My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!

Sprouting: EPIC FAIL! See? I Am Just A Regular Gal.

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Sprouting.  What is it?  It’s pretty simple actually.  You use some type of seed (alfalfa, broccoli, radish, wheat, corn, etc.), soak it in water for a few hours, drain it, then rinse the seeds twice a day, and it sprouts.  When you add “sprouts” to a sandwich or salad, those are usually alfalfa sprouts.

 

Why would someone try sprouting?  #1 – It’s a whole lot cheaper than buying sprouts in the store.  #2 – It’s a great addition to food storage.  It’s easy to store grain like wheat and corn, but it’s more difficult to store sources of Vitamin C.  When you sprout a seed (wheat, corn, alfalfa, etc.), you create a food high in Vitamin C.  So, if you don’t have fruits and veggies in your food storage, you can make your own out of something as simple as wheat.  Cool, huh?

 

I’ve sprouted seeds before.  Only two times, but I did it successfully.  It was super easy!  I had a hankering for sprouts last week, so I decided to do it again.  Since I’d done it twice before, it should be simple, right?

 

Well, I failed.  SPECTACULARLY!  The sprouting jar smells awful!  Words cannot express how awful!  Like rotting food, but worse, because I know I created this monstrosity.  That is NOT how it’s supposed to smell.  I know, because I’ve done this correctly before and had beautiful sprouts in about 4 days. But, I promised myself I would remain real and share my failures in addition to my successes, so here it is. My sprouting failure in all it’s epic glory.

 

If you want a primer on how to sprout, I strongly recommend you check out this website.  Follow their instructions, and you should succeed.  If you are interested in purchasing your own Organic sprouting kit, here’s a link to the one I bought from Emergency Essentials.  Please do not let my failure this time reflect poorly on this kit or sprouting in general.  I have a couple of ideas why I failed which I’ll share a little later in the post.

 

It started off innocently enough.  I assembled everything together for my "ingredients" shot.  I used a wide mouth quart canning jar and a special "sprouting" lid.

It started off innocently enough. I assembled everything together for my “ingredients” shot. I used a wide mouth quart canning jar and a special “sprouting” lid.  This was Tuesday, March 25.

 

I measured 1 Tablespoon of seeds and put them into my jar.  All looks good so far.

I measured 1 Tablespoon of seeds and put them into my jar. All looks good so far.

 

I soaked the seeds overnight.

I soaked the seeds overnight.

 

Drained them the next day.

Drained them the next day.

 

Within a day, they were "sprouting."  Of course, then I got lazy.  I only rinsed them once a day for two days.

Within a day, they were “sprouting.”

 

See those little sprouty things?  That's how they should look after a day.

See those little sprouty things? That’s how they should look after a day. Of course, then I got lazy. I only rinsed them once a day for two days. Bad me!

 

The looked okay the second day, but they didn't progress beyond that state (because of my lack of attention to watering).  Have I ever mentioned that I kill all house plants?  The only reason my outdoor plants live is that I have automatic sprinklers.

The looked good the second day, see?  The sprouts are getting longer, but they didn’t progress beyond this state (because of my lack of attention to watering). Have I ever mentioned that I kill all house plants? The only reason my outdoor plants live is that I have automatic sprinklers.

 

And now they look like this, a week and a couple days after I started.  And they STINK!

And now they look like this, a week and a couple days after I started. And they STINK!

 

Maybe it's easier to see them rotting from this angle.

Maybe it’s easier to see them rotting from this angle.  Maybe not.  Either way, it’s not good.  Not good at all!

Too bad pictures can’t convey the stench these are putting off.  I have “bionic nose” and can smell everything.  These just smell wrong!  So why did I fail this time when I’ve successfully sprouted seeds before?  I think there are two main reasons.

 

1.  Sprouts usually take 3-5 days to grow.  Because I slacked off in the watering department, their growth was slowed, and this gave them a chance to mold.  I can’t see mold, but there’s something growing in there.

 

2.  It’s possible my jar wasn’t sterilized when I started.  I had a clean jar, but I had it on my counter top for about a week before I started.  It was there to remind me to start my sprouts.   Who knows?  Maybe it was too near where I was tenderizing my pork chops and something got on the lid.  Maybe it was something else.  Maybe it was just the water.  I don’t know.

 

So, I’ll throw these out and start again.  To ensure success, I’m sterilizing my jar and lid before I begin, and I’m setting an alarm on my iPod touch to remind myself to water twice day.  🙂  I’ll be back with a post about how to successfully grow your own alfalfa and other sprouts.

 

What was your most epic kitchen/garden/food fail?

 

There are links in this post, but none are affiliate links.

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Author: Laurie Nguyen

I am a happily married, stay at home mom with four sons, ages 24, 22, 18, and 14. I'm not a professional blogger, and I'm certainly not a foodie or a chef. But I like food, so I think I'm qualified to write about my own life experience with food. Want to be a little more prepared for the unexpected? Check out my Food Storage Blog, http://forayintofoodstorage.com. Have a question about Food Storage? Email me: forayintofoodstorage@gmail.com.

28 thoughts on “Sprouting: EPIC FAIL! See? I Am Just A Regular Gal.

  1. Have you tired sprouting in a cheese cloth? I do it all the time and it works like a charm! Same routine, soak overnight, drain, tie it all up in a cheesecloth! See if that works for you? Better air circulation and less chances of rot

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  2. Never done sprouting.

    But I can remember my first ‘home grown food’, cress on some wet kitchen towel. I was so excited when it started to grow (mind you, I was about 5 or so). And way too impatient, I don’t think it ever got the change to grow more than 1cm before I wanted to ‘pluck’ it.

    Cheese & cress sandwiches were mainly cheese, a few cress bits and loads of half sprouted seeds…

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  3. I LOVE sprouts! I even bought a spouting lid for my jars. I just haven’t done it yet.

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  4. It’s always the bread with me.. I’ve made batch after batch after batch of rocks….

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  5. I’m trying to sprout alfalfa seeds at the moment, it’s been 5 days and they only started growing yesterday! No smell, but a lot of seeds that haven’t sprouted at all…Not looking good for my little babies…:)

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  6. After about 5 epic failures with scones (mum’s recipe, internet recipes…) I gave up and accepted the fact that I am not a scone maker 🙂 Thanks for sharing your sprouting adventure!

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  7. I must try this in the near future. Fresh sprouts for a sandwich. Yum. Ah, I don’t eat sandwiches. Might try them in a wrap. 😉

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  8. Oh man I’m going through the same thig right now! My sprouts (bio snacks) smell terrible and I’m wonderinng if it’s supposed to smell that bad :s

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  9. I sprout every day and make enough for us and the chickens. Go over to sproutpeople.com. They have never fail sprouters and wonderful organic seed. Jars do not let in enough air. I don’t usually sterilize my sprouter. Just wash in hot soapy water. I wash my hands well before I touch my sprouter when I have seeds in it. We love to sprout wheat and eat it over our salad dressed with vinegar and olive oil.

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  10. I think my last epic fail was in class. It took me three or four tries to make hollandaise that didn’t break on me.

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  11. Sprouting is so far outside my realm of excitement, it might as well be from a different planet. I’ve tried, honest I have, to like it – the nutritional value, the ease to do make it a valuable skill – but I just can’t get past the texture and flavor. Eating something with sprouts makes me feel like a goat mowing the yard! Ah well, I’m good at other things, thank goodness. Good for you for trying!

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  12. Oh dear, just when I started getting excited about sprouting….I guess I’ll stick to my sourdough bread, even though I’m not much of a bread eater. Just like a couple of slices with home churned butter when it comes hot out of the oven. The rest becomes bread crumbs. All that time for a slice of bread and some bread crumbs. Blame it on loose screws, and lost brain cells.

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  13. I have had my sourdough starter turn black before. No idea what got into but have had that happen at least twice. May have to start a new sourdough starter at some point. Do love to have it around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mine died when I broke my shoulder, so I have to start a new one. I hate that, because the old one was almost 30 years old. I love keeping it around too, and usually try to keep some in the freezer for times when I’m not going to use it for a while, but breaking my shoulder was not exactly in the game plan.

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  14. Thank you for sharing an “embarrassing moment” that we can all learn from and relate to!! 🙂

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  15. I love my sprouts. I’ve got one of those 3-tier spouters so I often have three types going at once. Alfafa is one of our favourites but we’ve just polished off some rather tasty Red clover.
    Generally, I have more success with single sprouts than I do the mixes. There’s usually one type that fails to keep up with the others.

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  16. Now that looks more like something I would do! Most of my kitchen adventures end in epic failure. Thanks for keeping it real, Laurie! 🙂

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  17. I haven’t had much success with sprouting either. I want to. Sprouts are yummy!

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  18. I know exactly what your’e talking about. I sprout mung beans on a damp paper towel in my desk drawer. Very nutritious, but they smell like death.

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  19. HA! I love this post. It’s nice to remember that sometimes the third time is the EPIC FAIL. 🙂

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  20. Pingback: Sprouting Success Feels So Good After A Sprouting Fail | My Foray Into Food Storage

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