We don’t have anything terribly new to report: we had leftovers all day.

For breakfast we had our stand-by tofu, beans & potato burrito; for lunch we had the last of the tacos; for dinner I had the last of the spaghetti sauce (I went to a pasta-dinner fundraiser for a friend’s niece, and was worried that they only have meat sauce, so I brought my own); Justin had a garden wrap with sprouts.

spicy salad sproutsWe have another batch of sprouts going (should be ready to eat in a couple days).  We make sprouts by using “sprout caps” on mason jars. These are a plastic cap with lids, but you could easily do it with a metal ring & either cheese cloth or some kind of mesh, maybe a nylon mesh bag could work. The holes have to be large enough to let air circulate, but small enough to keep the seeds inside the jar.

And while I’m on the subject, I should note my distress of not having a proper sprouting setup in kapitalist America because there ISN’T ONE. The Germans have a beautiful setup that I cannot afford to have shipped. The only thing I don’t like about their setup is that it requires a particular jar instead of a standard mason jar, and I know me well enough to know that I’ll bust those jars open and would be unable to afford to replace them because of shipping and the waning American dollar.

alfalfa sproutsIt’s cool, though. I can get ghetto about it. I bought some kind of pan-holding accordion-like contraption at the second-hand store, and I use it to tilt my jars for draining. Sure, it leaves rust spots on my plate, and it looks tacky as hell, but we can’t all live in Europe. Anyway, it works well enough until I can get to Germany to buy one of those beautiful sets with some extra jars for when my thunder thumbs perform the inevitable.

One thing I like to do with my sprouts is that just before we put them in the window to green, I rinse out the hulls as best I can, separate the massive clump of sprouts and then transfer them to a half-gallon jar. This way, we get more greening across a larger surface area. The result gives us beautiful living sprouts like this (left).

A friend of mine once asked me if I was worried about sprout contamination. I replied that I wasn’t because I use clean equipment and I’m sprouting them myself. She seemed to think that home sprouting was more dangerous than store sprouting. I understand her point, and it seems logical, but here’s why that logic is flawed: At home, I use clean equipment. I also use clean seeds meant for sprouting. I do not rinse my seeds with bleach or hydrogen peroxide like some people do, and the reason is because I spend the extra money for seeds and beans that are tested for pathogens before I get them.

Any produce that comes through a factory line has the potential for contamination, regardless of how clean it is coming into the factory. The larger the factory, the more likely the contamination, because these factories are packaging hundreds of thousands of produce items from all over the country, and it takes just one contaminated item to inoculate an otherwise clean product (or a day’s worth, for that matter).  If you don’t believe me, here’s some very recent evidence.

At home, I am constantly smelling them, rinsing them, and watching them grow.

If you are going to sprout seeds or legumes that are meant for cooking, it really is to your benefit to clean them with a bleach solution or food-grade hydrogen peroxide. Seeds and beans that are meant to be cooked can carry any number of pathogens that are destroyed in the boiling process, but not destroyed in the sprouting process. This is probably why my friend had concern about sprouting at home.

We ran out of breakfast beans this morning, so we had to start another batch tonight.  The photo on the left is just the seasoning before we add the beans. We pre-cook the beans on the stove for about an hour: raise to a boil, then let simmer until soft. then just cover and cook on high ’til breakfast time.