I defy winter behind the tomato soup cans in my pantry. The sprouts hidden away in my kitchen are full of life even when cold weather brings my vegetable garden to a halt. Grown indoors, at room temperature, in the dark, sprouts grow no matter what winter brings.
Sprouts, edible seedlings, are usually grown from grain, vegetable or legume seeds. The sprouts found in grocery stores are frequently from alfalfa or mung bean seeds. Other common sprout seeds include soybean, radish and garbanzo. Sprouts labeled “spicy” often contain radish sprouts.
Potentially, any edible seed that produces an edible plant can be grown for its sprouts. Avoid using vegetable seeds from the Nightshade family (Solanaceae), which includes tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants. Although the vegetables these plants produce are harmless, the plants they grow on are poisonous.
Look for sprout seeds at gardening centers, health food stores, and in specialty seed catalogs. Unless the seeds are specifically labeled for sprout use, make sure they are pesticide free. An indicator of pesticide use is a pink or green powdery substance on the seed coat. Seeds treated with pesticides are not safe for producing sprouts.