Growing your own sprouts at home is easy and delicious! It is also a good way to save a lot of money (they are expensive to buy at the store!) and easy way to add extra nutrition to any meal.
You only need a few simple tools, the seeds, and a few days to make tasty sprouts at home.
What are sprouts?
Sprouts are soaked and germinated seeds that are full of beneficial enzymes, vitamins and amino acids. Sprouting the seeds makes the nutrients more bio-available making them easier to digest and you are getting the most benefit out of a plant in the most biologically concentrated form. When you sprout foods, you increase proteolytic enzymes that make both carbohydrates and proteins digestible. Sprouting is also a great way to get fresh greens all year around, even in the coldest winter months.
Sprouting container or jar– I currently use a sprouting tray like this one, however it could be as easy as getting a mason jar with a sprouting lid or using cheesecloth over the opening secured on with an elastic band. If you are using a jar, you will need to keep it upside down so it drains using a sprouting stand or just put it upside down in a bowl.
Seeds- The most common seeds used to make sprouts are:
Always make sure seeds are labeled ‘sprouting’ and are organic!
Steps using a mason jar
- Wash hands well with soap and make sure that all equipment is clean.
- Pour your seeds of choice into the jar. I recommend using alfalfa if it’s your first time. Use enough seed to cover the bottom or about 1 teaspoon of small seeds like alfalfa or broccoli or 1/4 cup of beans and lentils, they will increase in size by a lot.
- Cover with fresh water and put lid or cheesecloth over the jar and let soak for 12 hours. This helps prep the seeds and removes any nasties.
- Strain the water after 12 hours and rinse with fresh water again. Make sure they are well drained.
- Place upside down at a slight angle so that excess water can drain off and air can get in. Use a rack or a medium bowl.
- Re-rinse the sprouts twice a day with filtered water, returning to the tilted position each time so the water can drain out.
- The seeds should start to germinate in a day or two and most sprouts are ready to harvest in 3-7 days.
- When seeds have sprouted, put them in a bowl with cool water and push the sprouts under the water. All of the hulls (if there are any like in alfalfa sprouts) will float and you can pour them off. This step isn’t necessary.
- To store the spouts, line a container with a damp piece of paper towel, put the spouts onto the damp paper towel, close the lid, and store in the fridge for up to a week.
Using a sprouting tray is as easy is as putting seeds in the trays and pouring in fresh water twice a day. Most of them will come with instructions.
Some seeds won’t spout like walnuts and pecans, and kidney beans should never be sprouted because they are considered dangerous to eat sprouted. Also, special care should be taken to avoid bacteria growth in sprouts by making sure your hands and all equipment are clean.
Eat cooked or raw in a variety of dishes, in a sandwich, salad, or on their own as a snack!
If you have made sprouts before let me know in the comments below! Happy sprouting!