Some of you may say "Red Clover - hey this sounds familiar." And it is. Red Clover are the white ore pink/purple flowers we find on wild meadows during summer time. I still remember, how we tried red clover as little kids because we were told that they have a very sweet, honey-like liquid at the bottom of each blossom. So not only as a sprout, but also as a blooming flower, you can enjoy your red clover. This article though, is dedicated to the deliciously green, nutrient-loaded red clover sprouts aka Alfalfa's little sister (as they visually look very similar to the popular microgreen).
So what makes them special: Well..to recap - sprouting boosts any seeds biologically available nutrients and reduces the natural physic acid of the seed. Thanks to this natural process, sprouts are super healthy, easily digestible and basically a true "superfoods". Red clover in particular, is a great source of protein, contains more Vit. C than apricots for example, and it's unique specialty: Red clover sprouts are loaded with phytoestrogens, which can help with menstruation problems and menopausal symptoms. Besides, red clover is particularly low-calorie and very mild in taste making it the perfect "healthy addition" to any meal - no matter if it's plant-based or not! Read on to learn how to become an apartment-farmer yourself and grow your own little "mini greens" in just a few days.
I personally love to sprout Red Clover seeds in a sprouting jar. First, it's a perfect way to closely observe the process and second, it's super easy to handle. To rinse the seeds I don't even take the lid off. I just place the glass under the sink, hydrate the sprouts properly and place the jar back onto the draining wrack. My Go-To equipment is the following:
- Draining Wrack (optional equipment: I often use a standard oat bowl)
- Sprouting Seeds: Feel free to go with any brand you like. I currently purchase most of my seeds from a small German company called Eschenfelder (unpaid advertisement) as I am very happy with their organic seed quality. If you use other brands, keep in mind to purchase organic quality as you do not want to eat raw polluted greens.
Red Clover Sprouts are super easy to grow at home. In the following, you find an easy "step by step manual" on how to grow Red Clover sprouts in a sprouting jar at home.
1. Use 1 Tbsp Red Clover Seeds, place them in your sprouting glass and let the seeds soak in water overnight or (for at least 8h).
2. Rinse off your seeds and place the glass diagonal in a bowl or draining wrack (open side/lid facing down so that extra water can drain off.
3. Wash sprouts 2-3 times per day to ensure proper hydration of the sprouts.
4. Continue process for 4-7 days (sprouted seeds). Then, harvest and enjoy!
Note: If you want to grow "microgreens" from Red Clover seeds, it will take you up to two weeks. In this case, I recommend to use a sprouting sieve though.
Red Clover sprouts have a super mild taste, which isn't the case for all sprouts. Leek, for example, has a very strong leek aroma already in it's "baby stage". Red Clover on the other hand distinguishes itself through a very mild, super fresh and crunchy and slightly nutty flavor.
Thanks to the super mild flavor, you can top Red Clover onto almost everything. I personally love to add Red Clover to salad bowls and smoothies, soups, tacos and bread. They just make the perfect crunch topping with their mild, green flavor.
I recommend 1 Tbsp of Red Clover Seeds to kickstart the process. You will be surprised, with how much green you end up with. If you want you can also separate the red clover into two separate sprouting jars.
Soak your sprouts for at least 8hours before you rinse them off to start the sprouting process.
I recommend you to wash them at least twice per day. I normally rinse them off with cold water when I get up in the morning and before I go to sleep at night. If you wish, you can also wash them a third or fourth time but it's no must.
4. How long does it take to sprout Red Clover and when can I harvest my Red Clover sprouts?
It normally takes 5-6 days until your Red Clover Sprouts are ready to harvest (if grown in a sprouting jar). If you want to wait until they have fully developed their leaves and harvest them as "Microgreens", you should wait at least one week, ideally almost two. For the Microgreen sprouting process, I recommend a sieve instead of a sprouting glass.
5. Which equipment should I use to grow Red Clover sprouts?
I personally love to grow them in a sprouting glass because it is super easy to handle.
6. Do I need to cook Red Clover Sprouts before eating them?
Generally no. Red Clover sprouts can be eaten raw without any bad conscious. As raw sprouts they contain a maximum of nutrients.
I personally always grow them without any coverage in my sprouting jar. The only thing I pay attention to is to not expose them to direct sunlight.
Just like all sprouts, sprouted Red Clover spoils pretty quickly, loses its crunch and valuable nutrients when stored. Therefore, I highly recommend you eat them right after harvesting. If however, you can't finish them all, keep them in your airy sprouting glass and store it in your fridge. Use them up within 2-4 days. (The cooler the fridge, the less likely Baceria grows. Therefore make sure your fridge cools adequately when storing sprouts.)
If you try to sprout your first own Red Clover sprouts, tag me on social, i.e. Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook. I would love to your incredible sprouting results and share them with our little community. As always, feel free to get in touch with me through the comment section below, especially if you have any questions with regards to the sprouting process.
Love to hear from you and HAPPY SPROUTING! xx, Karo
1. Book: Angelika Fürstler (4. Auflage 2019): Sprossen & Mikrogrün
2. Book: Barbara Rias-Bucher (2. Auflage 2019): Keimlinge und Sprossen - Vitamine und Mineralstoffe von der Fensterbank
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