There are many sprouting devices you can buy from health food and kitchen stores, but these are not necessary. In fact, the best method for sprouting is using a jar.
Sprouting alfalfa in a jar was an idea I picked up from some backpackers, who while traveling light, still maintained a steady supply of fresh sprouts in their diet.
This just shows how incredibly easy it is to grow this nutrient-rich green food all year round.
All you need is a jar, an elastic band, a water permeable cloth, and some alfalfa seeds.
Easy bench-top sprouting
- Fill your clean jar with 1-2 tbsp of alfalfa seeds, which can be bought from the health food isle of your supermarket, local green grocer, or health food store.
- Cut a piece of cheese cloth, tulle, or mesh to fit over the jar opening, with a little excess around the sides to ensure there are no gaps where the seeds can fall out during rinsing.
- Secure the cloth with a firm rubber band.
- Fill the jar one-third full with cool tap water, and leave to soak for approx. 4 hours.
- Then thoroughly drain all excess water, leaving behind moist seeds, which will sprout over the next 3-4 days.
- Continue to rinse and drain your sprouts with clean water 2-3 times daily, keeping sprouts fresh, firm, and hydrated.
- Keep your sprouts in a cool place, out of direct sunlight until little green leaves are visible, then move them into a sunnier position.
- Finally, rinse and move your sprouts into a container for the fridge to be eaten over several days.
- When your seeds are fully sprouted, begin your next batch so you don’t run out.
This video shows you how to grow sprouts and offers some handy tips:
Once you’ve mastered fast and friendly alfalfa, you can try the many other seeds, legumes, nuts, and grains that sprout easily.
- mung beans
- adzuki beans
- chia seeds
- brassica greens
- and a wide range of exotics, with fancy-shaped and colored leaves.
You don’t need a garden to grow organic microgreens, making this the perfect idea for apartment living.
Why eat sprouts?
Microgreens have a long history; ancient Chinese physicians recognized the health-giving properties of sprouts over 5,000 years ago, as they were not only prescribed as medicine, but also eaten as a part of a disease-prevention diet.
Sprouts are a good source of bio-available nutrients, including vitamins C, A, and B, enzymes, as well as important minerals and protein.
Sprouts can be viewed as a “green-cleaner” because they are highly alkalizing. They help to balance acid producing foods in the diet, detoxifying the whole system.
Spouts are an easy and cost-effective way to manage nutritional deficiencies, without taking supplements. You can eat them daily to increase energy, decrease inflammation, boost immunity, improve brain function, and improve digestion.
I really believe more people in the future will turn to sprouts for a preventative, holistic, and sustainable health option. They contain the most micronutrients per unit of any other food known to man, plus they are so cheap and easy—why wouldn’t you?