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It's a capsicum cotyledon consumption carnival!
April 27, 2007 10:44 PM   Subscribe

What are some unusual sprouts I can grow and eat? And where can I get organic seeds for sprouting?

After Creed on The Office divulged that he sprouts mung beans in his desk, I embarked on a Google search that landed me on a sprouting-fanatic site. I ordered a sprout kit and a few seed samplers. I'm now growing a mix of arugula, cress, radish and dill in a jar. They smell tasty and I will harvest them tomorrow. Next I will sprout a mix of lentils and then some broccoli. I also plan to try black sesame seeds, onions and sunflower shoots.

In the last few days I've visited about every sprouting site on the web looking for even more interesting seeds to sprout.

Being a capsicum addict, I'm particularly interested in hearing from anyone who has successfully sprouted chile peppers (ancho, anaheim, poblano, jalapeno, etc). Also, I'm curious about celery seed for some reason.

Crushed red pepper and celery seed are available at grocery stores, I know. But I'd like to get some organic seeds that are safe to eat and likey to germinate, not ones irradiated for pest-resistance or long shelf-life. And likewise I assume that gardening seeds from Burpee and the like are treated variously for garden use in ways that sprouting seeds would not be.

So the question is, can anyone lend their personal experience with sprouting chiles, celery or other interesting/unusual seeds and can you also point me to a relaibe source for them?

I also plan to try my hand at essene bread soon. So if anyone has any pointers, let me know.
posted by mds35 to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Seeds of Change sells organic seeds. Quite reasonably priced (I just bought two packs of Shiso seeds, for $2 each), and a wide selection.
posted by molybdenum at 11:32 PM on April 27, 2007


I don't see how sprouting things like chiles, or for that matter eggplants (aubergines) and tomatoes, would work, since the edible part of those plants are the fruit. A chili pepper leaf doesn't taste hot or anything, if that's what you are expecting from it.

If you want spicy tasting sprouts, try radish, mustard or cress.
posted by derMax at 2:26 AM on April 28, 2007


I like pea shoots.
posted by dobbs at 5:40 AM on April 28, 2007


and what was your sprout-fanatic site?
posted by dobbs at 5:41 AM on April 28, 2007


I haven't tried it, but I've been told that celery seeds take about a month to germinate.
posted by hydrophonic at 6:53 AM on April 28, 2007


The site was sproutpeople.com.
posted by mds35 at 7:27 AM on April 28, 2007


Fedco sells organic and non-organic seeds, including a wide variety of hot peppers. Good company. I have their arugula and lettuce sprouting in my garden, and cilantro sprouting on the kitchen windowsill.
posted by plinth at 8:53 AM on April 28, 2007


Yes, pea sprouts are awesome (you can either buy dried peas from the nursery and grow them on moist fluffed cotton balls or you can buy them already sprouted in many Asian supermarkets/groceries now).

Pea sprouts started getting quite popular in Hong Kong/Vancouver a few years ago.

I usually heat up a pan/whatever with a lid with a little oil, throw on some minced garlic, throw the sprouts in, add a bit of water, stir, cover for 10 seconds or so, uncover, and stir until the rest of the water has evaporated. Optionally, you can make a glaze for it with 1) water 2) tapioca starch 3) a little bit of oyster sauce.
posted by porpoise at 12:07 PM on April 28, 2007


I don't know anything about sprouting, but I buy sprouts often, and my favorite ones are daikon sprouts. Very spicy and full of crunch. Here's a page that sells the seeds.

Have you ever noticed that if you type "sprout" five or six times, it ceases to make sense as an English word? Sprout sprout sprout sprout sprout...
posted by vorfeed at 12:58 PM on April 28, 2007


Your local health food store most likely works with a vitamin company called NOW. They sell both sprouts and sprouting jars at a good price for mid level quality. Best of all, the company will let you order individual quantities so said store doesn't have to get in 20 sacks of sprouts and 50 jars just so you can take one of each.
posted by munchingzombie at 5:32 PM on April 28, 2007


Do not eat sprouts from any members of the Solanaceae family, as they contain solanine, which is a toxin. This includes potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:02 PM on April 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Some people warn against eating alfalfa and adzuki sprouts. Alfalfa, because it's high in canavine (exacerbates inflammatory problems, or something? can't remember). Can't remember why the warning against adzuki. I sprouted both of them regularly for about four years and never had anything bad happen. (Haven't done them lately though as I got tired of them.)

Sproutpeople was the best site I found in the US, though it's been a couple years since I looked. I like their fenugreek (easy sprouting). Flax and chia get very glutinous once soaked so they're better mixed (in small quantities) with other seeds.

If you're ever in Toronto, Toronto Sprouts runs sprouting classes. I sure miss their buckwheat sprouts. (As far as I remember, they said you need dirt to sprout buckwheat, not the jar method that I've settled on. I tried buckwheat in a jar once and they just went moldy.)
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 6:46 PM on April 28, 2007


oneirodynia: Thanks for the warning about solanine. I read up on it and it is most definitley not how I want to die. I knew about potatoes already but did not realize it applied o peppers as well.

dobbs: I only called Sproutpeople fanatics because their site has so much propaganda, but the people there are very nice and seem to know their product and inventory quite well. Their site is very educational even if it is not exactly web 2.0. I plan to buy from them exclusivley.

dermax: radish sprouts are indeed spicy and tasty but not in the same way that chiles are. There are different chemicals at play. Capsaicin gives you a unique kind of high and it burns oh so good and in a way peculiar to the Capsicum species.

Also, for many sprouts, the flavor of the fruit or tuber or foliage is very much present in the sprout. In radishes, for example, the flavorful part of a mature plant is its tuber. The spout is often eaten as a green. Celery stalks, tubers and seeds are all used for food. Also there are some limes whse leaves are as flavorful or more flavorful than their fruits (kaffir limes' leaves are used to flavor Hangar One vodka, for example). I'm sure there are many other examples.
posted by mds35 at 6:20 AM on April 30, 2007


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