How to Grow Sprouts in Mason Jars

sprouts mainOn any given day of the week you can find me eating some kind of sprouts. Alfalfa sprouts in my burritos, spicy radish sprouts on my sandwiches, mung bean sprouts in spring rolls….yum! Sprouts are so good for you because when the plant starts to germinate it breaks down all the nutrients into their simplest components and makes them way easier for us to digest. But going to the store 3x a week to spend $10 on these little green seedlings was starting to get ridiculous. Luckily I have a boyfriend who absolutely loves gardening (we have more houseplants than places to put them!) so I told him that sprouts were something we needed to plant ASAP. Imagine how surprised I was when he told me not only did we not need any dirt to grow these guys it would only take 3 days for them to be fully sprouted and ready to eat! I was so amazed at how easy this was, even for the girl who has never mowed a lawn or planted…well anything! And, other than the seeds, you probably have everything you need already in your kitchen!

Supplies

20 oz wide-mouth Mason Jars (one for each type of seed)
Cheesecloth
Rubber Bands (one for each Jar)
Your favorite organic sprout seeds
1 Tsp Bleach (for disinfecting)

First you want to disinfect the seeds to remove any traces of E. coli or other foodborne pathogens they may be carrying. You do this very simply by taking 1 tsp of bleach and one cup of hot tap water in a separate cup and soak  2 tablespoons of the seeds in that mixture for about 10 minutes. Make sure to rinse the seeds very well once you’re done soaking them and strain them through a fine mesh collander.

Seeds soaking in the mason jars

Seeds soaking in the mason jars

The next step is to put the seeds in the mason jar and fill it about a third of the way with cool water then take a layer or two of cheesecloth and cut it into a square large enough to cover the mouth of the mason jar with a little bit of extra. Then take a rubber band and put it over the mouth to hold the cheesecloth on. This is a little bit easier to do if you have an extra set of hands to help, but if not, I still have faith in you!  After the jar is covered let the seeds soak for a minimum of 4 hours, but it is best to let them soak overnight.

We used the metal rings from the jar lids our first time but they left rust stains so we switched to rubber bands

We used the metal rings from the jar lids our first time but they left rust stains so we switched to rubber bands

In the morning hold the jar over the sink and let all the water drain out through the cheesecloth. Rotate the jar as necessary to make sure to get out as much water as you can. If the seeds are sitting in any excess you run the risk of having them start to rot, yuck. After getting all the water out tap the cheesecloth to get the seeds off and then lay the jar on its side out of direct sunlight. Try to get the seeds as evenly dispersed as possible.

Our finished products! Time to eat 🙂

After this initial prep work the rest is really easy! Simply rinse the seeds twice a day by filling the jar with water through the cheesecloth and then swirling the seeds softly and draining all the water then replacing the jar on its side. You will notice the seeds starting to sprout small tails in about a day and a half and in about 3-4 days you should be able to harvest and eat your sprouts! Once they’re ready to eat you should put them in a collander and rinse them to get all of the seed husks out of the sprouts. They’re edible so don’t worry if a few stragglers stay in there but they’re not the best tasting so you want to get out as many as possible. To store the sprouts you want to pat them dry and put them in a container, plastic bags or containers work great. They will stay for about 5-7 days, but if you’re like me they’ll be gone in two!

If you want to grow more sprouts at once you can always use a bigger mason jar and more seeds and follow the same method. With how quick mine are disappearing I think the 6 cup jars are going to be used next time. How often do you eat sprouts? What are some of your favorite ways to eat them?

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