Fresh sprouts have amazing nutritional value and taste great on salads and sandwiches, but who can afford them??? They cost a small fortune at the grocery store! You can grow your own sprouts, at home, in a mason jar for just pennies! Let me show you how easy it is!
My fascination with alfalfa sprouts started during a cold and dreary Ohio winter.
Being a salad-lover, I found it extremely frustrating to find only yellow, poor-quality greens at the grocery store during the cold months.
On top of that, the stores were charging a small fortune!
Not this girl….enter sprouts!
I was ready to grow my own sprouts in a mason jar at home!
To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would even like sprouts.
After doing some reading, I learned that alfalfa sprouts were very mild in flavor, and so I purchased my first bottle of alfalfa sprouts.
What Kinds of Seeds Can Be Sprouted?
First of all, only organic sprouting seeds should be used! Sprout seeds are clearly labeled as “sprouting seeds”.
Where the real fun comes in with growing your own sprouts is the variety!
You can sprout seeds, legumes and grains! Try several of them to find your favorites!
Each type of sprout has it’s own unique flavor and can be used on sandwiches (my favorite way), on salads, in wraps, on omelets or even just straight out of the container.
Alfalfa (very mild)
Red Clover (mild)
Hard Red Wheat (Chickens enjoy these too!)
How to Sprout Seeds in a Jar
Over the years, I invested in different trays and containers to sprout in, but at the end of the day, a simple mason jar is the best container to sprout in.
Some of the trays used for sprouting make it difficult to rinse properly, and others are difficult to keep clean. The cheapest and easiest way to sprout seeds is to simply use a mason jar with a screened lid.
What You’ll Need to Start Sprouting
- Place one tablespoon of alfalfa seeds in your quart-sized mason jar.
- Cover seeds with one inch of purified water, this will begin the germination process.
3. Let the jar sit somewhere cool and dark overnight.
4. In the morning, fill the jar half-way with water and rinse the seeds off several times.
5. Repeat rinsing both morning and evening, every day. Continue to keep jar in a cool, dark place.
6. Once you’ve rinsed your seeds, place the jar, upside-down with lid on, for a bit to make sure all of the liquid has drained. You don’t want mold to grow in your jar due to stagnant water. I tip my jar upside-down in my sink’s drain. You could use a bowl or your drying rack.
7. On the second day, you’ll likely see the seeds beginning to sprout! Rinse twice, morning and evening.
Continue rinsing twice daily, every day until your sprouts are a few inches long and have small yellow leaves.
By day 5-7, you will begin to see little yellow leaves on your sprouts.
At this point, we want to allow those yellow leaves to turn green. This is done by placing your jar in a sunny spot for a day or so.
It should only take a day or so for your leaves to turn green. At that time, remove your sprouts from the jar and rinse again, thoroughly, in a colander. Remove all of the hulls and any un-sprouted seeds.
Drain thoroughly, leaving no excess water in your sprouts. Use a paper towel and dab any extra water from your sprouts.
Removing extra moisture from your sprouts is important because sprouts can spoil and/or mold easily, so take this extra step.
Then, store your sprouts in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and begin eating immediately!
I usually start a new batch right away, that way I’ll have fresh sprouts just about the time I’m finished eating this batch.
Benefits of Eating Sprouts Daily
Every type of sprout will have it’s own nutritional benefits, however, here are the actions and uses for alfalfa sprouts, according to Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC.
- Alfalfa alkalizes and detoxifies the body.
- Acts as a diuretic, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal.
- Lowers cholesterol, balances blood sugar and hormones and promotes pituitary gland function.
- Good for anemia, arthritis, ulcers, bleeding-related disorders and disorders of the bones and joints, digestive system and skin.
(I am not a physician. Always check with your doctor to make sure any dietary changes are right for you.)
Sprouting is an easy and inexpensive way to get your “greens” during the winter months! Try growing some yourself!