  The container was deceptive.  No matter how I tried I never could get to the bottom of it!  They usually went bad before I could find use for them all.

Packaged Alfalfa Sprouts ready for your sandwich

I was completely unaware of the many varieties until a few years back when I had organic vegetables delivered to my home twice a month.  This is when I found out about clover sprouts, broccoli sprouts, and something called a medley. I had a lot to learn about sprouts, that’s for sure!

At first, I was reluctant to try the others.  I loved alfalfa sprouts, but clover is pest you remove from your lawn and broccoli is better known for its florets. I admit, I was reluctant.

I ended up ordering the clover first. I was pleasantly surprised at the mild flavor.  Then, I tried the broccoli and I loved them.  More so than alfalfa.  The leaves are dark green and they happen to taste a little like broccoli.

Broccoli sprouts are great on a sandwich

The medley was the best.  There were many varieties all mixed up and packed into one container. It was more expensive–ordered only when I wanted a special treat.

Have you ever tried to grow your own sprouts? I haven’t. I have killed cactus, but maybe sprouts would have a chance with my limited abilities. I wonder if I’d be successful with sprouts since you only have to grow them so far.  They have many kits for growing them at home. And, it’s fairly easy to create your own starter kit with a lidded glass jar or so I’ve heard.

If you’ve never tried any of the other sprouts, give them a go.  You might find something new to have along with your pita pocket.


3 thoughts on “There’s More to Sprouts than Alfalfa”

  1. Yes, I have grown sprouts at home. It’s easy to do, and we like to use seeds that come in a variety pack so we get more than one kind.

    I run into two problems when I grow sprouts myself. First, I sometimes forget to plan to be home when it’s time to rinse them. It’s kind of like keeping cows or goats. You have to milk, er, tend them at the right time, although sprouts are rather more forgiving them animals.

    Second, I almost always make more than we can use before they turn slimy.

    I need to get better at making smaller quantities and spacing the “crops” a few days apart so we always have just enough and right on time.

    Thank you for the reminder that I want to start growing sprouts (and microgreens again) regularly. They are a delicious addition to so many dishes and, a you noted, jam-packed with nutrients.

    Oh, and btw, radish sprouts are especially tasty.

  2. I love sprouts, and have been growing them at home since the 1960’s. It is easy to do, like Kathryn Grace said. My favorites are lentil sprouts. They are sweet and delicious.

    Sprouts have the best nutrition – they are fresh, young, and packed with vitamins and minerals. Seriously, one of the best foods we can eat. Sprouts can also be included in homemade bread for a bit of extra texture and nutrition. Now, this is making me want to write about sprouts too. I have a lot to say about sprouts!

    1. Linda, You really know your sprouts! Most people turn up there nose at them, but I’ve always enjoyed their added crunch on my sandwich and in salads.

      I’ve never tried lentil sprouts, but I think I’d like the sweetness. If you went to a typical grocery store, you’d think that alfalfa sprouts were the only option.

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