How to Grow Sprouts at Home in 3 Easy Steps
It’s a fun, easy project to grow sprouts at home. It will save you money and add a delicious crunch to any meal, not to mention they are nutritious power-houses!
Here in Idaho, the winter is winding down, and we are entering spring – a season that is also known as the starvation season. The apples and root veggies in storage are all gone or withered up, and we still have snow on the ground. After a long, cold winter you can feel the ache for new life to start breaking through with the promise that summer is on its way
Not only do we want to see it outside, but our bodies are also craving something fresh and green. Through the winter we eat our long storing foods and get lots of vitamins from fermented foods. Sure, we could go to the store and buy lettuce or pick up a box of sprouts, but like the earth, our bodies follow cycles and need different nutrients depending on the season. As the earth comes alive, we begin sprouting and foraging for asparagus and tender young greens.
Sprouts restore depleted vitamins
Sprouts are a great way to restore vitamins that were depleted through the winter. They are high in vitamin K, and vitamin C, are a great source of fiber and even have a few grams of protein in each serving. Eating a handful a day is a great way to get ready for the long days and busyness of summer.
Fresher, tastier & cheaper sprouts
Out of all of the food-growing I have done, sprouting gives the biggest return on investment. With very little effort, a couple spoonfuls of seeds, and some water you gain at least 30 times the volume for a fraction of the cost.
The sprouts that you find in the store are typically alfalfa and (mung) bean sprouts. A small cube of organic alfalfa sprouts usually costs around $5. Feeding a family of 4 a handful of sprouts a day would use 7 boxes a week! We don’t skimp when it comes to groceries, but I can have fresher sprouts in greater quantities by sprouting my own. It is a win-win!
More than alfalfa and bean sprouts
Prep: Select and buy seeds. While alfalfa and mung bean sprouts are the most common in the grocery store, there are many other delicious options to choose from. Here is a list of some of the most common choices. But you can sprout and eat almost any seed or grain.
- Alfalfa has a mild flavor similar to lettuce and is high in fiber, and contains vitamins A, B, C, E and K, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, carotene, chlorophyll, amino acids, and trace elements.
- Broccoli Broccoli sprouts are mildly spicy and add a fun kick to a sprout mix. They supply the vitamins A, B, C, E and K, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, carotene, chlorophyll, amino acids, and trace elements and antioxidants.
- Clover is another sprout with a mild flavor. It supplies vitamins A, B, C, E and K, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, carotene, chlorophyll, amino acids, and trace elements.
- Lentils have a wonderful, peppery crunch and add variety in a mix. They supply vitamins A, B, C and E, calcium, iron, niacin, phosphorus, and amino acids.
- (Mung) Bean Sprouts are those big, fat, pale, crunchy mild sprouts that you find in fried rice and stir fry…YUM! Although we usually just call them “bean sprouts” they are grown from mung beans. They supply vitamins A, B, C and E, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and amino acids.
- Radish sprouts are spicy little firecrackers that mix really nicely with clover and broccoli sprouts. They supply vitamins A, B, C, E and K, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, carotene, chlorophyll, amino acids, and trace elements and antioxidants.
We like a mix of all of these sprouting seeds! And they can all be grown together.
WARNING: Avoid growing greens like chia, beet, cress, and sunflower in a jar. They can easily mold in the jar and should be grown on a tray.
Here’s how to grow sprouts at home
Equipment needed: This is half the fun of growing sprouts – it is all so simple.
1 Quart size wide mouth mason jar,
1 sprouting lid or cheese cloth and a rubber band.
Step 1: Measure 2 Tablespoons of seeds into a quart mason jar and fill half full of water. Cover the top of the jar with a specialized sprouting lid or cheesecloth and a rubber band.
Step 2: Soak seeds for 8-12 hours. I generally start my seeds before going to bed. In the morning, pour out the water then move to step 3 and rinse.
Step 3: Rinse. Every 12 hours (morning and evening) for 3-5 days, fill the jar with cool water, swish it around, then dump out the water and allow it to drain completely. Set in the dish rack or somewhere the sprouts can get good airflow and continue to drain.
*As you are rinsing you will notice the hull of the seed (the shell of the seed) floating in the water. You can rinse those out a couple times during the growing process, at the end of growing or just ignore them. The hulls float so if you choose to rinse them off hold the sprouts under water and tip the jar to wash away the hulls.
How to store sprouts
Make sure the sprouts have drained really well before storing in the refrigerator. Don’t put them in the fridge right after rinsing.
Once the sprouts have drained, put a lid on the jar and store up to 1 week. If your family is anything like mine, 1 jar won’t even last through 2 meals.
Download your free printable cheat sheet so that you can grow sprouts at home.
Growing sprouts at home is really quite simple but sometimes we need a reminder of the measurements or the process. That is why I created a free printable cheat sheet that you can hang in your cupboard or add to your recipe book.