Homegrown sprouted/microgreen vegetables - Higher nutrition-NO PESTICIDES!

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ElliotB
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Re: Homegrown sprouted/microgreen vegetables - Higher nutrition-NO PESTICIDES!

Post by ElliotB » Thu May 02, 2019 2:58 pm

Just discovered that sprouting and micro garden seeds should probably be disinfected prior to use. I don't know if this is a major concern as you don't really hear about people getting sick from eating sprouts and there are not any warnings on the seed packages. I suspect the majority of seeds are disinfected (probably with UV light) prior to packaging. In any case, it is likely a VERY good idea to do at home prior to sprouting based on the research I have been doing. I have not been disinfecting mine but will be from now on. There are two common ways to disinfect sprouting seeds:

First, you can disinfect the outside of the seeds with a mild bleach solution, or use a solution of 2 TBSP cider vinegar in one cup of water. Soak 1 TBSP of seed in the disinfecting solution for 10-15 minutes. Drain and rinse until you no longer smell vinegar. I personally don't use bleach.

There is another highly effective, simple, effortless option:

I am going the use of a UV-C light sterilizer to disinfect the seeds which actually may be the best overall option. I currently use one of these setups for my home a/c system. The lights are relatively inexpensive, work fast and are supposed to be highly effective and what they are designed to do - destroy germs without chemicals. And you can treat the seeds while they are dry and easy to handle.

I have also decided to get the Easygreen system I described previously as the cleaning of seeds through the growing process is extremely important but somewhat time consuming and the Easygreen system does this automatically with constant cleaning with each cycle (typically around 6-8 per day, manually adjustable) with a FRESH water mist and of course full/constant drainage. The trays I have been using work well but risk contamination from one tray to another and frankly is not a very sanitary method as the sprouts are not well rinsed - two cups of water passing through the 4 trays is probably inadequate. The mason jars work great but can require a lot of rinsing time if you rinse them properly. Of course, it depends on how much your are making.


Pretty sad that not only have store bought vegetables been found on occasion to have contamination but even vegetables seeds can become contaminated contaminated. Our entire food supply basically is not totally safe. Because of the volume of food being produced and processed, it does not appear to be a major issue/concern, yet there are always scares and recalls of some type in the news. Better safe than sorry...

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Re: Homegrown sprouted/microgreen vegetables - Higher nutrition-NO PESTICIDES!

Post by ElliotB » Mon May 06, 2019 6:13 am

The importance of proper technique in growing sprouts should not be underestimated. The basics are common regardless of where/how you grow them. Typically you soak the seeds for about 8 hours, drain then put them into whatever device you are going to grow them in, and then rinse and drain 2-3 times per day until they are ready to eat, typically 4-5 days.

BUT proper technique will insure a better and safer experience, and unfortunately there is so much misinformation on this subject posted everywhere on the internet that proper technique could easily be overlooked. In 2011, they was an outbreak of E Coli as a direct result of sprout issues in Germany:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/germany-e- ... m-sprouts/

BUT stories like this are rare.

Sprouting is SAFE and can be SAFER following some simple guidelines.

I have come up with a three step process to apply in addition to typical sprouting instructions to insure growing success and end up with great results - delicious, and most importantly safe to eat sprouts.

Step 1: Proper preparation of the seeds prior to growing them. First give the seeds you are ready to grow (typically 1, 2 or 3 tablespoons of seeds) a UV-C light bath for 15-30 minutes. If you only have a single light source, be sure to stir the seeds several times during their UV bath. Most simple commercial UV units have reflective interiors and if you place your seeds in a glass container, they will get maximum exposure. WARNING: Never look at the UV light directly or allow your skin to be exposed to the UV light source for more than a very brief period. IF you are going to mix the seeds, be sure to turn the light off first. The commercial units available have simple safety features to prevent exposure to the UV light. Here is a random example of one on Amazon (there are many to choose from and prices typically range from $50 to $200 or more with many priced around $100 or less - no need to get fancy as the device is simply a cabinet with a UV light in it):

https://www.amazon.com/DevLon-NorthWest ... 172&sr=8-3


Step 2: After completing the UV bath, soak your seeds in an apple cider vinegar bath for 6-8 hours. I use Bragg's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar which is Raw, Unfiltered (Non-GMO Certified) and NOT pasteurized. I have used this product for years on salads and have now discovered it is a critically important part of seed preparation. Vinegar apparently not only helps clean the seeds prior to sprouting, but is also thought to help insure a better sprouting experience overall. I have just started a couple of new batches using vinegar - first time - so I don't have hands on experience at this time. A cap full in 8 ounces of clean water should be sufficient.

Step 3: Whatever method you are using to grow your seeds, RINSE, RINSE, RINSE. Rinse at least twice a day and for 3-5 minutes per batch under fresh water. Be sure the rinse water is totally clear. Extensive rinsing has numerous advantages and is well worth the extra time it takes. And it is easy to do. Two times a day is sufficient. The better you rinse, the better your overall sprouting experience will be. The sprouts will grow larger and not have any type of odor (the odor typically will be caused by decaying, unsprouted seeds) and taste better. I have watched a lot of sprouting videos on YouTube and read numerous sets of rinsing instructions on many different websites, and the importance of rinsing has not been properly addressed in any of them and the basic rinse procedure they detail is without a doubt inadequate.

At some time after 2 or 3 days, you will notice that some seeds have not sprouted. You want to remove as many of those through proper/extensive rinsing. Otherwise they will rot. It is easier than it sounds. Here are a couple of suggestions:

If you are using mason jars, simply put the jar with the sprouting lid on under your running faucet for around 5 minutes. As the seeds begin to sprout, you may want to consider using a 'bean' lid which has larger holes and will allow the unsprouted seeds to flow out of the jar. Or you can simple pour the contents into a strainer and rinse them. If you are using trays, put the seeds in a strainer and then rinse them. Or if you have a large enough strainer, you can simply put it over the top of the growing tray so you don't loose the seeds during the rinsing process. As the seeds begin to sprout, you may want to consider using a strainer which has larger holes and will allow the unsprouted seeds to flow out of the trays.
Last edited by ElliotB on Tue May 07, 2019 12:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Homegrown sprouted/microgreen vegetables - Higher nutrition-NO PESTICIDES!

Post by ElliotB » Mon May 06, 2019 12:19 pm

I have found possibly the best way to rinse sprouts that allows for easy removal of unsprouted seeds. It is faster, simpler and more convenient to use than any regular strainer or possibly any other method you might consider. The holes are the perfect size. The sprouts release easily from the smooth strainer surface. I can't think of an easier way.

I bought the following on Amazon to test out for the purpose of bean sprouting and have discovered it is designed perfectly to separate sprouts from unsprouted seeds.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075D ... UTF8&psc=1

To use it, simply put the bottom tray (green) in your sink, put the straining tray (white) inside the green tray, pour in your sprouts, turn the water on, as the setup fills with water, spread the seeds evenly in the straining try with your fingers, and then lift it slightly and shake it gently left to right as if you were panning for gold. Most of the unsprouted seeds will drop through the holes of the straining tray into the green tray and the sprouts should end up clumped together in the center of the white straining tray. When you have a fair amount of seeds separated, remove the white tray, empty the green tray, then repeat the process. After several passes, you should have virtually no unsprouted seeds mixed in with the sprouts. When done, put the seeds back in the container you were originally using or you could just leave them in this tray and use this setup for the next rinsings and the remainder of the growing process.


These trays are really meant for beans as the holes are too large to sprout seeds, BUT once the seeds have sprouted for a day or two, the sprouts are too large to go through the holes but the unsprouted seeds pass through easily. I have tested it out for growing young sprouts and it works great!

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Re: Homegrown sprouted/microgreen vegetables - Higher nutrition-NO PESTICIDES!

Post by ElliotB » Fri May 10, 2019 9:34 am

I received the Easygreen system I ordered and began using it immediately. So far even though I have only used it for a few days days, I am very, very impressed with the results and how easy it use to use and especially how much little 'hands on' time is required, basically under 1 minute per day. I was spending 20-30 minutes washing sprouts grown in trays and mason jars up to now.

This system's smart and unique design properly resolves a major issue common to virtually all sprouting methods, proper rinsing. I have my timer set up to water/rinse for 1/2 hour every 3 hours, so the sprouts are being rinsed with fresh clean water 8 time a day (these settings are easy to customize). This system has continuous drainage (and gets fresh water going through it every few hours) so there is no standing water of any kind and no rotting of unsprouted seeds If seeds soak in water they will rot. And while not all seeds sprout, the unsprouted seeds in the Easygreen do not rot because any debris present is constantly being rinsed away and there is no pooled, dirty water for them to soak in. Per the instructions, you should rinse away the unsprouted seeds or hulls as they are commonly known as before consumption of the sprouts. Makes sense.

The rinsing issue is probably one of the most important ones when it comes to successfully growing sprouts and microgreens, the Easygreen is I believe the only home system that uses fresh water with every watering and all the water used is drained away each cycle.

I am looking forward to great results and will test the numerous variety of seeds I have in it to see how they all do. So far even with limited use I have noticed improved sprouts (flavor, growth rate, size, no rotting) and it is so easy to use - you really only have to refill the water reservoir every day or two (depending on how you have the settings setup).

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