Sprouts are an easy way to grow fresh, highly nutritious greens all year round without breaking your back or wallet. They are easy to add to all kinds of different dishes. Sprouts are basically very young plants, when the seed is just starting to grow. For only a few dollars, you can have more fresh healthy greens than you can eat.
When seeds are sprouted, they increase in vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients while they decrease in antinutrients that reduce absorption. You can read a list of studies here. There is a small chance of food poisoning, so be sure to buy good seeds and keep a clean environment.
The people at Roots Nursery did their own research and put together a chart of some of the health benefits/risks per sprout. You can see that here.
Many different seeds can be sprouted, such as raddish, sunflower, mung, peas, beans, chia, corn, lentil, oat, alfalfa, arugula, kale, quinoa, etc.
To get seeds to sprout, you will need to:
1. Rinse the seeds
2. Soak the seeds (usually around 8 hours, water 2-3X the volume of seeds)
3. Rinse the seeds regularly (usually 2-3 times per day for 2-5 days)
Check out this speed sprouting chart from Mother Earth News with 39 different varieties with the soak and sprouting times.
There are lots of places to find seeds, including these:
I found these places to be a little expensive. A cheaper and easier way that I get seeds for sprouting is at my local grocery store. Bags of lentils, beans, peas, corn, barley, chick peas, etc are often sold there. At Whole Foods, you may be able to find faba beans, alfalfa, and buckwheat. At Asian and Indian markets you may find soy, mung, mustard, cress, dill, cumin, and fennel.
There are several different ways to grow sprouts. The most popular is with mason jars and cheese cloth. If you like to grow a lot of sprouts and don’t want to spend the time rinsing each jar every day, you could try a stacked tray sprouter. You water the top tray, and drainage holes run through each layer watering multiple trays in one shot.
Or if you don’t want to spend the money, here is a simple DIY sprouter you can make. You will need a set of matching Tupperware like the one shown below, four shallow (e.g. 3 cups) and one deep (e.g. 5 cups). The deep one will go on the bottom to catch the water. You will also need a box cutter and a drill or a hammer and a nail.
First, place the lid against a cutting surface. You’ll want to leave in the first ridge from the edge, as this is what holds the next layer up, but you’ll want to lose the first valley to allow drainage. Use your box cutter to score a line about an inch long, then cut through along one side. I find it easier at this point to put the blade through the incision, and continue cutting like I’m pealing a potato. Remove the inside part of the lid.
Second, use your drill or hammer. You want good drainage without letting the seeds spill through. I find a hole size about 1/8th of an inch works well for my seeds. I also find drilling more slowly and using backing like a block of wood helps prevent the plastic from being too jagged on the other side. Go around the deepest parts of the bottom of the Tupperware and create the drainage holes.
Next, place the lids on the shallow ones and stack them.
I soak my first batch of seeds in the large container at the bottom, and then move them up. When you’re ready to start another batch, put it underneath the first. Water with room temperature water from the top, and dump the waste water from the bottom when it gets full. With lentil seeds, I use about a fourth of a cup of seeds and this gives me around 3 cups of sprouts. As I finish off a container from the top, I use it to start another batch of sprouts and put it on the bottom of the stack. That way, if I usually take a few days to eat them, I should have another batch ready every few days.
Sprouts can be used in salads, soups, sandwiches, wraps, smoothies, and stews. They are often eaten raw, or with dressing. Here are some resources for sprout recipes:
70+ recipes :
18 Sprouted Salad Recipes:
Five Yummy Ways to Use Sprouted Beans:
5 Yummy Ways To Use Sprouted Beans
3 Dishes Made From Sprouted Lentils:
3 Dishes Made From Sprouted Lentils
Spivey Sprouted Lentils:
Spicy Sprouted Lentils
Sprouted Lentils Khichdi:
Sprouted Brown Rice and Lentil Medley:
Bean Sprouts Stir Fry (Chow Mein):
Korean Bean Sprout Salad (Sookju Namul):
Soybean sprout side dish:
Kongnamul Bap (Soybean Sprout Rice Bowl:
Seasoned Mung Bean Sprouts–Sukju Namul Muchim:
Japanese Bean Sprouts Salad https://www.asiancaucasian.com/japanese-bean-sprouts-salad/