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Science Fun: Grow Edible Sprouts

Kids love to grow things. Kids also love to eat things that they've made themselves. Combine the two, while keeping notes on the whole process, and you can more than double your fun. Plus, the resulting sprouts are a healthy addition to salads and sandwiches.

First, thoroughly rinse about 1/4 cup beans, peas or seeds (such as alfalfa or barley - you can also purchase special sprouting seeds) or 2 tablespoons small seeds or 1/2 cup lentils thoroughly in a strainer/colander with holes small enough so that the beans won't fall through. If this is a problem, line the strainer or colander with cheese cloth before you put the beans or seeds in.

Place the rinsed beans or seeds in a clean quart-size jar. This will serve as your sprouter. Cover the sprouter opening with cheesecloth or a clean (unused) nylon stocking and secure with a string, rubber band or metal canning jar ring. Keep the cover on the sprouter through the sprouting process. Fill the jar with lukewarm water, and let it soak at room temperature overnight.

The next day, pour off the water, then rinse and drain again.

Place the jar, tilted, in a warm, dark place. This lets moisture out and oxygen in. In about 3 to 5 days, the beans or seeds will sprout.

When the sprouts reach the length of their original bean, pea or seed, place the jar in a sunny spot so the sprouts will turn green. Rinse the sprouts and drain well before storing in the refrigerator. The sprouts will keep up to two weeks if tightly sealed in a plastic bag or jar.


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