What Are Sprouts?
Sprouts, which are the germinating form of seeds and beans, are easy to produce. They require no soil, only water and cool temperatures. They emerge in two to seven days, depending on the type of seed or bean. In addition to raw alfalfa sprouts, other varieties include clover, sunflower, broccoli, mustard, radish, garlic, dill, and pumpkin, as well as various beans, such as mung, kidney, pinto, navy and soy, and wheat berries. Many are sold individually, some in mixtures. Potomac Glen Farms in Potomac, Md., sells a wide array. Each offers a distinct flavor, suggesting, as sprout growers like to point out, that sprouts indeed work well in a variety of dishes, such as soups, salads, sandwiches, and stir fries. Nancy Snider, owner of Potomac Glen Farms and president of the International Sprout Growers Association, says one of her favorite foods is sprouts with peanut butter and crackers. While versatile, sprouts also are favored for their nutritional value. Like other fresh produce, sprou