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Sprouting jars are about $20 in your local healthfood store.
Now you can sprout your seeds for salads or to start seeds for your garden in it!
Growing vegetable sprouts is fun, economical, and easy to do yourself. Not only are sprouts delicious, but they are also packed full of nutrients like protein, fiber, and vitamin C. Here are two quick and easy ways to sprout vegetable seeds at home, one using the traditional jar method, and the other using a cookie sheet.
Most everyone is familiar with bean and alfalfa sprouts, but sprouts can be grown from a variety of seeds including lentils, soybean, peas and chickpeas, celery, radish, broccoli, cabbage, and sunflowers. Grass seed like rye, barley, wheat and buckwheat are also popular for sprouting, and like your lawn, will continue to grow and produce a second crop after being cut.
When choosing seeds for sprouting, look for organic seeds that have not been treated with chemical preservatives. These can be found in health food stores, in catalogs, or online. Different seeds produce sprouts with very distinctive flavors. If you're unsure about what to try, many companies offer sampler packs that include several different types of their most popular seeds.
Sprouting lids are available that are designed to fit Ball Mason jars for a cost of around $4.00. Look for them at grocery stores, health food stores or you can order them online. The advantage to using them is that they allow for convenient drainage while also providing good air circulation so the seeds can breathe. I recommend getting the plastic mesh lids instead of steel mesh, which have a tendency to rust around the edges.
Without proper air circulation and drainage, the moist, humid environment of a sprouting jar can encourage mold and bacteria to growth. For this reason, some people may prefer the cookie sheet method, which allows the sprouts to grow vertically in the open air rather than in a tangled clump. This is also a good method for tiny seeds that are difficult to strain.
I made a seed sprouter to sprout my own seeds for my salads, plus I always sprout my seeds before I plant them in my garden. This reduces the need to wait to see if my seeds will start growing, then weeding out others.
I always sprout seeds, especially in the winter. I add them to sandwiches, salads, soups, or even eat as snacks! I normally just use a mason jar with a piece or cheese cloth or a little screen material under the jar ring/cap to allow me to rinse and drain daily until they sprout.
Make your own sprouts with lentils or raw shelled sunflower seeds in 3 days. Put 1/4 cup of them in a jar and rubber-band a scrap of nylon net onto the top of the jar.
I searched online for directions on making bean sprouts and found that a gadget is sold that resembled my salad spinner, so I tried using what I had and it works very well.
Fashion an inexpensive grow jar from a clean plastic drink bottle, netting (or plastic canvas) and a rubber band. Take a strip of plastic canvas about an inch wide and place it around the top of the bottle, after the bottle neck is removed.
Frugal sprouting bin from free clear plastic food container, file clips, and gauze or netting.Start with a clean clear plastic container and a piece of gauze or netting to fit snuggly over the top of the container.
I do well growing mung beans in a jar and get good bean sprouts, but when I have tried to grow tiny alfalfa and radish seeds in jars and trays I have problems.
A nice video about growing bean sprouts using a sprouting jar.
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How do I grow bean sprouts from mung beans? One that is crisp and juicy like that purchased fresh from grocers. My own efforts, none-too-successful involving rinsing sprouted beans twice a day and keeping them in the dark in decent temperature until maturity inevitably produced stuff that were long, thin and chewy.
YT in London
Here's a link to a site for sprouts:
You might figure out what you are doing wrong or if it is the beans themselves that are too old. I used to make them years ago, but don't remember much about it.
Susan from ThriftyFun
How do you grow alfalfa sprouts in jars? They could be bean sprouts or any other kind of sprouts, too.
Hardiness Zone: 2a
By Joan from Calgary, Alberta
Soak alfalfa seeds in water for several hours or overnight. (I usually use about 2 tablespoons which makes approximately 2 cups of sprouts for me). Then using a tea strainer with holes smaller than the alfalfa seeds, drain and add fresh water each day for several days, or until the sprouts are the size you want. Put the sprouts in a large bowl of water and swirl them around with your hands in order to get some of the seeds to fall off before draining water off. (I use a colander or a large tea strainer.) If you want them to be a darker green, put them in a sunny window for several hours before storing them in a covered jar or bowl in the refrigerator.
You can easily add fresh veggies to your diet by growing various sprouts in a small space on your kitchen counter. This is a guide about growing sprouts next to your kitchen sink.
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Two wonderful ideas I happened across this month are: Window Farms and sprouting (please don't confuse "window farms" with "windowsill gardens"). Neither of the two are exactly new ideas, but having fresh homegrown veggies in the winter has a great deal of appeal to me and I am MUCH interested in doing both!
YouTube has a lot of videos about both of the two ideas above and I watched in awe to learn that in tiny apartments in crowded cities a whole fresh homegrown salad can be grown PER WEEK using the concept given in the videos!
Sprouting also has a lot of appeal to me. You don't really need all the commercial items available to sprout successfully! A bulk store near me carries several different sprouting seeds. I called a seed store and was told they can't sell their seeds as "sprouting seeds" without a special room to keep them and a separate scale on which to weigh them. So they don't advertise them as such. A person would have to be knowledgeable enough on their own to decide which are and which are not safe for this particular purpose. Also you "spend" 1 part seeds and "earn" 7 parts sprouts! So it is a good way to stretch food inexpensively.
The picture is of old flower seeds I wasn't sure about being too old or not. I am sprouting in a recycled plastic cookie box and dryer lint ! "Never say never!"
By melody_yesterday from Otterville, MO
Editor's Note: Buy sprouting seeds from a natural foods store or seed supplier that are untreated seeds for sprouting. You can also use your own seeds leftover from last year that you have collected, if they were grown without chemicals. Don't use the growing seeds right out of the packets because many have been treated with fungicides which wouldn't be good to eat.
I decided to further my little sprout experiment with the flower seeds with the expired shelf life and they are doing quite well! I sandwiched them between clear plastic wrap doubled over so I could tape them to the window. (using a try of some sort under the plastic wrap helps). Leave about 1/2 to fold over and a little at the top so you can get moisture to them)
It's fun to see the sprouts with the full blown winter scene in the background! I just placed an online order for a variety of seeds/beans so I will soon be eating much preferred RAW food and hopefully become the picture of youth! ;)
I won't leave them there in the night. We are under a windchill advisory for -22F and I wouldn't want my sprouts to take chill and die !
Here are my lentils I wait eagerly for! It is day 2 for them. I started a few blackeyed peas too. It is so much fun!
The jar is on it's side because more seeds can get maximum light.
I secured a piece of netting on the jar mouth with a rubber band as shown in some videos I watched.It works fine and is tight enough that I can do the rinse/drains needed without removing the sprouts from the jar.
How do I grow alfalfa sprouts without buying the growing kit? I bought organic seeds, but I am not sure how to grow them at home.
By Linda Lewis from OK
I use a big opaque sherbet tub (45 oz) size or a larger to-go container (ones with a clear top). I mix alfalfa and radish seeds together. Leave them in water for 24 hrs, kept in the dark and rinsed several times that first day. I use a fine mesh colander to rinse. After 3-5 days and rinsed every day, when they look sprouted, I put in a sunny window to green, then keep in frig and enjoy.
I use wide mouth Mason canning jars with canning lid rims and plastic screen. I add 2 soup spoons of alfalfa seeds, a cup of water, and soak for 24 hours. Then rinse and store at an angle upside down. They are rinsed twice a day until ready to eat. The sprouts love growing at about 75 - 80 degrees F.