How to Grow Your Own Sprouts at Home
Broccoli, alfalfa and bean sprouts show up on sandwiches and wraps on the regular. You can find them at the grocery store, but while the sun is shining, it's pretty easy to grow them at home. With a few simple tools you probably already have, you can have fresh sprouts anytime you want.
How to Grow Sprouts in a Jar
1. Soak the Seeds
Add 1 teaspoon of sprout seeds to a pint- or quart-size mason jar. Cover with cool water by about 2 inches, and let the seeds soak for at least 8 hours. Cover the jar with 2 layers of cheesecloth, securing it in place with a rubber band or the jar lid band.
2. Rinse & Repeat
Drain the seeds, then rinse and drain again. Set in a cool, dark place. Continue to rinse and drain the seeds twice daily until light yellow leaves start to sprout, 3-5 days.
Pro tip: Lay the jar on its side or at an angle (use a bowl to hold it in place with the opening down so any excess water can drip out) so the seeds have more room to spread out along the side of the jar, instead of being all on top of each other on the bottom.
3. Get a Little Sun
Once the yellow leaves appear, rinse and drain once more and set the jar in a well-lit area so the leaves can darken.
When the leaves have turned green, the fresh sprouts are ready to rinse in a salad spinner and eat. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Recipes with Sprouts
Hummus, sprouts and avocado top sprouted whole-wheat bread in this healthy vegan lunch idea. Look for sprouted bread in the freezer section of your grocery store. If you want to make this toast interesting, trying growing red clover sprouts.
In this healthy BLT recipe, we use a creamy avocado spread flavored with garlic and basil and add broccoli sprouts. Look for sprouted-wheat bread in the frozen section or with other specialty breads at your grocery store.
There's definitely a sushi vibe to these kid-friendly wraps, which are stuffed with vegetables, cheese and hummus and then rolled and sliced. Serve them with store-bought green goddess, a creamy herb-filled dressing, to take it up a notch with ease. They look impressive but they're easy enough for kids to assemble themselves for an easy lunch or dinner.
Here a garden salad packed with lettuce, bell pepper and avocado rests atop a provolone cheese pizza. And it's all drizzled with tangy homemade ranch dressing. We recommend a knife, fork and plenty of napkins to dig into this pizz'alad! Using bread flour gives the pizza crust a crisp and sturdy structure, but all-purpose flour works well in its place.
Throw some mung bean sprouts in with this veggie-rich garden salad recipe. It combines pepper, avocado, tomatoes and mushrooms tossed with a lightened-up herb ranch dressing. It's great with pizza or as a light side salad.
Pictured: Chef'n Countertop Sprouter Growing Kit
While growing your own sprouts is easy to do with items you probably already have around the house, these sprout-growers proved to be mega-helpful in making the process even easier.
Want to scale up the amount of sprouts you grow without sacrificing counter space? We love that this multi-tray sprouter stacks up, instead of out, to save room and make watering a cinch. Just add water to the top tray, and it flows through each tray below until filtering into a catch tray on the bottom (which saves you from having to rinse and drain multiple jars if you were making more than 1 teaspoon of seeds). Plus, spreading the seeds out on each tray gives each sprout more space to grow and equal amounts of sunlight, so no seed goes to waste.
The process for using this sleek-looking grower isn't different than the jar method listed above. The bonuses? The strainer works better than cheesecloth, plus the drip tray and interior ventilation tube help keep excess moisture to a minimum for more bountiful growth without any mold.
If the jar method is working for you, no need to go big on buying a grower. But you can save yourself some money (and prevent excess waste) by picking up a few sprouting jar lids and forgoing the cheesecloth altogether.