Sprouted seeds and beans

You can sprout mung and aduki beans (NOT kidney or any other beans), chickpeas, green lentils, organic radish, fenugreek and clover seeds, as well as alfalfa seeds (the best), very easily. Buy all the gear, or use an ordinary 1-2lb jam jar, a scrap of loose weave fabric and an elastic band.

Method: Put an inch of dried mung beans/chickpeas/lentils, or a teaspoon of the seeds in the jar and add water to about half way up. Cut a piece of muslin, old net curtain or similar fabric to cover the top of the jar, and fix it in place with an elastic band. This stays in place until the sprouts are ready.

Leave the beans/seeds in the jar to soak overnight, then drain out the next morning through the cloth cover (don't remove this till the end), and rinse under a cold tap several times, through the cloth cover. Drain well. Tip: It's easier to do this if you don't wet the whole cover, and leave a part of this dry. Drain and leave the jar of sprouts upright in a warmish spot out of direct sunlight, like next to a cooker or at the back of a kitchen unit. Rinse several times each day for 3 days or so until the beans have sprouted to around 1cm, then tip into a colander, rinse well and drain. Store in a container in the fridge, or eat immediately. They'll keep in the fridge for a couple of days. The seeds take a bit longer to sprout, and are ready when they are just starting to show tiny green leaves at the top, and are about an inch long.

A mix of chickpeas, green lentils and mung beans is good, as you can put them all in the same jar for a bit of variety. Use on muesli, in stir fries or salads, or any other way you can think of. Dogs seem to love alfalfa sprouts chopped up in their food too, but don't give them raw bean/lentil sprouts…

Mustard and Cress

These can easily be grown from seed on a sunny windowsill, on damp kitchen roll (or an old flannel, eeugh) in a reused plastic punnet (the sort supermarkets sell tomatoes or mushrooms in). Keep the paper moist, and they should be ready when 2-3 centimetres tall.