Sunday, April 18, 2010

How to grow your own alfalfa sprouts

Almost a year ago I read an article in "Keepers At Home" magazine about sprouting. I was very excited to try it and bought a sprouting jar and some alfalfa seeds. Well, for some reason the jar and seeds got set aside and forgotten. A couple weeks ago I pulled them out and decided it was time to give it a try (I hate when I procrastinate like that).

Sprouting is so simple! It says on the instructions that even a 6 year old can do it. Yes, so what was my excuse? Haha.

All you need is a one quart or half gallon sprouting jar. You can find these inexpensively at a local health food store. You could even use a regular jar and some cheese cloth for a lid as well. You will also want to make sure you have high quality sprouting seeds. I purchased Handy Pantry brand certified organic alfalfa seeds. Seeds that are not good quality will produce poorly.

What to do:

For a half gallon jar (like I used) place two tablespoons seed in sprouting jar with three times as much water as seeds. Soak overnight.

Soaking the seeds (step1)

Drain water from jar (drain through lid or cheese cloth, there is no need to remove seeds to drain). Rinse seeds in fresh lukewarm water and drain again.

I have been storing my alfalfa sprouts under my kitchen sink on a towel.

Lay your jar at an angle in warm (70 degrees F.) dark place. Rinse and drain your seeds twice a day for 4-5 days. On the last day of sprouting, place your alfalfa sprouts in indirect sunlight to develop chlorophyll. The tiny leaves will turn green in a few hours.

The finished product

The final step is to remove the alfalfa sprouts from the jar and rinse well in a bowl. The sprout hulls will float to the top of the water (skim off). Remove sprouts from water and shake out excess water. Store in refrigerator.

I stored my sprouts in a bread bag and added
a folded paper towel to soak up excess moisture.

Sprouts will keep for about a week or longer, but you will most likely munch them down the first day you try them! I am finding that the one jar is not enough for our family size. I will be looking to switch to a tray method which provides a much larger amount.

We enjoyed our alfalfa sprouts in homemade pita bread with chicken salad. Yum!


Growing your own sprouts can be a very economical way to add some extra nutrition into your families diet. There are many varieties of sprouts to choose from and all sorts of ways to use them. It can also make an excellent science project for the kids. Happy Sprouting!
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6 comments:

Michelle - Mom of 3 Munchkins said...

Thanks! I love sprouts and will have to try this!

Chari said...

wow they look awesome in that pita! I'll have to make one of those with mine when they are ready =)

Krystal said...

mmmmm just started doing this a month or so ago. they are sooooo much fresher than the ones in the store and you don't have to worry about how old they are. LOVE them!

Not There Yet said...

I just got the LLL cookbook like you suggested and I see the sprouting thing in there too! I am very excited to try it.

GeraldF_Rotter雅慧 said...

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Southern Belle said...

My mom used to grow homemade alfalfa spouts. She still has the jars she used. Hmm...maybe she'll let me have one. Thanks for the link for the seeds and how-to.

~Christine

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