Sprouts are a living food that will not only grow in any climate, but rival meat in nutritional value. They can be cultivated at any time of the year, mature in three to five days, and require no soil or sunlight. In addition, they can be eaten raw and have no waste.
Any live seed will sprout, though you must be careful to use only those that don't produce poisonous greens. Members of the 'nightshade family', which include tomatoes and potatoes, must always be avoided. Vegetable seeds can also be sprouted for high nutrition food and will add variety to your diet. It is worth experimenting with any vegetable seed you happen to come across.
When buying seed for sprouting, insist on organically grown varieties, as they have the highest nutritional value. Or at least make sure that they haven't been treated with chemicals and are intended for sprouting. If you have a small patch of ground to spare you can grow your own seed for sprouting. Your local agricultural office should be able to provide information on the planting and cultivation of various seed crops. Purchase good quality seed with a minimum germination rate of 90 per cent, and buy in bulk - it's much cheaper.
When sprouting, avoid using containers made from soluble toxic metals such as copper, iron and aluminium. Anything else is generally okay, though I prefer to use various sized glass containers.
All seed must be thoroughly washed and rinsed in fresh water.
As a general guide, most seed is soaked overnight in tepid water (at least two parts water to one part seed), however, smaller seeds require a shorter soaking period and larger seeds a longer soaking time.
After the initial soaking, drain off the water and rinse the seed in fresh water.
The easiest and simplest way to sprout your seeds is to use a large preserving jar or coffee jar. Pierce a dozen or more holes in the lid, or stretch a piece of muslin cloth over the end of the jar and hold it in place with a rubber band. A good rule of thumb for the amount of dried seed to be used is two tablespoons to a litre jar.
Place the jar in a dark cupboard; sprouts grow more quickly as they search for sunlight. Immerse the jar in water and drain two to three times daily until the sprouts are ready. With smaller seed you will need a fine mesh over the end of the jar, so as not to lose your seed.
Remove seed hulls daily as they can cause sprouts to spoil.
If you wish to include chlorophyll in your sprouts, place them in a sunny spot after the first three days. Seeds that do well when grown for chlorophyll are fenugreek, alfalfa, radish and clover.