Sprouts have been sprouting up everywhere lately. They’re on my whole wheat bagel, sprinkled between a generous layer of cream cheese and smoked salmon. They’re in my sandwiches – every single one, actually, regardless of the other ingredients. They’re tossed in liberally on my salads. And of course, they find their way into my juices.
These little buggers are yummy. But what’s more – they’re crazy nutritious. Packed with antioxidants, these little sprigs of yumminess are also full of protein, chlorophyll, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Ounce for ounce – sprouts contain more nutrients than any other known whole food. They’re helpful, too – sprouts contain enzymes that require less digestive energy so that even when they’re eaten whole, they provide with you a burst of energy without requiring a whole lot of processing time.
The bad news is that running to the grocery store for a daily stash of sprouts can get expensive. The good news is that sprouts are just about the easiest food to grow. You don’t need a lot of space, don’t need a lot of time, and you don’t need a particularly green thumb.
You can grow yourself a wide variety of sprouts: alfalfa sprouts, clover sprouts, sunflower sprouts, quinoa sprouts, etc. Sprouts are basically just seeds, beans, or grains that have “sprouted” which means you have access to a practically endless variety of tastes.
Note: Don’t sprout kidney beans or eat them raw – they can be poisonous.
Growing your own collection of gourmet sprouts at home is so, so easy and so, so much cheaper. I’m going to show you how you can grow your own sprouts at home in just 5 easy steps. You probably have all the required materials right in your kitchen, with the exception of the seeds.
You can easily order seeds online – I recommend buying organic and buying by the pound, which is cheaper and more convenient. I particularly like the organic seeds (sold in 1-pound bags) sold by Handy Pantry on Amazon – you get a 1-pound Salad Sprout Seed Mix of radish, broccoli, alfalfa, green lentil, and mung bean seeds. A great combo, if I do say so myself.
Happy sprouting (and juicing)!
- Fresh water
- Paper towels
- A few shallow saucers or cups
- A kitchen colander, sieve
Step #1. Sort and Clean Your Seeds
Measure out as many seeds as you plan to grow. Bear in mind that seeds should not be placed on top of each other when you “plant” them. Try to eyeball how many seeds will fit side-by-side, without overcrowding each others, in the planting container(s) you are using.
Go through the seeds to make sure that none are cracked or discolored. Dead seeds won’t sprout and they can even spread their bad influence to other seeds when they’re wet. Get rid of them.
Now place all the good seeds in a glass of tepid water and add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to disinfect the seeds. Let the seeds soak for about 10 minutes in the glass.
Drain off the majority of this vinegar water, mix in more fresh water, rinse 3 – 4 times until the water still left in the glass is mostly free of vinegar. Grab a sieve/kitchen colander, line it with a paper towel and dump the seeds on top to drain.
Note: Sprouting seeds (seeds intended for sprouting) have already gone through cleaning processes, but it’s still a good idea to disinfect and rinse the seeds.
Step #2. Set the Stage for Growth
Grab one paper towel sheet and fold it as many times as you have to OR rip it into two parts to make it fit into your planting container (shallow saucer or cup). Next, wet the paper towel thoroughly (i.e. wet, NOT moist).
This little paper towel sheet will act as soil.
Step #3. Plant Your Seeds
Spread the seeds out on top of the wet paper towel sheet. Add as many as you can – but make sure none are on top of each other.
Place the planting containers in a warm, bright spot (i.e. windowsill).
Step #4. Replace the Paper Towel Twice a Day & Keep it WET
You should start seeing little roots coming out from the seeds by the next day. Just make sure to replace the paper towel with a fresh, wet one over the next few days and you’ll soon have yourself some delicious sprouts to eat!
Step #5. Enjoy, and Repeat
Your first round of sprouts should be ready in about a week. Enjoy and make yourself a new batch to enjoy in a week’s time!
The above 5-step method to growing sprouts at home is the easiest and cheapest way that I’ve found, since most people already have all the necessary materials right at home.
There are other methods, though, that might suit your preferences better.
1. If you’re short on counter space but still want to grow enough sprouts to last you at least a week – try a 4-Tray Seed Sprouter to grow your seeds in.
As you can see, it has 4 stackable trays so that you can grow different sprouts and the stacking really saves quite a lot of space, even if you have more than one. The Seed Sprouter is really affordably priced on Amazon. It also works for growing wheatgrass.
2. Yet another option is to use Mason jars. This is especially convenient if you’ve already bought Mason jars to store fresh juice in. You can use the jars you’re not using for juice to grow sprouts.
These sprout-growing jars are not as space-conversing as the Seed Sprouter (above) but they make a lovely decorative addition to any area as well.
You can view detailed instructions on how to do this here.
If you enjoyed this post on growing your own sprouts, why not try your hand at growing some other easy greens as well?