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With spring pushing up sprouts everywhere in my perennial beds I have decided to push up edible sprouts on my kitchen counter.  Using a quart size glass Mason jar with a plastic lid full of holes or cheesecloth and some seeds there will be fresh sprouts in no time.  There has been a lot of discussion about harmful bacteria that can grow along with your sprouts but I follow these guidelines and have enjoyed growing and eating healthy sprouts for many years. In a very warm and humid house be sure to use cool water and rinse no less than 3 times every day.


Items needed to sprout seeds

Items needed to sprout seeds

Always purchase organic sprouts.  You can grow a lot of different types of seeds and use them for numerous things.  Clover, chia and broccoli are mild tasting like the alfalfa.  Radish and onion will add a bit of spice.  Garlic and sunflower add something different altogether.  Mung bean sprouts are great fresh or cooked in a stir fry and lentil sprouts should, as other beans, be cooked before eating.  I have heard celery, soy bean, kale, pea and cabbage are also good to try.


Once you have chosen your seeds you will need a container.  Any jar will do and if you do not have a specially purposed plastic lid you can just use cheesecloth with a Mason jar ring or with a rubber band over the jar.  Add seeds and cool water and you are ready.


Alfalfa seeds soaking, mung beans on day 2

Alfalfa seeds soaking, mung beans day 2

Put 1-2 T. seeds in a quart size jar.  Fill the jar half full with cool water, swirl them around to rinse and drain the water out.  Fill the jar enough to cover 1” above the seeds.  Let them soak overnight.  In the morning drain the water, fill the jar with cool water, swirl, and drain the water out – TWICE.  (you could fill a watering can with all this water draining) Let the jar sit on your counter on its side.  There will be a bit of water on the bottom for moisture.  Leave it away from the rays of the sun, but with light while you go about your day.   Most kitchen counters work perfectly.


When you get home from work or mid-afternoon you can rinse again, TWICE.  Before you go to bed, rinse TWICE.  Do this every day, for 3-6 days, depending on the seed and you’ll be ready to enjoy.  You will be fine doing this twice a day if your house is cool.


Mung bean hulls rising

Mung bean hulls rising

Alfalfa seeds take about 4-5 days.  Bean sprouts may take only 3 days. Each is different but you can tell because they will sprout tiny leaves and begin turning green.  Once the greening begins you can rinse one last time and remove the hulls.  You can put your sprouts in a large bowl, fill it with cool water, swish them around and the hulls will rise to the surface where you can remove them.   My salad spinner works great for this purpose with a little different technique.  I put the sprouts in the basket which is in the bowl, fill it with water, swish it around, lift the basket and the water left in the bowl will then be full of the small seed hulls like alfalfa or larger ones like Mung beans will rise to the top when submerged again.  I reserve the hull water (strained for inside plants or not for outside plants) to water my flowers and plants rather than running it down the drain.  Do this a few times and you will get most of the hulls out.


Mung beans ready to eat

Mung bean sprouts ready to enjoy

Put your sprouts back into the jar and leave it one more day so they can really green up.  No water in the jar this time.  Drain all remaining water, put them into a dry and clean container with a cover and keep them now in the frig.  You can give them a rinse before you add them to salads or sandwiches, etc. and they will keep for week or so in the frig.


Now we eat!  We made Thai inspired Pizza.  Recipe to come soon.

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