Grow an indoor mini-garden with sprout seeds

As the month of February is winding down, I’m starting to look forward to spring, warm weather and fresh produce from my garden. I start to really miss gardening this time of year but I’ve recently discovered an easy way to get fresh tasty vegetables into my diet, even in the middle of winter.

What’s the secret? Sprouts!

Close-up of newly sprouted seeds

Newly sprouted seeds

Ok, maybe that’s not a mind-blowing epiphany. I’ve grown sprouts for years using a simple mason jar. They’re delicious and packed with nutrients . I love them on salads, in sandwiches and in my green smoothies. But, my very small house doesn’t have room for more than one jar of sprouts at any given time. Plus, there’s usually a 4 to 5 day wait between crops.

As I was looking for alternatives to using a jar, I ran across the concept of using a multi-tray system that lets you stack 4 trays of growing sprouts on top of one another. Each tray has drainage holes to making watering the sprouts easy. Growing vertically helps make the most of small spaces and using 4 trays at the same time increases your yield.

Growing sprouts indoors couldn’t be easier, even for the green-thumb challenged. First, soak your sprout seeds for several hours.  This helps them draw in water and activates the growing process.

Once they’ve soaked, rinse them a few times with clean water. I use the trays for this since they have drainage holes. Spread the seeds in the trays, then stack your trays on top of the catch basin. Water them at least twice a day. Each time you water, move the bottom tray to the top so that each tray gets a chance to be watered first.

3 trays of a multi-tray sprouted with 3 varieties of sprouts in different stages of growth

3 trays of sprouts at different stages of growth

In 4 to 5 days, the sprouts are ready to harvest! If you’d like them to green up a bit, place them near a bright window that gets indirect sunlight for a day. (Direct sunlight can burn them.)

Close-up of broccoli sprouts in a seed sprouting tray

Fresh broccoli sprouts taste like radishes

You can de-hull the sprouts or, if you don’t mind the slightly bitter flavor, you can leave the hauls on. To de-haul, fill a bowl with water then place sprouts in the bowl and start to break apart the clumps. The hulls will either fall to the bottom of the bowl or float on top of the water (in my experience, it depends on the variety of seeds). If they fall to the bottom, you can skim your spouts out of the water. If they float, skim the hulls and discard them, then remove the sprouts from the water.

Whether you choose to de-hull them or not, use cool clean water to thoroughly rinse them. Dry them well with a few paper towels and eat them right away (I usually can’t wait) or store them in the refrigerator. My trays came with a lid so I can store my sprouts right in the tray.

The beauty of this system is you can either start 4 crops of spouts at one time or you can stagger the start date and have a continuous supply.

I’m currently using the Victorio 4 tray sprouter and I love it for it’s a small footprint. It takes up almost no space!

Growing sprouts has given me a fun, easy way to satisfy my love of watching things grow this winter. And as a bonus, I’m eating more healthy salads so I can use up all the sprouts I’m growing. I’ve grown broccoli, alfalfa, mung bean, red & green lentils, and I’m currently soaking a mix of adzuki, gamut and fenugreek seeds.

Have you tried growing your own sprouts? What are your favorite varieties?

P.S. The opinions in this post are completely my own. Victorio has not compensated me in any way to talk about their product. 



Great gift ideas: Valentine’s Day Edition

Valentine's Day Gift Idea - Spa Day Basket

Are you struggling to find the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your special someone? Nothing says, “I love you,” more than a gift you created yourself. With a small amount of effort, you can put together a gift that brings hours of joy and relaxation to your Valentine: A spa day basket!

You’ll need:

  • A decorative basket (you can get these pretty affordably at your local craft store) or a sturdy gift bag.
  • A fluffy white washcloth to nestle the items in (or really customize the basket by making your own hanging soap pouch).
  • Fancy bath accessories such as a loofah, bath pouf, natural sponge and massaging tool.
  • Your favorite Emmet Street Creations products! Our Exfoliating Rosemary Mint,  Blue Agave and Eucalyptus, Lavender and Mint handcrafted soaps are perfect scents to create a spa day experience. Remember to use coupon code LOVE16 at checkout to save 15% off purchases of $15 or more in our Etsy store!

That’s it! You get the satisfaction of putting together a great gift and your love gets a ready-made way to relax!

Know someone who is looking for handcrafted gift ideas? Why not share this post with them? It’s easy! Simply use one of the sharing buttons below (Note: If you’re reading this via e-mail or reader, you’ll need to link to our website to use the sharing buttons).

Great gift ideas: Teacher edition

Great gift ideas - Teacher edition

Teachers work hard–really hard–in some treacherous conditions. Day in and day out they work in an environment filled with human petri dishes: children. Come holiday time, why not show them how much you care about their well-being by giving them a gift that will help them do just that?

It’s a snap! Here’s what you need:

  • A container for your gift like a small reusable container or a sturdy gift bag
  • Tissue paper or a nice hand towel to line your container
  • Immunity support boosters like Airborne tablets or Emergen-C packets
  • Hand sanitizer
  • A nice, crisp polished apple
  • Your favorite Emmet Street Creations products! Those in the know say teachers love our Crisp Apple and Rose scent.

Before you can say, “Bless You!” you’ll have the perfect gift to wish your teacher good health in the coming year!

Know someone who is stuck trying to think of the perfect teacher gift? Why not share this post with them? It’s easy to let them know, simply use one of the sharing buttons below (Note: If you’re reading this via e-mail or reader, you’ll need to link to our website to use the sharing buttons).

Great gift ideas: Celebrations edition

Great gift ideas - Celebrations Edition

There are lots of events in life worth celebrating: engagements, weddings, graduations, Wednesday.

Usually the social convention is to bring the celebrant a gift. But, what do you bring? There are lots of options out there, but don’t you want to give them something a little bit special? Why not put together a gift basket that will leave your loved one feeling bubbly inside and out?

It’s easy! Here’s what you need:

  • A container for your gift (maybe a fancy wine bucket?) or a sturdy gift bag
  • Linens to wrap your items in to keep them from clanking together (or you can use decorative tissue paper)
  • A nice bottle of Champagne, sparkling wine or sparkling grape juice
  • A pair of Champagne flutes
  • Your favorite Emmet Street Creations products! Our handmade Champagne-scented soap and Champagne & Roses soap and bath fizzies would be a perfect pairing.

Viola! The perfect gift. Now all you need is the perfect toast to go with it!

Know someone who is stuck trying to think of the perfect gift? Why not share this post with them? Your kindness will have them celebrating! It’s easy to let them know, simply use one of the sharing buttons below (Note: If you’re reading this via e-mail or reader, you’ll need to link to our website to use the sharing buttons).

Hosting Thanksgiving? 5 easy ideas to make your festivities a little more festive

Make your Thanksgiving festive!

Hosting Thanksgiving this year? Martha’s not the only one that has the magical power to make a joint festive you know! In the past, my ideas of home decorating for the holiday meant turkeys made from a hand tracing and pilgrim hats and cornucopia made of construction paper (I may have been seven years old, but still). We can do better than that people!

Creating a festive scene will keep things lively, maybe even lively enough to distract Uncle Rick from doing what he does every year: talking about politics and getting into a fight with Aunt Hillary.

In the interest of helping you step up your hosting game and creating harmony, I’ve done some poking around the web and found some easy and inexpensive ideas to try. As an added bonus, if you have any kids home from school you can keep them busy by saddling them with this task working with them on these projects. Cheap materials, free labor–everyone wins!

  • Paper utensil holders with an inspiring Thanksgiving quote – There’s also an option to print the quote as a paper sized poster, if you want to avoid getting out the scissors and glue.
  • Fall leaf bowl – This project uses real leaves and a papier mache technique to craft a decorative bowl. I think it might take several hours for your kids to find the most perfect leaves for this project. Right?
  • The Thankful Tree – I love this idea! Not only can you put up your reasons for giving thanks on the tree, it would be a fun to ask your guests to contribute theirs, too.
  • Fall Hurricane Vases – Dried beans and popping corn dumped in a glass vessel. Does it get any easier? Use flameless candles and you can avoid the melted wax mess. If your dinner is served buffet style, I think it would look great if you used this idea with a wider and lower profile glass container to hold utensils in.
  • Indian Corn Thanksgiving favors – Who doesn’t like to be given a little something sweet (and adorable) to take home at the end of the party?

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all! We’re grateful to have you visit Emmet Street!