We have been growing sprouts in our house this week and it's so easy to do, I have to share. Sprouts are really very good for you, but because of past recalls on sprouts, usually due to e coli, I do not buy sprouts at the grocery store. I don't even like to eat them out for them same reason. But they are so tasty and nutritious, it's a shame to miss out on them entirely.
After doing a homeschool science experiment with my daughter recently (we grew lentil sprouts) I researched growing sprouts and discovered how easy they are to grow on your own. Because they are grown indoors, without any soil at all, they are the perfect garden vegetable for me!
You can do your own research (I read this article and then this one), but I don't think it's a complicated thing. The most important thing to remember is to rinse them twice a day so that you don't grown any bacteria along with your sprouts. And also make certain that you drain the sprouts really well, or some of them will rot instead of grow. Keep them out of direct sunlight, but near a window where they can get some indirect light.
Most of the directions I found recommended using quart size jars, but I don't have any quart size Mason jars. I just used pint jars with less seed and my instructions are for the pint jars. I bought my seed at a local health food store and I would recommend that route if you have a local source. You can also find them online, but you might have to buy a large quantity. I was able to purchase just a fraction of a pound of both alfalfa seeds and radish seeds, so I had minimal investment and I knew they would stay fresh at least for a short time. You can try different seeds, and even beans, like lentils or mung beans -- whatever you like best.
1 pint Mason jar for each type seed and the lid
1 square double thickness cheesecloth for each jar
1 scant tablespoon seed for each jar
Make certain Mason jar is impeccably clean before you start. Place seed and about a quarter jar of cold water in jar and cover with cheesecloth square. Screw on the ring only, but keep the lid nearby because you'll need it when the sprouts are done growing.
Let seed sit overnight, or for 8-10 hours. In the morning (or after 8-10 hours) pour water out through cheesecloth and fill the jar with cold water again, and then let it all drain out. You'll just have wet seed left in the jar. Make sure you drain them well.
For six days rinse the seeds twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. After about one day you'll see the seeds start to sprout and by about day six you should have fully sprouted seeds. When spouts have green leaves they are done.
Rinse them one last time and replace the cheesecloth square with the metal lid and refrigerate sprouts until ready to eat. Keep refrigerated.