Wednesday, May 13, 2009

how to grow your own sprouts in a jar

I've just planted a container garden full of vegetables and herbs, but I'm horribly impatient! I want my fresh veggies NOW! Luckily, Stacy taught me how to grow my own sprouts in a jar in just a few days. It's so easy and they're super delicious, and chock full of vitamins, fiber, protein, and anti-oxidants. I love them in salads, on sandwiches, and depending on the variety, in stir fry and egg rolls. Plus, they're "grown locally" (can't get more local than your countertop!) and way cheaper than buying them from the grocery store.

So here's the scoop. You can buy special lids made for growing sprouts, and they're great. They come with multiple lids that have different sized holes to make things easier. Check out the Econo-Sprouter Topper or the SproutPeople stainless steel lids. But if you're cheap like me, you can also use a piece of muslin, cheesecloth, or nylon and a rubber band!

How to Grow Sprouts in a Jar

What you'll need:

  • Mason jar
  • Sprout seeds (we found ours in the bulk section at the health food store, or you can buy them online)
  • Cheesecloth, muslin, nylon, and a rubber band, or a specially designed sprouting lid
  • Water
  • Dark place
  • Sunlight
  • Air tight bag

Note: These instructions are for a basic alfalfa or salad mix. Some seeds need more or less time to sprout.

1. Put 1-2 Tablespoons of your sprout seeds in a quart glass jar. We used an organic sandwich sprout mix, but to keep it simple you can try alfalfa for a great salad/sandwich sprout, or mung bean for Chinese cooking (like we used in our egg rolls).

2. Cover the with a cheesecloth, muslin, or nylon, and secure with a rubber band. Or screw on a sprouting lid with the smallest holes.

3. Cover seeds with at least an inch of water. Place jar in a dark place and let the seeds soak for 12 hours.

4. Rinse seeds two to three times a day. After rinsing, invert jar in a bowl at an angle to allow excess water to drain.

5. In a couple days, the seeds should begin to sprout. When they are sprouting, put them in a windowsill to ensure they get some light (so they'll turn green!).

6. Remove hulls if needed. The Econo-Sprouter Topper has a lid with larger holes so you can rinse, shaking the jar, and allow the hulls to be rinsed away. If you're just using cloth, the hulls can be removed with a strainer or colander. But be sure to remove them, or they can get moldy and ruin your sprouts.

7. Most sprouts should be ready within 4-6 days. Taste them to see if they are still bitter. If they are, add another day. When ready, rinse sprouts and cut off just what you need. The rest can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

8. Pat yourself on the back for growing something, eating healthy, and living "green." You are a superstar!

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20 Responses to “how to grow your own sprouts in a jar”

Laryssa Herbert said...

We grew up eating our "homegrown" sprouts. Now I grow them too! Broccoli sprouts are some of the most healthy foods you can eat and they taste great!

Alena Jo said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I've been wanting to try this for quite some time. You have such a great explanation, there's no reason why I shouldn't start them this week!! Awesome!

JHalmes said...

Fantastic idea! I will have to try and find some of those lids.

BreeAnn said...

I'm thrilled! What a fun summer activity for the kids too. I'm in Alaska so often i cannot find what i need for fun projects like this, but i'm going on a sprout seed hunt this weekend!

Sue said...

I have done these as well but have been hesitant lately as there have been many cases of foodborne illness associated with sprouts. You can get more info here:

Sharlene said...

How totally cool! I am gonna have to do this for sure!

Atticelf said...

Excellent instructions and I bet the kids will have fun with this too!


Cammy said...

Great tip! I am definitely going to try this. We love sprouts in our house and are constantly out.

Unknown said...

my mom used to do this when i was a child and i keep wanting to do this. thanks for the tip.

an encourager said...

Hooray! Now that you brought it up, I can picture my dad's jar of alfalfa sprouts sitting on our sunny kitchen window ledge. He would put the seeds in, and we would be amazed at how they grew! The other day I got a craving for an avocado, alfalfa sprout and tomato sandwich. But the sprouts were gross-looking. Until now, I had forgotten that I could make me own, very simply. Thank you for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

You always have the BEST tutorials.
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ANS said...

Very cool! My hubby just started a garden out back growing all kinds of stuff. I'll have to share this with him! Thanks so much. said...

YUM! These directions are great! I'll be linking.

Flassie's Fil'a said...

I like using the lids.

I went to buy more lids at a store
and they didn't sell them anymore.
Thanks for the links!

I love to make lentil sprouts too!

God Bless You and Yours!!!

Sue said...

thanks for the great directions. I wonder if some plastic canvas for needlepoint would not work with a canning ring for a jar topper?

Aleda said...

Great description of sprout-growing - I tried it using the covered jar method a few years ago and kept ending up with sprout mush. :(

As an FYI, another option (albeit more expensive than a glass jar + cheesecloth) is a sprout starter ( , though a lot of small business sell them too). The really nice thing about the sprouter is that because of the inner drainage cup you don't really have to really worry about molding, and with the greater air circulation we usually get eatable sprouts in about 36 hours (at least, I assume it's because of the air circulation). No, I don't work for them or anything like that, I just love my sprouter. :) Just another option (because I couldn't find the mesh lids and cheesecloth hadn't occurred to me).

little musume said...

Hello, it is true that the germinated seeds are delicious in a good salad or with an omelet. Your blog is great, continue!!!
Marie-line, french crafter

greg said...

I love home grown sprouting seeds. my mom used to make them all the time and we would love to eat them on our sandwiches.

Erika S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ike said...

Thanks for the step-by-step run-through with photos! This was a very helpful tutorial since the lid we purchased had pretty much nothing helpful to guide us on our first venture. We'll see how this goes after a few days. Thanks again!

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