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Growing Sprouts at Home

Updated on July 19, 2012
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Bean sprouts are among the most common.Image:sxc
Bean sprouts are among the most common.Image:sxc

You can ensure that you have a constant, inexpensive supply of fresh vegetables all year if you grow your own sprouts. While most people are aware of bean sprouts and alfalfa sprouts they may not know about other varieties that have as much or more flavor and nutrition.

In fact, growing your own sprouts takes only minutes a day and the varieties are almost limitless. They are very versatile vegetable, and can be used in cooking, salads, and baking.

No matter how you use them, sprouts will add flavor and nutrition to your diet without a lot of calories or fat.

Process for Growing Your Own Sprouts

Sprouts are easy to grow and do not require much in the way of supplies. You will need:

  • Mason jar for each variety of sprouts, be sure to sterilize it
  • Mesh or a nylon to fit over the top
  • A ring to secure the mesh on the top

Each variety of sprouts will take a different amount of time to sprout. Alfalfa sprouts may take only a few days while garlic sprouts may take nearly a month. Always buy the seeds from a reputable company and be sure that they are specifically organic sprouting seeds and have not been treated.

  1. Rinse the seeds
  2. Place the recommended amount of seeds in the jar
  3. Cover with three times as much warm, not hot, water.
  4. Soak for the period of time recommended by the seed company, usually two to eight hours.
  5. Place the nylon or mesh over the jar lid and secure
  6. Drain out the water.
  7. Put the jar in a warm, dark spot.
  8. Rinse twice a day.
  9. Allow alfalfa and other green sprouts to sit for a couple of hours in sunlight to develop color.
  10. Rinse and store in the refrigerator.

Types of Sprouts

There are many different kinds of sprouts, many more than the standard few that you may see at your grocer.  Each has different flavors and textures and you can add variety to your salads, sandwiches, and even breads by using different ones.

Some of the different ones are:

  • Wheat-sweet
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Buckwheat-mild
  • Sunflower-nutty
  • Pumpkin-buttery
  • Lentil-peppery
  • Adzuki-rich
  • Cabbage-peppery
  • Broccoli-mild
  • Alfalfa-like lettuce
  • Radish-spicy
  • Fennel-aromatic
  • Garlic-piquant

Why Grow Your Own

There are a lot of reasons why it is better to grow your own sprouts. First of all, growing your own allows you to control the conditions surrounding your food. You can be sure of the cleanliness, the conditions, and other factors. No worries about rodents or other pests contaminating your food supply and causing you to get sick. Other reasons for growing sprouts at home are:

  • Full of vitamins and minerals
  • Antioxidants
  • Living foods
  • Fresher
  • It is fun
  • It is easy
  • It is inexpensive
  • Greater variety
  • Year round availability
  • Can be done in the smallest apartment

Where to Buy Unusual Sprout Varieties

You will probably not find a huge variety of sprouts at your local store but you can usually find whatever you are looking for on the Internet. You can find a variety of sprouts at the following companies

Enjoy this frugal way of stretching your grocery budget and eating healthy, nutrient packed foods. Don;t be afraid to try new things and new ways of using homegrown sprouts.


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    • Katrina Ariel profile image

      Katrina Ariel 7 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      I love growing sprouts! It's such an excellent source of inexpensive and ultra-nutritious food. And I think it's fun to discover how many varieties you can grow. :)

    • C.S.Alexis profile image

      C.S.Alexis 8 years ago from NW Indiana

      I use to grow a steady supply but somehow grew away from it. I will start again at this reminder. Thanks

    • Reg Brittain profile image

      Reg Brittain 8 years ago from South Burlington, VT, USA

      I think now I shall have to try growing my own.

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 8 years ago from India

      I always avoid making sprouts because its just so much effort growing them and then no one wants to eat them. Unfortunately we are not all that health conscious in this family.

    • tdarby profile image

      tdarby 8 years ago

      My mom got me hooked on sprouts a couple of years ago. This is a great Hub--thanks. They taste great and I feel better when I eat them regularly.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 8 years ago

      Never thought of growing my own sprouts. Makes perfect sense to grow your own as the choices at the grocery store are limited. Very interesting hub.

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 8 years ago from United States

      Now there's something I haven't thought of growing. This might have to be a new addition to our gardening efforts. Thanks.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Reminds me of infant school days when we all grew mustard and cress on blotting paper then took in bread and butter to make a sandwich. I can taste that satisfying crunch even now! Thanks

    • khadilkarprakash profile image

      khadilkarprakash 8 years ago from India

      A convincing article. I had a liking for gardening but now-a-days I do not live my bed due to illness. Hope I will recover soon. I do watch 22 trees that I planted growing each day.