Cbean sproutsraving a little garden-fresh crunch? Sprouts deliver! Start a “kitchen garden” on your windowsill and discover a new source of fresh, locally grown vegetables and greens.

Pea and bean seeds sprout in just a few days and add flavor and crunch to stir-fries and salads.

The Sprout Growing Kit’s stacked trays hold different seed mixes and take little space on the kitchen counter. “Kitchen garden” took on a new meaning for my family this winter when we discovered a new source of fresh, locally grown vegetables and greens. Our own kitchen counter and windowsill are as local as it gets and the food goes from harvest to table in five minutes. But the best part is the flavor. By midwinter I crave the garden-fresh crunch and intense aroma and taste of fresh food. Sprouts deliver!Sprouting trays

We received the Sprout Growing Kit for Christmas that included a set of small, stacked trays and a couple bags of organic seed mixes. The instructions said to soak a few tablespoons of the seeds for 8 to 12 hours in a clean jar of water, rinsing once after 4 to 6 hours. After their overnight bath, the seeds had more than doubled in volume. I gave them a thorough rinse and poured them into the trays and set them into a warm corner to germinate.

The only maintenance for the next three days is regular rinsing. It’s very important to thoroughly rinse the sprouting seeds several times a day to keep them clean and moist.

After several days, the protein powerhouse blend of dark red adzuki, creamy garbanzo, and green mung beans and snow peas was ready for a stir-fry. I added the sprouts to a mix of carrots, shrimp, garlic and onions and the results were fantastic. The fresh sprouts gave the dish just the right amount of intense pea flavor and crunch. I also sprouted a bean salad mix of lentils, mung, adzuki, and radish seeds. We tossed these into a salad of lettuce, cabbage, carrots, walnuts and dried cranberries.

My family will be eating a lot more sprouts this winter and next summer, too. It’s the cheapest, freshest, and most local food on our menu.

—Ann WhitmanGreen Goods Supervisor, Gardener’s Supply