The Q&A Archives: Alfalfa Sprouts

Question: I purchased alfalfa seeds at the only place I could find them - the health food store. I successfully grew them in a rectangular aluminum pan lined with a moistened tea towel, merely by misting them about 3 times a day and setting them inside a semi-sunny window. They sprouted beautifully and we ate them. However, after they were cut for 2 meals, and I was careful not to cut all the way to the bottom, the entire pan turned brown and stopped sprouting. How can I make them an on-going growth?

Answer: Alfalfa sprouts are simply germinated alfalfa seeds. After the seeds have sprouted, the entire sprout is normally rinsed (to remove the brown hulls or seed coats) and then the whole sprout is eaten. When you cut, or harvested the tops of your sprouts, you removed only some of the tops of some of the seedlings, leaving others to grow - that's why you got two 'cuttings' from your seeds. This time sprout a smaller quantity of seeds, rinse and consume them without expecting them to re-sprout. Seeds have only enough stored energy to put out a stem and a couple of leaves before they run out of energey. The leaves then convert sunlight into energy to help in the development of roots and additional leaves. Sprouts are not supposed to become real plants; they're supposed to be eaten in their infancy.

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