Vegetable and seed sprouts are a delicious, nutritional, and plastic free fresh food that can be grown indoors year round. In the grocery store you may find alfalfa sprouts in the produce section packed into a small plastic container. When this plant is grown from home it becomes plastic free!
Why You Should Grow Sprouts
Sprouts come in many varieties including your typical sandwich seed sprout (alfalfa), to radish sprouts that add a kick of spice, and broccoli sprouts which are basically like an immature cruciferous vegetable.
Sprouts are high in nutritional density, which means they have maximum nutrients for the amount of caloric intake, making them a bit of a superfood. To give you an idea, other superfoods include foods like berries, kale, and chia seeds. Now I’m not a nutritional expert by any means, but I do know a thing or two about home grown foods and avoiding plastic waste. These two things often happen to coincide with healthy eating.
Sprouts do not just have to go on sandwiches either. These little plants can go in pretty much any meal including these fun recipes below!
The last reason you might consider growing sprouts, is because they only take 4 – 8 days to grow. They make for a very fast growing vegetable and when you stagger the start of two sprout jars, you could have yourself a constant supply!
How to Grow Sprouts at Home
What you’ll need:
1 tbsp sprout seeds (I like these sandwich booster sprouts) 500ml wide mouth mason jar 1 bean screen like this one
**You can also use cheesecloth with an elastic to start but if you plan to be a serious sprouter, I would highly recommend a bean screen.
Place 1 tbsp of sprouting seeds in the mason jar and fill halfway with water. Swirl the seeds around to make sure they all get submerged.
Let the sprout seeds soak for six hours.
After soaking is complete, drain the water using the bean screen or cheesecloth securely attached to the jar.
Once all the water is drained, rotate the jar to try and spread the seeds out along the sides of the jar. This won’t be perfect, but try to avoid having the seeds in one big clump as they won’t breath well that way.
Store the jar on a slight angle, screen side facing down. The perfect angle for my sprouts has been created by placing the jar in a bowl and having it rest on the side.
Leave the jar in this position at room temperature and out of direct light.
Twice daily, rinse the sprout seeds, drain, and store with the screen side down just like you did the first time.
It will not take long before you start to notice small sprouts emerging from the seeds. They grow very quickly and soon the whole jar will be overgrown! It is important to use a wide mouth jar if possible as it makes removal of the grown sprouts easier. Within 4 – 8 days you will have a jar full of sprouts ready to eat!
I store my sprouts on the counter, with no refrigeration. You can refrigerate them once they are grown if you would like, just be careful if your fridge is prone to being very cold and freezing things. Sprouts are perfectly fine to sit out at room temperature, as long as they are rinsed at least once daily and eaten within a few days after the 4 – 8 day growing period (which definitely is not difficult to do)!