In the above picture, you see the three tablespoons of clover seeds it takes to fill a quart jar with sprouts
Important Update!: After happily posting about my newly discovered clover sprouts, I had the sudden thought “What if red clover sprouts also contain canavanine, like alfalfa”. I had never heard a word against clover, so I had assumed it didn’t, but I thought I should at least double check. I decided to research it a little more.
It doesn’t look promising! This study says that while broccoli and radish seeds do not contain canavanine, alfalfa and clover seeds do. This article talks about how clover seeds are actually used to prevent food poisoning when grown with radish or broccoli sprouts and when cooked with rice. This would be good, except after a quick glance through it, it seems that this may be connected to the canavanine content. To learn more about why canavanine is so bad, read this article (it’s near the bottom). After a quick look around, it doesn’t seem like many studies have actually been done showing that clover is bad for you, but because of the presence of canavanine in it, I can sadly no longer recommend it. So sorry to get you excited about something only to burst your bubble about it, two minutes later! I will try to research it a little more, but it seems that clover sprouts are also not a good option. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this topic?
Clover sprouts are light, small sprouts that are perfect in a sandwich or on top of a salad. They are also very easy to sprout.They actually taste (to me at least) identical to alfalfa sprouts. But they are much better for you.
Sally Fallon talks about why you shouldn’t consume alfalfa sprouts in Nourishing Traditions.
“Test have shown that alfalfa sprouts inhibit the immune system and contribute to inflammatory arthritis and lupus. Alfalfa seeds contain an amino acid called canavanine that can be toxic to man and animals when taken in quantity (Canavanine is not found in mature alfalfa plants; it is apparently metabolized during growth).” Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions, Pg 113
So clover sprouts make a great substitute. Read about the benefits of sprouts here. You can buy the screen insert at a variety of online places.
Sprouting Red Clover Seeds
Basic Directions: Place three tablespoons of red clover seeds in a wide mouthed quart sized mason jar and fill with water. Place the sprouting screen insert into the lid of your jar and leave out overnight at room temperature.
In the morning, drain through the screen insert and rinse. Angle the jar downwards in a bowl, to allow the air to circulate and the jar to continue to drain.Rinse at least every morning and evening. though three times a day is even better. Do this by gently pouring water into your jar and swishing it around. Drain and place angled downwards into your bowl again.
How fast they sprout will vary, but here are some photos of my clover seeds progression into sprouts.
Day Two: Starting to see sprouts
Day Three: Sprouts with long shoots
Day Four: Sprouts with the start of leaves on the end. Place near a sunny spot so that they can turn green (which is caused by chlorophyll). If all of your seeds are done sprouting, go ahead and store at this point. I sprouted for another 12 hours so that all of them could sprout their leaves.
To store: Drain for 8 to 12 hours to make sure that they are dry to to the touch. Take out the screen insert and insert the normal lid piece. Place in the refrigerator. Sprout People tell us that they can last up to 6 weeks, but are, of course, better the younger they are.