ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Food and Cooking»
  • Vegetarian & Vegan Recipes

How to Grow Your Own Nutritious and Delicious Sprouts

Updated on July 20, 2012

Radish Sprouts


Sprouts - The Perfect Food

One of the easiest and most satisfying gardening projects also results in one of the most nutritious of foods: freshly sprouted seeds or beans. A sprout is simply a baby plant, filled with concentrated vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants inherent in the seed from which it arises, but in a much easier to digest and tastier package.

To add to the fun, any seed you can imagine can be turned into a sprout, although some are easier to grow, taste better or are packed with more nutrients than others. Some are delicate (alfalfa), some chewy (mung bean), some spicy (radish, clover, onion), but all are inexpensive and can turn even the narrowest windowsill into a mini garden from which you can harvest crops over and over again, all year round.

Start by spreading the seeds in your sprouter


How to Make Your Own Free Bean & Seed Sprouter

There are a vast multitude of sprouters sold, and yet you can get the best sprouter for free, by recycling the tiny plastic crates in which cherry and grape tomatoes are sold at your local grocery store. You want the kind that has open slits on the sides, bottom and lid.

Here’s how to grow the tastiest, freshest sprouts possible, in only a few brief days:

First, buy the seed you wish to sprout. I’ve provided links to several online sprout sources, but a garden center will have plenty of seeds and beans to try. I will be using the gorgeous, spicy and highly nutritious Rainbow Radish Sprout Mix from Park Seed to illustrate this article, which—along with their Mung Bean and Watercress Seeds—have become my favorite sprouting varieties. To start, I recommend smaller seeds (radish, watercress, alfalfa) because they mature more quickly than the larger ones (mung and adzuki beans, peas, lentils).

Empty the grape tomatoes from their small plastic crate. Soak the crate, top down, in warm water for an hour and then scrape as much off the label from the top as you can with a small knife or fingernail. Don’t worry if you can’t get it all off; the only reason to remove it is to let in more light for your baby sprouts. Fold a single paper towel so that it will fit, flat, in the bottom of the crate, which from now forward I will refer to as your “sprouter.”

Fun & Easy Windowsill Sprouting

Find a shallow plate, dish or lid large enough for the sprouter to fit inside, but small enough to fit on a windowsill. Be creative—you may have a plastic leftover container lid that’s just the right size, for example, or a small candy dish. It only needs to be deep enough to hold a very small depth of water, only enough to keep the paper towel in the bottom of your sprouter moist.

Hold the bottom of your sprouter under the kitchen faucet and soak the paper towel thoroughly. Press it with a fingertip to force out most of the water. Add enough water to the dish under your sprouter to cover the bottom and put your sprouter in it.

Open the package of sprouting seeds; shake some out into the palm of your hand. Sprinkle the seeds on the wet paper towel at the bottom of your sprouter, spacing them as evenly as possible with a bit of space between them. (If you are sprouting lentils, adzuki beans, mung beans or any larger grain or bean, soak the seeds in plain water overnight before planting them in your sprouter. Remember that larger seeds will take longer to sprout but may actually reach perfect-for-eating size sooner than smaller seeds such as those of the radish family.)

Put the cover back on your sprouter and put it on your windowsill. A window that gets about a half a day of direct sun is best—either morning or afternoon, whichever you have. I have seen directions for sprouting that recommend keeping your sprouter in the dark, but I prefer to let the sun give my sprouts extra nutritional value and color.

Day 2 - The Seeds Begin to Sprout


Day 4 - Little Radish Sprouts


Day 6 - Growing Radish Sprouts


Watching Your Sprouts Grow!

Check the dish under your sprouter twice a day and add water as needed. Within twenty-four hours you will notice that the radish seeds have swollen, and some have begun to split open. By three days after you planted your sprouter the seeds will have little “tails” (their roots) and a protruding furled leaf. Radish seeds are ready to eat at any time, but are best when the baby plant is 1 ½” to 2” tall, standing up in your sprouter like a tiny forest.

Sprouts can be sprinkled over any salad, added to sandwiches or tossed into stir-fry just before serving. Your radish sprouts will taste like, well, like radishes, no surprise there, but the flavor is at the same time more intense and more delicate. I particularly enjoy radish sprouts with a classic Mexican ceviche appetizer made with wedges of avocado and marinated shrimp; I’ve added my recipe below.

Enjoy your sprouts; plant a new batch as soon as you have made your first harvest, using a fresh paper towel each time you reuse your sprouter. If you cannot eat them when they are ready, you can slow down their growth by putting your sprouter in the refrigerator, but keep the paper towel damp should you choose to chill your sprouts.

Day 7 - Ready to Eat Sprouts!


Shrimp, Avocado and Radish Sprout Ceviche

5 stars from 1 rating of Shrimp and Avocado Ceviche with Radish Sprouts


Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: Feeds 4 as a tapas small plate (appetizer)

Glorious Radish Sprouts



  • 12 Jumbo Shrimp, Peeled & deveined
  • 1/2 cup Jicama, Peeled, finely slivered ( A root vegetable native to Central and South America; ask for it )
  • 1/2 cup Medium Red Bell Pepper, Sliced into narrow, ¼” slivers
  • 1 Ripe Avocado, Peeled, seeded and cut into ½” thick wedges
  • 1/2 cup Radish sprouts, Tightly packed
  • Chives
  • 1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Limes
  • Salt to taste
  • For Marinade Mix in Separate Bowl:
  • 1 1/2 T. Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/2 T. Lime Juice
  • 1 T. Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Radish Sprouts, Tightly Packed
  • 1/2 T. Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 t. Sugar or Stevia
  • Pinch Salt

Marninate the Shrimp



  1. Place all marinade ingredients into a small food processor and pulse until sprouts are finely chopped. Place shrimp in a shallow bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the sprout mixture to the shrimp. Marinate the raw shrimp for about 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Set aside the left over marinade mixture to use it as a dressing.
  2. Put slivered jicama in a small bowl, drizzle 2 T. marinade/dressing over it and toss well. Put aside.
  3. Place 1 T. olive oil in a medium sauté pan and cook the marinated shrimp over medium heat until cooked and pink, about 3 minutes on each side. Discard any remaining shrimp marinade—it contains raw shrimp juices and should not be used as an uncooked dressing. Chill the cooked shrimp.
  4. Layer the ceviche in martini or wine glasses, or in individual glass bowls. Layer as follows, from bottom up:
  5. Jicama slivers, red pepper slivers, 1 T. dressing; shrimp, fresh sprouts, avocado, 1 T. dressing drizzled over all. Stick a few chives into the ceviche for a dramatic presentation and add a few more sprouts on top.
  6. Refrigerate the ceviche until serving; serve icy cold with tortilla chips, wedges of lime and the remaining dressing in a small bowl

This ceviche is a wonderful first course for any southwestern entrée and goes well with margaritas, Mexican soda or beer.


(I am an artist and the author of the Suburban Sprawl series of novels as well as two nonfiction books. Find out more about my work at

Copyright © Roberta Lee 2012. All rights reserved.

My experience with sprouts is:

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      A lister 6 years ago


    • DIYmyOmy profile image

      DIYmyOmy 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Natashalh - Any food can be contaminated with e-coli if handled by someone who has not washed their hands, since e-coli lives within our intestines. However, as long as you observe routine hygiene your homegrown sprouts should be safe. As with any fresh produce however be sure to refrigerate them once they have reached eating size to keep them in good health, and discard them and replace the sprouter should you see any mold growth. Try my sprouting method, I think you'll be pleased by the result!

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 6 years ago from Hawaii

      When I was a kid, we grew sprouts. Since then, I have heard they harbor e-coli. Do you know if that is just sprouts sitting out on a salad bar, or is that a danger if you grow them at home?

    • DIYmyOmy profile image

      DIYmyOmy 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      What is your favorite way to use sprouts?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)