Many of you have started growing your indoor garden, and are having fun growing microgreens. Isn’t it easy to grow your own fresh, tasty food indoors no matter what the weather?
Another super easy crop to grow indoors is sprouts! Super tasty, full of vitamins and nutrients, sprouts are fabulous on salads, in smoothies, and really add a nice crunch to a sandwich or soup (one of my favorite ways to eat them).
Sprouts grow from seed to harvest in 3-5 days, making them a fun project to do with kids. Your little ones (or big ones) will love to see them grow from day to day! Sprouts can be grown without soil, without an indoor grow light, and in almost no space. All you need are seeds, a mason jar, a mesh lid and some water.
Step one – Choosing Seeds
There are many seeds that work well for growing sprouts. Some of my favorites are mung bean, pea, broccoli, cabbage, radish, mustard, kale and alfalfa seeds.
You might already have some of these seeds in your seed collection. If you need seeds – MIgardener’s Microgreens and Sprouting Seed Kit – is a great way to go! Not only are they are fantastic value, they are premium seeds with an excellent germination rate. MIgardener offers 10% off seeds through this link, migardener.com/calikim29.
Step two – Gather Supplies
You’ll also need a glass jar (a canning jar works great), mesh sprouting lid (click here for how to make a DIY sprouting lid), and some water You might even have all these supplies around your house. It doesn’t get much easier than this, folks!
Step three – Prepare to Sprout
Preparation for sprouting takes minutes and involves two important steps.
-First of all, make sure your jar is clean – and I mean really clean. I like to hand wash mine with hot soapy water, rinse very well and make sure there are no flecks of food the jar. This helps prevent mold and bacteria from developing.
-Next, place one tablespoon of seeds (your choice*) in a pint jar, cover with a few inches of water and the mesh lid. For smaller seeds, use a lid with smaller mesh so the seeds don’t drain out with the water. Soak overnight or even up to 24 hours for larger seeds. Soaking helps the seeds sprout quicker, and releases the nutritional potential of the seeds. This helps our bodies absorb the protein and vitamins quicker – and makes sprouts the nutritional powerhouses that they are.
*A note about seeds: my favorite seeds to sprout are mung beans and sugar snap peas. Another tasty combination that I like to call “spicy salad mix” are broccoli, radish and kale seeds. Experiment with different seed combinations to see what you like!
Step 4 – Choose a Sprouting Location
Set your jar upside down at an angle in a bowl out of direct sunlight. This helps the water continue to drain out thought the mesh lid and helps the sprouts not burn up.
Continue the drain, rinse, repeat cycle every morning and every night. Staying on top of the rinsing and draining schedule is very important so your sprouts don’t dry out, and helps prevent bacteria and mold growth.
Step 5 – Harvesting and Storage
Harvesting: After just a few days, you will see your seeds begin to grow little “tails”. After 3-7 days, your sprouts have filled the jar and are ready to harvest. Harvesting is easy – just pull out what you want to eat! Enjoy the on a sandwhich, in a salad, top your soups and omelettes with fresh and tasty sprouts.
Storage: store sprouts in the jar you grew them in – they will last a few days in the fridge. They are best eaten fresh or with 2-3
days so only grow what you can eat within a few days . I like to grow a variety in small jars, and start seeds for sprouts every 3-5 days, so you always have a tasty mix to eat!
Where you Might Get Stuck
#1 My sprouts are taking longer than 3-5 days to grow…
Growth of sprouts depends on how warm or cold it is in your house. If your house is cold – put in a warm location, such as on top your fridge, and choose sprouts that grow quickly such as mung beans or peas (2-5 days from sprout to maturity)
#2 My sprouts are growing but don’t seem to be greening up…
Although sprouts grow well in indirect light, sometimes they need a boost of
sunlight to green up. After your seeds are done sprouting, move to a sunny where they to give them a shot of photosynthesis to help them green up. Keep in mind that not all sprouts will be super green, such an mung beans.
Sprouts are a super easy, nutrient dense food that you can grow indoors without soil in the dead of winter or any time of the year and harvest in just a few days – how much easier can it get to grow your own food indoors?
Watch my YouTube video,”How to Grow Sprouts in a Mason Jar” to see for yourself how easy they are to grow!
Comment below: Are you growing sprouts? What is your favorite variety?