Sprouts are a great food source that you can grow at home that will save you money (sprouts can be pricey at the shops) and they have many health benefits as they are high in antioxidants, protein, chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals. Plus they are so easy to sprout at home, you can get the kids involved!
Sprouts really are the ultimate locally grown food!
All you need to get started is a large jar with a breathable lib, or cheese cloth/gauze and a few spoonfuls of sprout seeds.
Where to Start?
There are many seeds you can start with such as alfalfa, mustard, radish and legumes such as lentils, mung beans and green peas. Any seed, bean or grain is sproutable, but some take a little more know-how than others.
When selecting what to sprout, pick something you like to eat! There is no point sprouting soemthing that you don’t like to eat in your diet.
The seeds, beans and grains that you plan on sprouting need to be specifically grown for sprouting. These are easy enough to find at your local health food store or even specialty shops and garden supply stores.
This may look like a lot of steps but really it is a very swift process and once you have it down pat, each time will be quicker than the last.
- You will need a good sized jar, approximately 9cm diameter and 14cm high. Reuse something that you already have in your house but make sure you have washed it thoroughly with soap and warm water before beginning.
- Next you will need some cheese cloth or gauze that you will secure of the top so the sprouts can breath. You can simply place the gauze over the mouth of the jar and secure with a rubber band or with a canning jar lid.
- Make sure you hands are washed before starting for food health and safety reasons!
- Put 1 – 2 tablespoons of seed into the jar and then fill with clean water to soak the seed for 3 -4 hours. This can also be left overnight to soak but the minimum should be around 3 -4 hours. You can leave your jar on the counter top (covered with the gauze) but avoid direct sunlight.
- Once you have soaked the seed, drain all the water out of the jar, rinse and then drain again. Make sure you have REALLY drained all the water you can. Leaving too much moisture in the jar could potentially cause mould to form.
- Put the gauze back on the jar after draining and secure with your rubber band. The ideal temperature for sprouting is around 18°C – 22°C.
- Each day you will rinse the seeds by filling up the jar with water, swishing it around and then draining out. Each day you will also move the jar gently around to help separate the sprouts from tangling.
- The sprouts can be harvested around 4 – 7 days and remember to rinse before consuming. You can even place the jar in indirect sunlight round day 5 to develop chlorophyll.
- The harvested sprouts can then be rinsed and put into a glass jar with a secure lid and kept in the fridge for up to 4 days. Be sure sprouts have drained for at least 5 hours before storing; too much moisture can cause spoilage.
- Next rinse your sprouting jar clean and start again!
|Seed/Bean||Dry Measure||Min Soak Time||Daily Rinses||Sprout Time||Yield|
|Adzuki beans||1 cup||8 hours||2-3||2-4 days||2 cups|
|Alfalfa||3 tbsp.||5 hours||2||2-3 days||4 cups|
|Amaranth||1 cup||3 hours||2||2 days||3 cups|
|Barley||1 cup||6 hours||2||5-7 days||3 cups|
|Buckwheat||1 cup||8 hours||2||5-7 days||2 cups|
|Clover||3 tbsp.||5 hours||3||3-4 days||4 cups|
|Fava beans||1 cup||10 hours||2-3||2-4 days||2 cups|
|Fenugreek||¼ cup||6 hours||2||5 days||4 cups|
|Garbanzo beans||1 cup||10 hours||2||3-4 days||2 cups|
|Kamut||1 cup||6 hours||2-3||5-7 days||3 cups|
|Lentils||1 cup||8 hours||2-3||2-3 days||2 cups|
|Millet||1 cup||4 hours||2||1 day||3 cups|
|Mung||1 cup||8 hours||3||3-4 days||2 cups|
|Mustard||3 tbsp.||5 hours||2||5 days||4 cups|
|Oats||1 cup||6 hours||2||5-7 days||3 cups|
|Peas||1 cup||10 hours||2-3||2 days||2 cups|
|Quinoa||1 cup||3 hours||2||2 days||2 cups|
|Radish||3 tbsp.||5 hours||2||2 days||4 cups|
|Rye||1 cup||8 hours||2||5-7 days||2 cups|
|Spelt||1 cup||8 hours||2||5-7 days||2 cups|
|Soybeans||1 cup||15 hours||2-3||3-4 days||2 cups|
|Sunflower||1 cup||4 hours||2||2 days||2 ½ cups|
|Wheat||1 cup||8 hours||2||5-7 days||3 cups|
Soak times listed represent suggested minimums. Beans can soak up to 48 hours, most seeds and grains
up to 12 hours.
Place small sprouted seeds (alfalfa, buckwheat, clover, fenugreek, mustard, radish, sunflower) in indirect
sunlight for an extra day to develop chlorophyll before use.