Growing your own sprouts at home is super easy. They take about 4-6 days to grow, which is about as close to instant gratification as edible gardening gets!
That being said, I did run into a couple bumps during my first attempt, but I believe I have since perfected the process for us! I’ll include what not to do in this how-to, so you can be sure your process runs as smooth as possible.
You need only a few, easily-attainable things:
- sprout seeds (I found mine at Toronto grocery store Organic Garage)
- a wide-mouthed glass jar – prevents water from pooling in upside down jar
- cheesecloth – or any strainer as long as it keeps the seeds secured inside the jar
- a rubber band
- a bowl
Why grow sprouts?
These little guys add a fresh flavour and crunchy texture to salads and sandwiches.
They are also nutritious! For instance, sprouts have a high content of saponins – a plant compound known for significantly decreasing cholesterol levels.
Sprouts also provide various vitamins, with the recommended daily intake of each of the following per 1 cup (source):
- 13% Vitamin K
- 5% Vitamin C
- 3% each Copper, Manganese and Folate
- 2% each Thiamin, Riboflavin, Magnesium and Iron
Further, sprouts can be costly at the grocery store (as any pre-grown plant sold is). A pack of 100g can cost $4.50. Given the amount I paid for the seeds and the amount I can grow from the pack, my educated guess is that 100g cost about $0.50 – about 90% savings!
Okay! Without further ado, let’s get started.
Your sprouts do not need sunlight, and actually prefer the shade. I grew mine in my window-less kitchen with indirect LED light.
Put the seeds into your jar and cover with cheesecloth secured with a rubber band. Fill ¾ of the jar with water, and swirl them around to give them a good rinse. Drain, and repeat up to three times. It’s perfectly fine for the water to still be a little murky after their rinse.
Do not use water straight from the tap to soak the seeds (no matter how much you trust your tap water). I did this the first time and it was a bust. My tried-and-true version is to use pre-boiled water that has cooled for at least 3 hours.
Next, allow the seeds to settle and soak for 4-8 hours (I recommend 6). Turn the jar upside down and drain the water well, before placing the jar top-down in your bowl at a 45 degree angle. Allow seeds to drain further for 10-14 hours.
Do not allow the seeds to cling in clumps to the top of the upside down jar – they won’t properly aerate or grow. Give them a slightly-aggressive swish while draining to keep them properly distributed.
Repeat the rinse and drain process twice a day. The seeds should at least double in size between the second and third rinse.
And viola! As you can see, by the fifth rinse I needed to put the sprouts into a larger jar. The 2 tbs of seeds turned into 3 jam-packed cups of sprouts. Way more than I bargained for!
Refrigerate sprouts for the next 4 days and enjoy!