Sprouts: The Garden-less Green

I recently started growing sprouts on my kitchen counter and I’ve been very pleased with the results.

With lettuce being (WAY) out of season, I was looking for an alternative green to use on sandwiches and in salads.  I’ve found sprouts to be a great replacement and best of all, they are incredibly cheap and easy to grow.

Here’s what you need:

– A wide-mouthed, quart size mason jar  (Like these Gskyer EQ 80900 Telescope)
– Seed sprouting lid for the mason jar  (This Sprouting Jar Strainer Lid is the one I use.)
– Sprouting Seeds  (These 5 Lb Bulk Handy Pantry 5 Part Salad Sprout Mix are the ones I’m sprouting.)

Here’s what you do:

– Pour 1 or 2 tablespoons of sprouts into a bowl of water and let them soak for 12-24 hours.

– Pour the sprouts into your mason jar, put your lid on and rinse twice.

– Place the jar on its side, on your kitchen counter but out of direct sunlight.

– Rinse the seeds/sprouts 2-3 times per day being careful not to leave any standing water in the jar.

– When your jar is full, place it on the windowsill for a few hours to let the sprouts gain some extra color.

– Store in your fridge and continue to rinse 2-3 times a day.  Sprouts will keep for about a week.

Sprouts are very nutritious.  You can sprout a variety of different seeds and each has its own nutrition make up.

  • Alfalfa sprouts – antioxidant
  • Broccoli sprouts – may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Clover sprouts – may help fight cancer
  • Radish sprouts – high in vitamin c
  • Bean sprouts – a rich source of omega-3 and 6, as well as fiber and protein
Other types of seeds that are interesting and delicious: sunflower, onion, kale, chia, cabbage, garlic, and celery seeds.
If you are like me, you might be a little concerned about the health risk of growing and eating sprouts.  I know that I have heard all types of reports about contaminated sprouts being served in restaurants and sold in grocery stores.  So, I did a little research before I started growing sprouts and I found that (as with most things) the risk is actually very small.
Here is what the USDA says, “Like any fresh produce that is consumed raw or lightly cooked, sprouts carry a risk of food-borne illness.  Unlike other fresh produce, seeds and beans need warm and humid conditions to sprout and grow.  These conditions are also ideal for the growth of bacteria.”*
To reduce the risk of spreading disease when growing your own sprouts, you should:
  • Always use certified organic sprouting seeds
  • Use cool water for rinsing
  • Be sure that you are draining all excess water every time you rinse your sprouts
  • Rinse them in cool water before eating
  • Keep your sprouts in the fridge after they have sprouted.
Let me know if you give it a try.