Low Cost, Easy to Make Sprout Recipes

Grow your own sprouts then try these budget-friendly, easy to make sprout recipes.

| November/December 1971

After I'd been acquainted with sprouting long enough to be objective, I wondered if Henry Thoreau had dabbled in the practice. He did plant those nine bean rows, I remembered, and the idea definitely would have fit his economics of simplicity . . . so I figured that—possibly—Henry D. had sprouted part of that crop.

A check of Walden and some of Thoreau's other writings produced no such record, however, in spite of the man's penchant for the wisdom of the East. But Henry would've admired sprouts—and so will you—because this particular form of gardening requires only seeds, warmth and moisture. That's right. For sprouts you don't even need sun, soil, tools, sprays, fences or the right kind of hat.

Sprouting is so simple, easy, inexpensive and offers such bonuses of freshness, vitamin and protein content that you'd think it would be common practice in inner-city ghettos and other poverty areas. Knowledge of sprouts in this country, however, seems to be cornered in various Chinatowns and among health "faddists" . . . even though—at one time or another, under the guise of Chinese cuisine—most of us have gobbled down the tasty little critters.

I know that I had eaten sprouts many times—both in Chinese restaurants and from cans of "Oriental" food—but, thinking that anything sold in a can was somehow specially produced, I'd never thought of growing them myself. Then a friend from New York City gave me some mung beans. "Put a tablespoonful in a cup of water overnight," said my sage advisor, "drain them in the morning, keep the beans dark (covered), not too warm and flush them with fresh water every four hours or so."

The experience was revelatory. I wondered how one tablespoon of mung beans in a dark closet could possibly turn into a lush mini-forest . . . but they did! It was almost too much to eat those children of a miracle, so I contemplated them until it dawned on me that these were fresh vegetables. Unlike the supermarket-superhoax produce I had been buying which was "fresh picked" somewhere in Arizona or New Mexico sometime earlier in the month and shipped cross country . . . these were sure-puff fresh vegetables.  

Well now, my friend had introduced me to a kind of of gardening I could really grok on . . . no spade, no hoe, no no rake, no mulching, no weeding and no stretching of string to keep rows straight. I was a convert to sprouts before I had even discovered most of their virtues.

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