The cost of sprouting / buying seeds in bulk

What skills to learn, what tools to get
Post Reply
jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 11465
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Post by jacob » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:03 am

Has anyone using sprouts as a stable food source?
What's the cost? Any source of bulk sellers?
I found this company (http://www.sproutpeople.com ), but I'd rather buy a sack of 50 pounds.


Catherine
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:29 pm

Post by Catherine » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:30 pm

I have a jar or two of sprouts going pretty regularly in my kitchen. Currently I just do alfalfa (bought in bulk at the local food co-op) and lentils (just chuck in a spoonful of seeds from whatever large bag of lentils I'm working my way through at the moment). If I recall correctly, the price at my co-op for alfalfa is similar to that on the site you've linked. I've also tried sprouting chickpeas but haven't really cared for the taste/texture that much. The co-op I shop at sells a few different seed types so I have been thinking of trying broccoli sprouts sometime soon.
A pound of seeds goes a long way--the final product has a lot more volume than the seeds. I sprout in a 1-qt mason jar, and about 1 tbsp of sprouts will fill the jar 1/3-1/2 of the way full within 5-6 days. If I have two jars going at the same time, I produce enough sprouts to put a generous handful on top of my salad each day. You could easily do more/larger jars and have them constitute a fairly significant food source. They're a very easy and brainless way to grow some vegetable matter.


jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 11465
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Post by jacob » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:02 pm

Okay, I got a dumb question. I can just take any bunch of lentils from Safeway and sprout them?!
I have a problem wrapping my head around that. Don't they have to be "special" or something?


Catherine
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:29 pm

Post by Catherine » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:08 am

In general lentils from the grocery store should sprout. Also, in my experience, most/all of the lentils in a spoonful of grocery store lentils will actually sprout--I can't imagine getting them from a specialized sprout source would lead to much higher sprouting ratios. The main motivation to go looking for "special" sprouts would (I imagine) be that you want more variety.


DW
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:24 am

Post by DW » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:27 am

Are sprouts just a salad thing? What else can they be used for?


Catherine
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:29 pm

Post by Catherine » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:00 am

I use mine mostly for salad or in sandwiches, sometimes I will toss them into a stir-fry also. I have also seen (but not tried) recipes for bread made from sprouts (wheat berries are usually the main component). A friend of mine likes to eat sprout "soup", pouring some warm broth over a bowl of sprouts and greens.


JohnnyH
Posts: 2007
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:00 pm
Location: Rockies

Post by JohnnyH » Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:21 pm

Sprouted grain makes the best bread. Nutritionally much better than anything from flower. 2-3x the protein and fiber, much lower glycemic load.
It does goes bad faster (like all real food) and some people think it's dry -but I think it's great.


Q
Posts: 348
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:58 pm

Post by Q » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:29 am

The new whole foods type store nearby is called "Sprouts" - took over the old Circuit City.


JohnnyH
Posts: 2007
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:00 pm
Location: Rockies

Post by JohnnyH » Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:09 pm

Has anyone built their own sprouter, or have any tips?... I'm seeing a lot of $200 sprouters (plastic tray + pump) and think I could build something better myself.


tac
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:54 am

Post by tac » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:28 pm

How many sprouts are you looking to have going at once? I just use large mason jars with some cloth over the tops. Set up a rotation of 3-4 jars and you'll have fresh sprouts for things like salads every other day or so. I sprout alfalfa, quinoa, lentils, and chickpeas on a regular basis. I also use mason jars to sprout wheat berries for bread--dividing 2 c. berries between 3 jars. When you are sprouting for bread, you don't get as much of a volume increase, so you can put a larger starting volume of seed in the jar. While stuff is sprouting, I will rinse it off once or twice a day.
It's pretty easy to find used mason jars (or other suitably sized jars) for free/not very much money. Mine were all left behind by a former roommate who did a lot of canning.
I also soak/sprout most of my legumes before cooking them, I just the bowl of my slow cooker for that (since they're then going to get cooked in the slow cooker anyway, less stuff to clean up). For these, I will soak overnight, then rinse and leave to sprout during the next day. By that evening or the next morning the little sprout tails have usually started to put in an appearance and then it's time to cook--add water, leave the slow cooker on low heat overnight, and you've got a big pot of food the next morning.
I haven't ever really looked into purchasing an actual sprouting system, but I can't imagine needing anything worth $200 to produce sprouts for one person. If I were trying to feed an entire family exclusively on sprouts, maybe...otherwise it just sounds excessive.


JohnnyH
Posts: 2007
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:00 pm
Location: Rockies

Post by JohnnyH » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:53 pm

Great info, tac, thanks... Not sure how many at once, I am a complete newb. I eat a lot, but surely I can feed 1 or 2 people with the jars I have around.
I'm going to make some crude experiments when I get home. I'm really looking forward to sprouting.
Another question: can you estimate the cost of a loaf of sprouted grain bread? It's my favorite bread, but since it got popular it's getting difficult to find a reasonably priced loaf that isn't adulterated with flours/sugars.


tac
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:54 am

Post by tac » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:53 am

Re: bread costs--good question, I don't have an exact answer, as I'm not sure what the final ratio of water:everything else in a loaf is. However, for a basic loaf the only ingredients are wheat berries, gluten flour, and yeast. Last round of (organic!) wheat berries I got was around $1.20/lb, gluten and yeast can both be bought quite cheaply in bulk. So even if there is no water at all in the finished product you are looking at under $2 for a 1 lb loaf, which is what the ultra-junky generic brand wonderbread typically retails at around here. If you want fancier bread you can add in nuts, seeds, other kinds of sprouted grains/legumes, dried fruit, etc., all of which will drive the cost up.


Gene
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:20 pm

Post by Gene » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:41 am

Onion sprouts are really good...wish I knew a good source for cheap seed. Plz post if you know of one. thx


George the original one
Posts: 4831
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Post by George the original one » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:17 pm


JohnnyH
Posts: 2007
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:00 pm
Location: Rockies

Post by JohnnyH » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:16 pm

Tried sprouting pumpkin seeds (which are supposedly difficult) and [3 yr old] pinto beans... Both were resounding failures :) I think they were just to old.
Was able to get this book on bookmooch: http://www.amazon.com/Microgreens-Guide ... 048&sr=8-1
Hopefully it will give me a clue.


tac
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:54 am

Post by tac » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:19 pm

I would suggest starting with something like alfalfa or broccoli sprouts, they are very easy and sprout quickly.
This thread reminded me that I haven't made sprouted bread in a while, I think I'm going to start some wheat berries going this evening.


Post Reply