I love sprouts - bean, alfalfa, broccoli and others. They're delicious on salads, in sandwiches or even just to snack on (ok well...the bigger bean sprouts are, at least). I have a large, empty applesauce jar that i've washed and had sitting on my counter and started thinking about sprouting some sunflower seeds. Unfortunately, I was not able to find raw sunflower seeds in either of the stores I went to last weekend. What I did find, was a bag of mung beans. The only sprouter kit I found was pretty pricey - almost $30 - and I was too impatient to order a cheaper version online, so what does a thrifty girl do? Improvise!
I purchased a 5-cup Rubbermaid Produce Saver container, because they have a little slotted tray that rests in the bottom of the container to keep your produce elevated for airflow. The lid also has a couple of vents on the side. Mung beans should be sprouted in a bottom draining container, so I figured I could somehow use this to do what I needed. Since the beans were the tiniest bit too small to rest on top of the slotted tray without following through, I slid the tray inside a knee-high nylon (I bought a couple packages of these for my Costa Rica trip - I put soap in them like I learned in Girl Scouts - and had an unused package left over). This still allowed for drainage but kept the beans from falling through the tray.
I rinsed my beans and put about 1.5 cups into the container. Then added enough water to cover them. Mung beans sprout larger when pressure is applied to them, so I put two saucers upside down on top of the beans, then put the lid on. I left the container in a dark corner on my counter until the next morning, when it would be time to rinse. The beans need to be rinsed about twice a day, so that they are soaking up fresh water while they sprout. To drain them, I just tipped the container to the side and let the water drain out of the vent on the side of the lid. This allowed the beans to stay pretty much in the same place without getting all jostled up and potentially breaking off the sprouts. So far, so good!