Sprouts -The easiest greens you’ll ever grow!

With the lack of my garden and the ability to pick my own salad at any moment, I've been really missing fresh greens this winter.

Did you know that growing your own sprouts is not only easy, but wildly nutritious, too?

Sprouts are:

  • full of enzymes
  • easily digestible (in part due to the high enzyme content)
  • especially high in nutrients (it all depends on the seed you choose, of course, but sprouting immediately increases the nutrient content dramatically)
  • bursting with chlorophyll (the dark green pigment contained in leafy green), which aids detoxification, helps to protect our bodies from toxins and heavy metals, neutralizes free radicals (which are basically cells gone bad), builds our blood and cells, and numerous other benefits

Bought from the store, you'll easily pay $1.50-$2.00 for a teensy little box of them. I can make the same amount for literally pennies, and mine taste much (much!) fresher and more delicious!

Here's my method:

Sprouting-jar-supplies

You'll need a regular canning jar (I like to use a quart jar for a bit more growing room, though a 1/2 quart works fine, too), a screw lid to fit the jar, a thin cloth (I use small, thin baby cloths, but something like cheesecloth or thin cotton would actually work better), and your choice of seeds.

Seed choice recommendations:
Our favorites are broccoli and clover. Some other options are radish, mustard (both a tad spicy), and alfalfa (I've read both amazing things and terrible things about using alfalfa- very conflicting. At the moment, I'm not using it, though I have in the past). I buy the seeds in 1 lb or 1/2 lb packages, either from Azure Standard or my local health food store.

Jar-of-seeds-to-sprout

Next, add 1 Tbsp of your seed of choice into the jar, add enough purified water to more than cover the seeds, and put the cloth and lid on.

Let it sit overnight (or throughout the day) on the counter, long enough for the seeds to really soak up a lot of the water.

Flip the bottle and drain out the water the next morning (or evening, if you soaked during the day). I like to leave my jars propped up on a towel, over the edge of the sink so that any extra water can drain out without making a mess.

Every morning and evening, add some water to the jar (you don't need to remove the cloth, simply pour right through it). Swish the seeds around to get them all nice and moist, and then prop the jar back up to allow the water to drain out. I rotate the jar once or twice a day, just to move the seeds around and make sure they're all getting air and light.

Within just a day or two, you'll start to see sprouts emerging. Continue on with this until your sprouts are a couple inches long and have begun to form small green leaves on the end. It also helps to place your jar on a window sill during the last day or two, to help chlorophyll develop in the leaves.

Fresh-sprouts

This is what my clover seeds looked like, when I was finished sprouting them last time.

I store them in a container or a bag in the fridge (it's helpful if it's not airtight, because lack of air will make them go bad faster). Mine will last quite nicely up to a week, though we'll often use them up before they go bad.

1 Tbsp of seeds will make about the amount found in a grocery store sprout container, so if that's too many sprouts (or not enough) for your family to use up, just adjust the amount accordingly.

We love to put our sprouts on any type of sandwich, our very favorite way to eat them! They are also good sprinkled on top of a green salad, and you can even chuck extra ones into a fruit smoothie for the extra nutrition and as long as they're well blended, you'll never, ever notice they're in there (nor will your kids)!

Enjoy your winter greens, you incredible windowsill gardener, you!

Does this look easy enough? Does anyone else make sprouts in a similar way? Any other fun ideas for adding sprouts to our diets?

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. I think I’ll give this a whirl. My kitchen already looks like a lab… why the heck not :)
    .-= Grok´s last blog ..Becoming a Caveperson =-.

  2. Oh! I blogged about sprouts in Dec. I use alfalfa. And we bent a tea strainer flat to make my ‘material’.

    If you are interested in seeing more – come on over and check out this entry.

    http://www.xanga.com/CraftTeaLady/684423031/life—on-the-cheap/

  3. Hmmm, Kathy, I’m not sure. My guess is probably no, though it could be worth a try if you have some around. I buy my sprouting seeds from either my local health food store or my co-op, and they are intended for sprouting. But if you give the regular ones a try, let us know, ok? :)

  4. For the mustard sprouts do you just buy regular old mustard seeds like one would use for seasoning?

  5. I noticed that they only mentioned alfalfa and mung beans, I’m not sure if that is because the other sprouts you mentioned (brocolli, clover, etc) are not at risk, or if they just aren’t as popular so haven’t been a problem. Maybe someone else knows more?

  6. They recommend not feeding raw sprouts to those with weaker immune system, like elderly or small children and I would probably avoid them if I was pregnant although I love sprouts. It has to do with contamination with e.coli and/or salmonella. It is thought that it is the seed itself that is contaminated, not the sprouts, so it isn’t a factor of how they are grown and I don’t think growing them yourself reduces the risk. You could always cook them in a stir fry if you want to feed them to little ones, although I’m not sure how that would effect their nutritional value.

    Here is more information:
    http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/concen/specif/sproutse.shtml

  7. Heather, I’m ready for spring, too!!!

    Joy, love the peanut butter ball idea!

    Sarah, I’ve never heard anything about children or babies not eating sprouts. Can you remember where you’ve heard that? I’d be happy to research it. Thanks!

  8. yay sprouts. they are so fun to watch grow. you may want to mention that it is best to avoid feeding sprouts to very young children as they often can contain bacteria that they can not handle the way a grownup can. i can’t remember the exact cut off age, but i have seen it mentioned several times.

  9. I sprout all kinds of things and throw them in my bread dough. Lentils, millet, oats, wheat… whatever I have on hand. Everyone loves my bread so I don’t bother telling them what’s in it. *smiles* (I did once and they immediately were turned off at the idea of lentils in it)

  10. Our favorite is mung bean sprouts…I just throw them in random things, but they are perfect for stir fry or anything asian. I’ve never tried broccoli or clover.

  11. Yep. I do it the same way except that I have a handy dandy sprout lid that I use. I also add them into peanut butter balls (natural pb, raw honey, raisins, sprouts, rolled in milk powder-don’t have raw here or flax seeds). The kids love them!

    My favorite is sprouts, tomato, and avocado in a whole wheat tortilla wrap!

    Blessings!
    Joy

  12. Okay, I tried growing broccoli sprouts once – same thing, except I spent 4.00 on the jar that a company makes just for this. And they got all nasty and gross and icky. And i tossed it and never tried again.
    Maybe I will now. But if it gets all nasty again, I dont’ think I’d be willing to try a third time.

  13. Great post… I think I will do it!!! I haven’t had sprouts in ages… ever since the bacteria scare a few years ago.
    How about growing salad greens in a south window?? I think I will give it a try! I am READY for SPRING!!
    Heather

  14. Wow, this is amazing! I love sprouts cause I can hardly ever taste them and they’re good for you! I may just have to try this despite not having a green thumb!

  15. I have been making sprouts ever since you told me how to do it over email a while back. Its great! I use the same method but with cheesecloth. My favourite is broccoli. Now if only I could find them locally! We mainly add them to salads but this time of year we don’t each much salad (since I obviously can’t grow it) and so I sometimes eat them straight with a spoon- LOL or add them to sandwhiches as well.

  16. My Mother made us sprouts growing up. I have some broccoli seed sitting in my pantry right now. I think I’ll start them soaking today! Thanks!

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