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How To Grow Sprouts

How To Grow Sprouts

Ever wonder how to grow sprouts? You’ve seen the little containers of sprouts in the market, and have probably paid too much for them. Time to find out how grow sprouts yourself!

Growing your own sprouts is a great way to incorporate fresh, healthful and live food into your diet in a safe and easy way! With a relatively small effort, you can have a steady supply of a delicious and economical vegetables right from the kitchen counter.

Don’t Buy Sprouts in the Market

I didn’t grow up eating sprouts. My first experience with sprouts was from salad bars, and hippie inspired sandwiches made in funky restaurants, and I fell in love with them. So, I would buy those clam shell packages of packed alfalfa, or mixed sprouts, at the grocery store. It was hard to tell how fresh they were and impossible to use them before the bottom third or half started to smell like funk. Gross! 

Occasionally you would read about some sprout recall because of bacteria, or it would be hard to find organic, or local sources. Eventually I was just put off by trying to have them available at home, and enjoyed them in salads and wraps when I could get them. I had no idea how easy it was to grow sprouts until years later. 

Almost by accident, I stumbled on a large jar with a screen at the top and a mason jar style screw top at my friend’s herb shop. When I asked her about it, she told me that it was a sprouting jar. Who knew? With a small investment in the jar, some sprouting seeds, and armed with not much more than a pamphlet worth of instruction, I was all in and ready to grow sprouts! Since then, we have enjoyed sprouts regularly for sandwiches and salads. The quality and freshness of home grown sprouts cannot be matched by commercially available sources.

Seriously, how yummy do you think this sandwich is going to be? 🙂

Growing Sprouts: Getting Started

Having the right equipment is essential. At least, it is to me. I guess there are people who are growing sprouts in mason jars with cheese cloth and rubber bands and I say more power to them, but when I started, there were at least four people regularly eating at my house and we went through sprouts pretty quickly. We also really piled them high on salads, and in sandwiches, tacos, whatever (like on a sandwich with Better Than Tuna!). Therefore, I was grateful for the big jar.

a new batch showing how to grow sprouts

A new batch of sprouts from that original big jar

Sadly, that original big jar broke only about two weeks ago. (safety tip: don’t pick the jar up by the cover if it isn’t securely screwed down). I didn’t realize how much I had grown to love having them on hand until I looked down at this beautiful full harvest of sprouts dotted with shards of broken glass. 

We have moved to Florida from Connecticut, so I couldn’t go back to the herb shop to find a replacement. With a little on line research, we found a great sprouting jar from NOWRealFood.com. We bought two jars so that we can have a second batch going at a staggered rate.

Where to Get Sprouting Seeds

The most important element is a good supply of quality seeds for sprouting. Sprouting seeds are often available at health food stores and I’ve seen them at most WholeFoods. I buy mine locally, or from mountainroseherbs.com. They have the best sprouting seeds I have ever used. That being said, its important to understand that the sprouts are sensitive to heat and humidity. You need to have them at an indoor humidity of around 70% and temperatures below 80°F (about 27°C) for optimum growth. It is something to keep in mind if you live in a warm climate, like we do.

Packet of sprouting seeds with large jar

A typical packet of seeds, ready to add to the jar

The Kids Love To Grow Sprouts, Too

Anyway, on to the process. I want to take a moment to say that this is an EXCELLENT way to get kids involved in the kitchen and excited about eating vegetables. Kids are often excited to eat and share the food they grow, and this provides results in just a few days, with visible progress of growth every day. I confess that I never stop getting a thrill from watching the progress.

Nutritional Value of Sprouts

Besides being a delicious addition to your diet, these little gems pack a lot of nutritional benefit. They are rich in vitamin K, which assist in the blood clotting mechanism for healthy healing. Vitamin K also supports the absorption of calcium, which is essential for strong bones. Alfalfa sprouts are a source of iron and B complex vitamins such as folate, an essential nutrient for fetal development. Alfalfa sprouts contain the amino acid, lysine. Lysine deficiency can lead to fatigue, hair loss and muscle soreness as well as a compromised immune system. The sprouts are also a source of omega-3 fatty acids.

If you have never tried it, I encourage you to start growing your own sprouts. It is fun and easy, and watching them grow feeds your spirit. Do it. Then make a hippie inspired sandwich.

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How To Grow Sprouts

  • Author: Georgia @ fullofbeans.us

Description

Growing your own sprouts is a great way to incorporate fresh, healthful and live food into your diet in a safe and easy way! With a relatively small effort, you can have a steady supply of a delicious and economical vegetables right from the kitchen counter.


Ingredients

Water (preferably filtered)

Sprouting seeds of your choice


Instructions

Start with a clean and well rinsed sprouting jar.

Pour in about 1/4 cup of sprouting seeds (yield will be about 4 cups) and cover with about 1 cup of filtered water and gently swirl.

Allow to soak for about an hour (I have read to soak overnight, but I have never done that.) and then gently drain off the water.

Lay the jar on its side out of direct heat and sunlight. Laying the jar on its side, maximized the air needed for sprouting.

Every day, gently rinse the sprouts with filtered water and drain, returning it to its side position. In hot weather, you may want to rinse twice a day, but always drain very well and handle them gently.

After about 4-5 days, the sprouts are ready. I gently transfer them to a container in the fridge to free up the sprouting jar for the next batch. The fresh sprouts will last several days, but be sure that they are not standing in any residual water from the sprouting jar.


Notes

remember to keep the jar out of hot sun, or temps that are too cool

be gentle with them when you change the water

Keywords: sprouts, sprouting, diy, organic sprouts

Georgia

Georgia is an unpretentious foodie who, at 50, transitioned from a vegetarian diet to a whole foods plant based diet and is loving it. She works as a nurse, plays as a quilter, loves to run, hates to race.
She thinks dogs are actually angels (in dog suits).

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