My mum couldn't get enough sprouts into us when we were kids. Despite our mutinous objections, she threw a handful of sprouts and fresh parsley onto almost everything she served up, to the point where all we seemed to eat was dinner-flavoured parsley sprouts.
We would carry on like we were dying, a chorus of protest erupting with us madly trying to cover our food as Mum descended upon us with the Dreaded Green Fist but, I have to admit, every one of us had beautiful skin, shiny eyes, and healthy hair. We lived in sub-zero temperatures in an uninsulated house with no curtains and almost no heating (does a tiny warmray briquette heater upstairs in the lounge room count? - I think not) but we never caught cold. We were the healthiest, most robust kids you could ever hope to meet.
These days, I throw chopped, fresh parsley onto my daughter's food by the bucketful. It shits her to tears.
More humbling still, I find myself craving home-grown sprouts more and more as I age, especially in the Winter, when we eat a lot more cooked vegetables and I get a little itchy for something really fresh and raw. This particular batch, a mixture of mung and adzuki, soaking overnight to be rinsed and sprouted over the next few days, should do the trick.
And I just know my mother would find all this Terribly Amusing. Not to put too fine a point on it, she would fall to the floor, completely unable to speak, her eyes streaming in a righteous and absolute excess of mirth, she would find it so damn funny.
So here, for the benefit of humankind, is her basic recipe for sprouting, de-archived from my unconscious with a little help from the Brahma Kumaris' recipe book, Shantivan.
Use whole seeds, beans or grains, but buy them from an organic grocer or health food shop, because you need produce that you're sure hasn't been treated with pesticides or that really scary stuff that stops them from growing. You can use wheat, barley, peas, chick peas, lentils, fenugreek, mung, navy, soy, adzuki, alfalfa, and probably a whole bunch of others that I can't think of right now. Mung is an excellent place to start, for quick and satisfying results.
Wash the seeds, beans or grains well in cold water. Use no more than enough beans to fill one quarter of the jar in which you're sprouting, as they increase enormously in volume, once they begin to grow. Cover with water and leave overnight.
The next day, rinse well and drain in the jar by covering the top of the jar with muslin, chux or something that will cover the jar but still allow the beans to breathe - I use a piece of tulle, and a rubber band - and place them, roughly on a 45 degree angle and muslin-side down so they can drain, somewhere dark but well-ventilated. I put mine in the pantry. Rinse at least twice a day. It's essential that they remain fresh, clean, and well aerated, lest they rot, in which case they will get medieval on your ass.
As soon as they begin to sprout, take them out of the cupboard and keep them, still tipped downwards, on the sink, or somewhere handy, airy, and light. Keep rinsing regularly.They need the light (just light, not harsh sunlight, which is too strong) at this point for their leaves take in all that weird mojo that makes them so good for you. Apparently their ideal eating time, nutrition-wise, is when the first two green leaves begin to appear. However, this is a flexible concept, where I come from. Sprouting times will vary enormously, depending on the seed. Some of the larger seeds can take much longer to sprout. Just keep doing the cupboard thing with the rinsing until they do.
Once sprouted, stop rinsing, and keep them in the fridge, covered, eating within 2-3 days. They're still okay after that, but the whole point of the fresh thing gets a bit defeated, I think. Better to grow new ones.
Be well, om shanti, yadda yadda yadda...