When there’s not a lot of fresh produce coming out of your garden in these colder months, it’s time to grow right in your own kitchen! Today I’m going to show you how to grow sprouts, the ultimate hippie food for good reason with their extremely high nutritional content.
I am seriously excited about this post. Yes, that’s how much of a nerd I am, I get excited about sprouts! For reals though, sprouts are awesome and growing them is super easy. I couldn’t believe how easy it was when I first did it, it made me think, “Why haven’t I been doing this all my life?” Plus, if you have kids (or are easily entertained, like me) it’s a cool project to watch them grow day by day. All you need is a quart sized mason jar, a piece of screen or cheesecloth, and seeds to sprout and you’ll get this:
Where to Buy Seeds for Sprouting
Pretty awesome, right? Now, where to get those seeds. Well first and foremost, I can’t talk about sprouting without mentioning Sprout People. Their website is very informational (it’s where I learned many years ago) and you can buy everything from seeds to special sprouters there. I don’t really think that special sprouters are necessary, but that being said, I do own the Easy Sprout and love it, and you can’t beat that cool looking 70’s box. A quart jar works just fine, though. Amazon also sells sprouting seeds, this mix is similar to what I’m using here and will last forever.
How to Grow Sprouts
The first thing you’re going to want to do is soak your seeds overnight, which wakes them up so that they want to grow. In the evening, put about 3 or 4 tablespoons (no more!) of seeds in your quart jar. I am using a mix of clover, broccoli and radish, which is generally my favorite mix. Fill the jar with cool water and let it sit on your counter for 8-12 hours.
The next morning you’ll need to drain the water and rinse your seeds well. You can either put a piece of cheesecloth over the jar with a rubber band or use a piece of screen, which works better in my opinion. Cut the screen to fit inside the metal ring for your jar and look at that, you just made yourself a sprouting jar!
Now you need to keep the jar of seeds upside down so that all of the water can drain out. You definitely want to avoid soggy seeds as it can promote mold. Putting it in your dish drying rack works well, but go ahead and get creative with what will work for your space. I’ve noticed that keeping the jar at an angle seems to make it drain even better.
For the first couple of days you want to try and keep the seeds somewhat in the dark. You don’t have to get super crazy about it, but if they happen to be drying in a sunny spot in your kitchen you might want to cover them up with a towel. Now all you need to do is rinse your seeds well, drain and repeat every morning and evening. Watch them grow!
The seeds are just barely starting to open up here
You can definitely start to see some growth here.
When they get to this point you really want to make sure that you are breaking up the “sprout mass” each time you rinse. A long ice tea or cocktail stirring spoon comes in handy here. You can also stop covering them up and let them see the light a little. No direct sunlight, though.
Whoa, now there’s a jar of sprouts!!! From only 3 Tbsp of seeds! When they get to this point you can see that most of the seed hulls have fallen off and are just kinda hangin’ out in the jar. It doesn’t really hurt you to eat them, but it doesn’t really do anything for you either. When I first started sprouting I left them in, but learned pretty quickly that’s they’re easy to remove and it really makes your sprout eating experience better without them. So, go ahead and dump the sprouts into a bowl and fill it with water.
See how the hulls float? Just skim the surface with a spoon to get ’em out.
Don’t worry about getting every single one, like I said, they’re not going to hurt you. Put your sprouts back in the sprouter to drain like normal. You will probably also see some unsprouted seeds & hulls that sunk to the bottom of the bowl, you can get rid of those, too.
Try to put your draining sprouts in a bright spot this time, as much light as possible without direct sunlight. This will green them up. Let them sit there for about 24 hours without rinsing to really dry out as much as possible. Then they’re done! It’s as easy as that!
You’ll want to put them in the fridge at this point, I usually put them in some sort of open bag as they’ll still need to breathe. You don’t want them to be too wet when you refrigerate them, either.
The whole process from start to finish takes about 5-7 days depending on how warm it is. Now all you have to do is eat them!
These sprouts sure would be tasty on a sandwich made with leftover Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken, sprinkled over a Sourdough Pizza fresh out of the oven, or tossed in a salad and dressed with Balsamic Vinaigrette!
Looking for more greens you can grow over the winter? There are some great herbs to grow indoors! It’s always nice to see that splash of green when everything seems grey or white out the window. Plus fresh herbs always taste better when you’re cooking don’t you think?