Sprouting seeds is really nothing to shy away from. Once you have the few supplies that you need to sprout seeds easily and effectively, the few minutes a day it takes to grow sprouts is well worth the effort for the nourishment and eating pleasure they can provide.
Here’s what you need:
1. Sprouting seeds of your choice – some of our favorite are mung, or a mix of alfalfa, radish and broccoli seeds. It is easier to sprouts seeds of a similar size, so that they are all ready at the same time, and you don’t risk some of them rotting. However, once you have some experience, you will find that it is possible to successfully sprout seeds of varying sizes. Of course, you can always have more than one jarful growing at the same time, with smaller seeds in one, and larger seeds in another. You can combine them when you are preparing your food to eat.
2. A wide-mouthed jar with a sprouting screen top – I use a quart jar, and a plastic screw-on sprouting screen lid. I got the lid at a local natural foods store. You can also order them online.
2. A cloth to cover the jar for the first day or two.
STEPS TO FOLLOW:
1. Soak seeds for 3-4 hours (smaller seeds) or 6-8 hours (larger seeds) in 4 parts water to 1 part seed. Use warm (not hot) clean unchlorinated water.
Generally you will find that 3 Tablespoons of seed is a good amount to grow in a quart jar.
2. Rinse and drain the seeds several times initially. I take the lid off to fill the jar with room temperature water, then put the lid back on and gently swirl water around in the jar. Make sure that seeds are not all clumped together on the side of the jar as you are draining them. They should be spread out fairly evenly. Sprouts should be rinsed and drained 2-3 times each day.
3. Leave the jar inverted with air flowing into it. I use a shallow ceramic bowl, and lean the inverted jar on the wall, with an inch or two of space between the screened jar lid and the bottom of the bowl. Cover the jar to keep out light until the seed sprouts are well developed (2-3 days).
4. Once the sprouts are developing, and you have removed the cover, continue to rinse 2-3 times for the next 24-48 hours. The sprouting time will vary depending on the room temperature and seed mixture.
5. When the sprouts are well-developed, gently move them to a large bowl of cool water, separate the clumps, let the hulls float to the surface, and skim those off. Doing this will make the sprouts even tastier, and keep them from fermenting or rotting for a longer time.
6. Refrigerate the well-drained sprouts in a plastic bag or glass or plastic container. Sprouts are best fresh and used within 2-3 days.
Sprouts have been eaten for thousands of years, and provide a wide variety of nutrients with very few calories. You may be interested in this science of sprout nutrition resource page for more information.
There are other methods for sprouting, utilizing various sprouters that are on the market. I have used many different kinds over the years, and have returned to this method both for its simplicity and minimal space requirement. However, if this does not meet your needs, just do a websearch for sprouters and you are sure to find something that will work well for you.