You Don’t Need Special Equipment to Sprout, Just ‘Know-How’

Alfalfa sprouts, the quickest, easiest green crop-in-a-jar, available year-round! (Image: jessicareeder/Flickr)
Alfalfa sprouts, the quickest, easiest green crop-in-a-jar, available year-round! (Image: jessicareeder/Flickr)

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.

These include:

Sprouts make a salad come to life with texture and color (Image: WILLPOWER STUDIOS/Flickr)

Sprouts make a salad come to life with texture and color. (Image: WILLPOWER STUDIOS/Flickr)

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 used as a topper for soups, curries and stirfrys (Image: Geoff Peters 604/Flickr)

Sprouts can be used as a topper for soups, curries, and stir-fries. (Image: Geoff Peters 604/Flickr)

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.

No lettuce? green up your sandwich with sprouts (Image: BrownGuacamole?Flickr)

No lettuce? Green up your sandwich with sprouts. (Image: BrownGuacamole/Flickr)

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?

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