What Are Organic Sprouts?

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  • Written By: Angela Farrer
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 17 February 2018
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Organic sprouts are a type of organic food generally grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Growing organic sprouts is a popular alternative to buying them from farmers' markets or organic grocery stores, and the required sprouting equipment is readily available to purchase online or from gardening supply stores. Many vegetarians consider sprouts an inexpensive, nutrient-rich alternative to meat or poultry.

Sprouts are a good source of vitamin C, and they also contain somewhat smaller amounts of iron and calcium. Several types of sprouts, such as alfalfa, are often used in sandwiches and salads. Organic sprouts can even be included in other recipes such as hummus, vegetable soup, and some kinds of vegetarian stir-fry.

The process of growing sprouts can require time and attention to detail because the sprout seeds need to be soaked in fresh water several times before growing out of their dormant state. These seeds tend to soak up water fairly consistently until their sprouting stage, and the amount of time for each soaking session can vary according to sprout type. Some organic sprouts can fully absorb water in as little as 20 minutes, while others may take a couple of hours. Experienced growers sometimes recommend the use of warm water to speed up the process of slower-soaking sprouts, but only for seeds that are able to stand up to higher temperatures.

Growing truly organic sprouts often requires purchasing the seeds from a reputable supplier who has a proven record of thoroughly checking the seeds for any kinds of chemicals. Some sprout seeds sold in organic markets can contain trace amounts of pesticides, even if they have labeling that designates them organic, so many sprout-growing enthusiasts advise that newcomers first do some comparison shopping. High-quality sprout seeds should also be thoroughly clean and free of blemishes.

Once good sprout seeds have been purchased and soaked, rinsing and draining are generally the next steps of the growing process. Traditional methods of planting sprouts involve mixing them with fertilizer in a glass jar, although many growers choose a specialized sprouter instead. This device consists of a hollow growing container attached to a smaller collecting receptacle for water drainage. Some of these sprouters also come with small seed trays for easier insertion into the growing container before the addition of fertilizer.



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