Monday, 16 February 2009

Growing Alfalfa Sprouts

I had a request to describe how I go about growing alfalfa sprouts using my neat-o mesh lid and canning jar. It is extremely easy!

I bought this plastic mesh screw-top lid from my local health food store - it fits any wide mouth mason jar, although I have found that it fits some better than others. I am just using a small (250 ml) canning jar, since there are only two of us and we don't need a whole mess o' sprouts at any given time.

I bought the alfalfa seeds at the health food store as well, at the same time as I bought the lid. I have been itching to grow something while I wait for Spring to arrive, and these sprouts are just the ticket.

So, here are the steps:

1) Put about a teaspoon of seeds into the small canning jar
2) Screw on the mesh lid firmly.
3) Add water - enough to cover the seeds well. I put about an inch of water in, just for good measure.
4) Let the seeds soak in the water 8 -24 hours.
5) Pour off the soaking water through the mesh lid, and then swirl and rinse the seeds with some new water.
6) Rinse the seeds in this manner twice a day, morning and evening.
7) By Day 3 you will have tiny sprouts; by Day 6 the sprouts will be just the way I like them: with two little green leaves on each sprout. (The maturation rate will probably depend on how much sunlight they get.)
8) Not all the seeds will sprout - this seems to be normal.
9) Enjoy the sprouts on sandwiches, in pitas, stirfrys, or just by themselves.
10) Ah...Spring in a jar!

Note: check comments section for some links about sprouting and where one might order sprouting seeds in Canada.


SoapBoxTech said...

So helpful. Now if only I liked the little buggers. I should learn tho...very healthy.

Theresa said...

They taste better when you grow them yourself - a lot more fresh and crisp, and a bit nutty even!

Amber said...

I've got broccoli sprouts just about ready to go on top of my fridge!
I bought the whole kit at a health food store a couple of years ago (jar, mesh lid, poster with instructions, seeds...). If I had to do it again the unstuffed way, I now know that any wide mouth jar saved from the recycling bin, covered with a bit of cheesecloth and an elastic band works great!
Either way, I too love my springtime in a jar.

Theresa said...

I do have to get some cheesecloth - that seems like very useful stuff, and probably much cheaper than this mesh lid (although it wasn't expensive).

Are your broccoli seeds for sprouting just the same ones you would buy for planting in the garden?

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Thank you for this Theresa, I didn't know it was that simple. Do you have to purchase the "sprouting" variety of seeds or can you just use plain old seed? I like mung bean sprouts and I wasn't sure if I needed a particular kind or not.

I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for a mesh screen, I'd really like to try this.

Amber said...

Hmmm...that's a good question. I bought them as sprouting seeds for eating. I don't know if they could be planted. I'm not actually all that pleased with how these ones are doing compared to other sprouting seeds I've used and I don't know that I will get them again.

Theresa said...

Hm, I am going to have to check out the sprouting vs. normal seed situation a bit more myself - I'm off to google, etc....

Theresa said...

There seems to be some good info at this site:

From what I can tell, you can sprout ordinary seeds but these could have been grown with pesticides/herbicides. Organically grown/harvested seeds or those that are specifically marked for sprouting and consumption are the safest. Of course if you grow and save your own seeds, you would definitely know what you're getting.

Theresa said...

This site also looks very good, and it's Canadian: