If you love salad and sandwiches, chances are you might also love alfalfa sprouts. Alfalfa sprouts are delicate, crisp, and nutty taste perfect for salads.
If you have many, the main concern will be the storage process. Many of us find it challenging sometimes to store sprouts for future consumption. This is because not all sprouts are safe to freeze.
So, can you freeze alfalfa sprouts? Unfortunately, freezing is not good for alfalfa sprouts. It could deteriorate their nutritional contents. But you can refrigerate alfalfa sprouts in a sealed plastic bag.
Before refrigerating the sprouts, make sure to rinse the alfalfa sprouts under running water. This will help remove the dust or dirt. Washing will also provide the necessary amount of moisture to keep the sprouts fresh.
After washing, place the sprouts on a paper towel for a couple of minutes to drain the excess water. But you don’t need to make the sprouts completely dry. Make sure that they are still moist when put in the plastic bag. The remaining moisture will keep the sprouts fresh and crisp when storing in the refrigerator.
Seal the plastic bag and put it in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. The alfalfa sprouts will remain fresh for up to 3-4 days. However, it is important to remember that freshness of the sprouts in the refrigerator depends on their freshness when you bought them.
Related: Can You Freeze Fresh Basil?
How Long Do Alfalfa Sprouts Keep?
As mentioned, there are many factors that could determine the length of time that the alfalfa sprouts will last. If refrigerated, they can last for 3-4 days. But this depends on many things such as the appropriate amount of moisture in the plastic bag.
Because there is no single answer as to how long do alfalfa sprouts keep, it is important to check them regularly. See and smell the sprouts and notice the distinct changes. Off smell and appearance may suggest that the sprouts may have turned bad.
If you see molds in the sprouts, that means that they are not safe to eat anymore. I suggest that you get the sprouts out of the refrigerator.
How Alfalfa Sprouts Get Contaminated
There are many reasons as to how alfalfa sprouts get contaminated. One of the sources of contamination is improper composted manures or fertilizers. If this is the case, the whole batch of seeds tends to be contaminated too. The bacteria will spread and affect the rest of the sprouts.
Seeds and machinery that are not thoroughly cleaned during the seed production process and the untreated water used in washing the seeds could also be viable sources of contamination.
The earlier stage of the process is crucial because if the seeds were contaminated, the sprouts would also be contaminated. When this happens, the sprouts will not be safe to eat.
Practical Tips on Eating Raw Alfalfa Sprouts
Eating raw alfalfa sprouts offers great nutritional benefits. If you go on this route, just make sure that you are doing it right. In this section, I will share with you some tips on how you can eat alfalfa sprouts safely.
1. Wash the sprouts thoroughly. I suggest that you don’t use tap water. Use filtered water instead. This is to make sure that you are keeping the sprouts free from other possible contamination sources.
2. Buy alfalfa sprouts from a reliable dealer. If you decide to buy from a grocery store, be sure that the sprouts are approved by the government regulating agency.
3. Only buy sprouts that have clean roots. Look for those that have white and creamy stems with buds attached.
4. Make sure that the sprouts have a fresh odor. If a distinct undesirable odor is present, that’s the sign that the sprouts may not be safe to be eaten raw.
5. If you buy the sprouts from the grocery, always look for the expiration date if any.
As a general reminder, always take safety precautions into consideration all the time. Eating raw sprouts can be dangerous sometimes because they could contain bacteria which will in turn cause diseases in the human body if ingested.
If you can, it is safer to grow your own sprouts. But even then, you still need to observe the safety precautions mentioned above. Make safety a top priority to avoid health problems associated with eating raw sprouts.
Should You Wash Alfalfa Sprouts?
Alfalfa sprouts are a great addition to the salad. Their crispiness and delicious flavor will definitely make the salad even more enjoyable. However, you should make sure that you are eating clean sprouts.
So, should you wash alfalfa sprouts? Absolutely. You need to wash the sprouts thoroughly before eating them. Washing will remove the dangers of ingesting salmonella.
If you prepare alfalfa sprouts correctly, you’ll be safe from potential dangers. Alfalfa sprouts are rich in calcium, vitamin A and K, and potassium.
Do You Cook Alfalfa Sprouts?
Alfalfa sprouts are known to be a great ingredient of salad. However, because of the threat of bacterial and illnesses associated with eating raw sprouts, there are other ways you can eat sprouts.
So, do you cook alfalfa sprouts? Yes, cooking alfalfa sprouts will eliminate all the worries. There are many ways you can cook these sprouts. The following tips will help you to figure out how to cook alfalfa sprouts.
Cooking Alfalfa Sprouts Tip #1
Cook alfalfa sprouts with stir-fries. But this does not mean that you also fry the sprouts. They can wilt easily. What you can do instead is add the sprouts to the stir-fries at the end. This ensures that the sprouts are not overcooked and therefore preserves the nutrients.
Cooking Alfalfa Sprouts Tip #2
Aside from adding to the stir-fries, you can also add alfalfa sprouts to your favorite soup. But again, make sure that you don’t overcook them. Just mix the alfalfa sprouts as the soup is finished. The remaining heat of the soup will cook the sprouts. This way you keep the crispiness of the sprouts.
Cooking Alfalfa Sprouts Tip #3
Lastly, you can cook alfalfa sprouts by putting them in the oven for about 1-2 minutes. Remove the sprouts from the oven before they turn brown. This is a great way to eliminate the bacteria and other pathogens from the sprouts without losing the crispiness and nutrients. You are now ready to add the cooked alfalfa sprouts to your salad.
Does Boiling Sprouts Kill Nutrients
Boiling alfalfa sprouts or any other sprouts will definitely make them safer to eat. However, there is a downside to it. Boiling sprouts can also kill the nutrients they naturally have.
But you can totally do so. As long as you don’t overcook them, you’ll still get the nutrients you want.