Yields approximately 3 Cups (1/2 lb.) of Sprouts
Prep 3 Tablespoons of seed* then transfer (if necessary) into a bowl or into your Sprouter. Add 2-3 times as much cool (60°-70°) water. Mix seeds up to assure even water contact for all. Note: brassicas tend to float. Try to sink those that do by knocking them down with your fingers. It isn't a big deal but it is a good habit.
Allow seeds to Soak for 6-12 hours. Empty the seeds into your sprouter (if necessary). Drain off the soak water. You may water plants or use it in stock if you like - it has nutrients in it. Rinse thoroughly with cool (60°-70°) water. Drain thoroughly!
Set your Sprouter anywhere out of direct sunlight and at room temperature (70° is optimal) between Rinses. This is where your sprouts do their growing. We use a counter top - in the corner of our kitchen, but where the sprouter won't get knocked over by cats, dogs, kids or us. We don't mind the indirect sunlight or the 150 watts of incandescent light, because light just does not matter much. A plant can only perform photosynthesis when it has leaves. Until a plant has leaves, light has little if any effect. Sprouts also happen to like air-circulation, so don't hide your sprouts. This will be plenty of light when the sprouts are ready for it.
Always be sure to Drain very thoroughly. The most common cause of inferior sprouts is inadequate drainage. Most sprouters look like they will not hold water, but even the best designed device does, so pay special attention to this step.
Note: These wonderful little brassica plants have a unique root structure. Brassicas will show microscopic roots starting around day 3. They are called root hairs and are most visible just before Rinsing when the sprouts are at their driest. When you Rinse, the root hairs will collapse back against the main root. These root hairs impress many people as mold - but they are not. Now you know!
Greening On the 4th day relocate your sprouts if necessary. If you've been keeping them away from light, move them. Avoid direct sun - it can cook your sprouts. Indirect sunlight is best but virtually any light will do. Experiment - you will be amazed at how little light sprouts require to green up. Photosynthesis is a marvel!
Finishing Your sprouts will be done during day 5 or 6. The majority of sprouts will have open leaves which will be green if you exposed them to light.
De-Hull Before your final Rinse; remove the seed hulls. Brassica sprout hulls are quite large (relative to the seed and sprout) and they hold a lot of water (which can dramatically lessen the shelf life of your sprouts), so we remove them Thusly:
Transfer the sprouts to a big (at least 2 times the volume of your sprouter) pot or bowl, fill with cool water, loosen the sprout mass and agitate with your hand. Skim the hulls off the surface and compost them. Return the sprouts to your sprouter for their Rinse and Drain. You can also use our Dehuller (a small salad spinner with an excellent design that minimizes the sprouts that escape in the dehulling process). That's the short course - here is the full lesson. Better yet, here is a video on de-hulling.
Harvest If you Dehulled with our Dehuller, or used a salad spinner after dehulling in a bowl, you can go right to refrigeration. If not... Your sprouts are done 8-12 hours after your final Rinse. After the De-Hulling and the final Rinse we need to Drain very thoroughly and let our sprouts dry a bit. If we minimize the surface moisture of our sprouts they store much better in refrigeration, so we let them sit for 8-12 hours....
* If using Sproutpeople's Single Harvest Pack - use the whole bag. It will produce a crop of approximately 8 ounces.
These seeds yield approximately 5:1 - which means the sprouts will weigh 5 times as much as the seed you start with, but, they will increase even more in volume - so don't start with more than 3.5 Tablespoons per quart/litre of sprouter capacity.
You can also grow Long Life Mix as a Micro-Green as described on our Spicy Salad Greens page.
When conditions are warm your sprouts will likely grow faster. If their leaves open sooner you should green and de-hull and harvest sooner. Likewise they may grow slower if conditions are very cool. These are just tiny plants - they are not difficult to understand. The more you sprout the better you'll know them and be able to adjust to their needs. As always 70° is optimal and 70° is what our instructions are written for.
All sprouts generate heat while growing, which is a good thing, but it can get out of hand on occasion. When the weather is especially hot and humid you will do well to Rinse more frequently (every 8 hours if possible) using colder water than usual (the coldest your tap can offer is fine), to compensate.
Depending on your sprouting device, not all of your sprouts will have access to light and so some will not green. This is not only OK - it is good. The yellow sprouts will be equally nutritious (they have everything but chlorophyll) and many think them more delicious (in Europe vegetables are often grown "blanched" by avoiding light). We think they are prettier when there is a mix of green and yellow to go with the white roots. So don't sweat it - just eat more sprouts!
It is ESSENTIAL that you keep Brassica sprouts from clumping together and you CAN NOT grow them vertically using a tray sprouter. Brassica sprouts will mat together forming a dense bluish root mass which not only is unattractive but shortens the shelf life of the finished sprouts. So mix ‘em up! We use high water pressure when Rinsing to keep our brassica sprouts loose, but this only works for so long - so - when water isn't enough, break the clump of sprouts up using a fork or your fingers (wash your hands first please, if they need it). If you are using a sprouter that can hold water, fill it mostly full then use a fork to loosen. You can also dump your sprouts onto or into something and just shake them apart. You should never be afraid** of touching your sprouts. They are much stronger then they appear - just be reasonably gentle.
** The only thing to fear is fear itself.
When mixed in proper proportions with non-mucilaginous seeds, mucilaginous seeds will sprout! The proportion is our secret - it took us many failures before we figured it out - and it was well worth it! So go ahead and sprout for a Long Life!
Dry Brassicas await their Soak.
12 hours later... another Rinse and Drain.You should be seeing Root Hairs, now or soon. Follow that link to learn. You'll see them for a day or 2 - when you come back to your sprouts after their 12 hours alone.