Sprouts are one thing you can grow no matter where you live, and no matter what the season. They are a great way to keep having greens even in the dead of winter. They are so simple to grow, really you can absolutely do this.
There are many different ways to grow sprouts, there are layered sprouting trays, there are even automatic sprouting machines that do most of the work for you (my father and some of my friends have these), but the method that I just keep coming back to is the jar method. It’s simple, economical and it uses things that you either already have or are easy to get.
Here’s what you need:
- a mason canning jar or other glass jar (I like to use a 1.9 L jar as our family is able to eat a whole 1.9 L jar at one sitting, my children really like sprouts)
- some tulle or screen
- an elastic
- drinking water
- some sort of container to prop that you can prop the jar on it’s side facing down, to drain out the water.
- and of course last but not least some seeds for sprouting (these seeds should be especially for sprouting as garden seeds can be coated or sprayed and might not be organic) Mums is a great place to buy seeds for sprouting, but I have also saved my own seeds.
That’s it, that’s all you need, now let’s get started. Select your jar, and make sure it is good and clean , and it is a good idea to sterilize your sprouter no matter which method you are using, every few uses. You will need to soak the seeds before sprouting, to do this place your seeds in your jar and fill it with cold drinking water. As you can see here you will need surprisingly little to get a full jar of sprouts.
Different seeds require different soaking times, if you get your seeds from mums the soaking times will be on the package or you can go to their site and check out various times there. After you are done soaking the seeds, cut out your piece of tulle or screen (which ever you chose to use) so that there is at least an extra inch all the way around the jar. Place the cut tulle over the jar and use an elastic band to hold it in place. Now rinse your seeds very well with drinking water.
You will need to rinse your seeds 2-3 times a day (3 times is best especially if the room is warm). Each time you are finished rinsing the seeds, place the jar inverted on an angle, to allow the jar to drain completely, the seeds should not be sitting in water.
Depending on the seeds it will generally take anywhere from 2- 6 days, but some things like garlic chives and buckwheat can take up to 10-12 days.
These guys have been sprouting for a couple of days, and you can see their little tales growing.
Although the sprouts are starting to fill the jar they still have a lot more growing to do.
When they are ready they will shed their hulls and their little leaves will turn green.
These little guys are now ready, they have grown to fill my jar and they are a vibrant living green color, isn’t that a beautiful thing?
For their final rinsing, I like to transfer them to a bowl so I can get rid of most of those brown hulls and get them really clean and dry, (you can use a salad spinner if you have one). To store your sprouts you will need to let them drain and dry out for a few hours, if this is done right your sprouts will stay fresh for quite a while in the fridge (depending on the sprouts at least a week or so), in a sealed container. Ours never seemed to stick around that long, these little guys got eaten the first day, what can I say my boys love sprouts!
Soon you will be able to check out our favorite way to eat alfalfa sprouts on top of “Egg Patties” here.
For More information on sprouting seeds you can check out Mumms Sprouting Seeds.