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How to Grow Sprouts

Sprouts are a super addition for flavor or crunch to a salad or sandwich, and can really supercharge the nutritional value of your meal. If you are new to how to grow sprouts, consider the fact that sprouts are the single most simple crop to grow, and that anyone can grow them in a small corner of your countertop space. Especially since they don’t require direct sunlight or any light at all really, why would think otherwise . . why there isn’t a sprouting jar in every kitchen?

 

Sprout growing equipment

Wide Mouth Mason Jar with Cheese Cloth Cover                                Wide Jar with Screened Lid

Sprouting Jar with cheeseclothMason Jar with screen lid

 

  • Seeds for sprouting
  • Screening material
  • Plastic storage container or glass bowl with lid.

Seeds for sprouting are most commonly sold as “sprouting seeds” or “for sprouting.” You want these because they have been washed and sorted for quality if you are buying a reputable brand in a health food or upscale store. Sometimes you can find packets of sprouting seeds in garden centers, but if not, check your favorite seed catalog; many now sell sprouting seed.

As far as varieties go, you may be surprised at how many types of veggies you can eat as sprouts. Most of us are familiar with alfalfa sprouts and bean sprouts, but consider radish sprouts, beet sprouts, pea sprouts, and sunflower. In general, any plant from which you might eat the stems and leaves is a good option for sprouting. Plants from which you only eat the fruits (such as tomatoes and peppers) won’t work.

 

How to Grow Sprouts in a Jar

 

  1. Depending on the size of your jar and the types of seeds, a few spoonfuls go in your jar, and cover with approximately two inches of room temperature water. Use filtered or ‘ spring ‘ water if possible. Remember, this your food you are growing here, because tap water has all kinds of chemicals, bacteria, and unknown toxins in it depending on where you live. It’s also worth mentioning here that it may take a bit of experimentation on your part to determine the correct amounts of wheatgrass seeds vs. alfalfa seeds, vs, mung bean seeds. They are all different types and render themselves in different sizes and volume.
  2. Let soak for 7-8 hours. I find that it’s easier if you start the seeds before you head for bed so that they’re ready to be drained in the morning.
  3. Drain the water – it’s easiest if you have a circle of cut-out screen or one of the plastic screw-on screens. After you become a veteran sprouter, you want one of these because after a while the metal screening will begin to rust and clog up the pores of the screen. One advantage of using the metal screens that are flexible and in the beginning, you may have the comical occurrence of coming into the kitchen one morning and seeing sprouts bursting gloriously out of the top of your jar lid like lava out of a volcano! So there’s an advantage to this for beginners, as there would be no way you could crack your treasured jar, and believe me it could happen.
  4. So, initially rinse the seeds with your special water to the jar, spinning the jar and draining. You may want to have a towel underneath to prevent any accidents.
  5. Repeat once or twice a day, every day until your sprouts are the desired size. Again, this depends on the type and variety of seeds you are sprouting. This can take anywhere from a few days to a week, They are ready to eat when the tails have matured and the seeds have started to shed their hulls.
  6. Refrigeration will help to extend their life and retard overgrowth.

 

How to Grow Sprouts in a Tray                       Sprouts in a Tray

  • Spread seeds in the sprouting tray, one with a center hole and several small drain holes on the bottom edges. Spread the seeds uniformly so they have plenty of space to sprout and grow.
  • Initially rinse and drain, gently swirling the seeds so they all get covered with water. Cover with a cover tray or towel and repeat rinsing and draining process twice a day.
  • When your seeds have sprouted, visually to ¼ to 1-inch tails, they are ready to consume! Depending on the type of seeds – alfalfa and/or broccoli, you can place in sunlight for an hour or two for added “greening”.
  • With a stackable tray system, you can have several different seeds sprouting at once. By stacking the sprout trays, you build your own sprout tower. This is a little tricky for beginners since different seed types mature more quickly, so in the beginning, you will need to keep daily vigilance to keep from having a spoiled harvest. .
  • Store your sprouts in a cool place or refrigerate. This can depend on how fast you will be using them.

Happy Eating !

In conclusion, remember the How To Grow Sprouts mentality is one of determination, as with all new endeavors there is a certain amount of trial and error. I would be remiss if I told you every attempt will end successfully. There are no guarantees in life, especially when you are dealing with variables of individual batches of seeds, living conditions, lighting, temperature, etc.

Once you master the Art of Growing Sprouts, you can be assured that you are saving money, growing one of life’s Super Food. The living protein and presence of amino acids make the proteins in sprouts easier to digest and more assimilable than the protein in meat, and of course, the price difference is ridiculous.

Sprouts possess the most vital nutrient and that is life itself – living enzymes. Sprouts are an organic, living food that has a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, some in varying degreedepending on the variety, but nevertheless are all necessary to contribute to the living food that is still growing when you eat them. You just can’t say that about any of the other foods that we commonly consume.

So, Happy Eating !

Gary

Mix of fresh sprouts

 

Gary

2 Comments

  1. Honestly, I never did get into eating sprouts. They aren’t bad tasting to me or anything, just never felt the need.

    That said, excellent instructions on growing them. I’m curious now about them so going to be doing research next. Thanks so much for the information!

    • Selenity, Thanks for the comment. I have another post about the nutritional benefits and I think that’s what really makes them superior as an add-on for sandwiches and compared to lettuce, it’s far superior in nutritional content. You can also add them to salads and they are an excellent addition For extra crunch.
      Happy eating !
      Gary

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