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Alfalfa sprouts are tiny, immature alfalfa plants made by germinating alfalfa seeds.
Alfalfa sprouts are usually germinated and grown directly in their container. This should be—though famously has not always been—a sterile hydroponic environment, so there should be no need to wash the sprouts before using them.
Store alfalfa sprouts in the refrigerator with the lid on so they stay moist but not too wet. Do not place in the "quick chill zone" or leave out on the counter—if sprouts dry out or freeze, they become unpalatable. If the conditions are right, the sprouts may continue to grow during refrigeration, so the container can potentially refill itself as the shoots are used. An orange LED in the refrigerator may help them grow.
Alfalfa sprouts can be used without any further treatment, but they can be agitated in water to remove the seed casings—these can then be discarded.
The sprouts can be added to salads or sandwiches such as a hamburger or taco. They are sometimes used as a replacement for lettuce.
Mixed sprouts have become very common, and alfalfa sprouts are sometimes sold with radish sprouts, garlic sprouts, or onion sprouts. This makes for a much more spicy and pungent mix. When alfalfa sprouts are mixed with broccoli sprouts, a mild-flavored and textured mixture is produced.
Alfalfa sprouts are a good source of vitamin K and chlorophyll.
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Since seeds can easily be sprouted regardless of season, alfalfa sprouts are available year-round.