Growing your own sprouts at home is so ridiculously easy (and inexpensive) that once you try, you’ll wonder why on earth it ever took you so long to get started. If you’re a sprout fan, like my husband, you know how expensive those little babies are in the grocery store. Don’t get me started on dubious freshness or all that the packaging either… Home grown is definitely our favourite option. Here’s how to grow your own sprouts using a jar and simple supplies.
All you need to get started is a jar, a mesh jar topper, and suitable seeds. You can buy an inexpensive mesh jar lid especially for sprouting or DIY your own. A basic sprouting top can be made using a piece of general purpose mesh material secured in place with a canning ring or an elastic band.
I opted for the sprouting lids. They’re convenient, reusable, and hygienic. An inexpensive sprouting lid pays for itself very quickly in the grand scheme of things. If you want to grow multiple varieties or have a staggered supply sprouting in different stages, you’ll want extra jars and lids. We have several.
Selecting Seeds for Growing Sprouts
When selecting seeds for growing your own sprouts, pick what you enjoy and explore from there. Popular options include alfalfa, radish, mustard, mung. Spouts can be eaten raw and the more robust are also good for cooking. Hubby likes the big beans, but my personal favourite thus far are the small and slightly peppery daikon radish sprouts. Do you have a favourite sprout? Let me know so we can grow some and taste test them ourselves. Yum!
Ensure that your chosen seeds are suitable for sprouting. You want clean and chemical/pathogen-free seeds to safely sprout. Some seeds intended for normal garden germination are pre-treated, and you definitely don’t want to use those for sprouting. Buy from a reputable source and check the labels.
Growing Your Own Sprouts in a Jar
- Start with clean equipment and safe suitable seeds, as noted above.
- Place approximately one or two tablespoons of seed into your jar. Larger seeds can be pre-washed, but this may not be viable for small seeds, so be sure to rinse well at the start.
- Secure your lid, add fresh water, and drain. Do this twice (minimum).
- Add more water and leave the seeds to soak for a several hours (or overnight).
- Drain and double rinse (minimum). Leave the jar on an upside-down angle to drain fully. You can buy special racks for this, but your dish rack will work perfectly. A warm but not hot area with indirect light is the best place for keeping your jar while germinating.
- Repeat your double rinse and drain at minimum twice daily (I like to do this more often, just to be on the safer side), making sure that they never dry out completely.
- Once they are big enough, eat and enjoy! How long this takes will depend on what sort of seed you are sprouting and will take anywhere from a few days to a week.
If you are storing your sprouts for the short term, you can rinse and drain, and then allow to dry thoroughly before refrigerating. Sprouts, like most produce, will spoil quickly if store wet. Like lettuce and other greens, they like to breathe a little too, so use a suitable container. You can remove any unsprouted seeds while processing before storage.
How long sprouts will last in the refrigerator depends on the variety, prep, and how they are contained/stored. Texture and smell are good indicators, and if in doubt, throw them out for your compost bin or your worm farm to enjoy.