Sprouts are highly nutritious greens that you can grow quickly and easily in your own home. We absolutely love growing our sprouts to add to salads, stir fry dishes or to add as a garnish. When sprouts are grown correctly you can have fresh greens in as little as 5 days. Having said that there are some very important steps to follow to ensure your sprouts are healthy and safe for you to consume.
What are the dangers with growing sprouts?
Incorrectly grown sprouts can lead to food safety problems from bacteria growth.Just as sprouts like to grown in warm humid climates so do certain types of bacteria. For this reason, Urban Plant Growers recommends that pregnant women, infants or immunocompromised people do not consume sprouts.
The great news is that there are 6 simple steps to keep your sprouts healthy and safe:
1. Sanitise your sprouting container: Make sure you keep your Speedy Sprouter clean! Soaking your glass jar, lid and mesh in hot water before use should do the trick. If you are still concerned you may use a splash of hydrogen peroxide but make sure you wash it well afterwards.
2. Use filtered water: The cleaner the water the safer the product. General tap water may introduce potential contaminants into the process.
3. Rinse your sprouts frequently: Just like we recommend in your manual, make sure you rinse your sprouts at least twice a day. If you want to consume your sprouts raw, make sure you rinse them even more often, for example every 6 hours.
4. Avoid standing water: Bacteria love moist environments so make sure you allow all of the water to drain from your sprouts. Our Speedy Sprouter drainage stand should help with this.
5. Enjoy within 7 days: Sprouts should not be left too long once grown. This creates more opportunities for the bacteria to grow.
6. If in doubt, cook them: If you are still concerned a safe bet is to steam of sauté your sprouts which will help kill off any harmful bacteria that might be growing.
7. Keep your sprouts cool: Temperatures above 25 degrees C can promote the growth of harmful bacteria.
If you miss any of these steps or your sprouts look or smell a little strange, please dispose of them and start again. The photos below highlight some early warning sings to look out for.
Mold or Cilia Hairs
Cilia hairs appear on your sprouts when the sprouts require more water. They appear like mould but have no odour and disappear when you wash your sprouts. If the white hairs smell bad, are slimy and do not disappear when you wash them then it is most likely mould. In this case you should throw them out and start again.