How to sprout at home! Growing your own micro-greens in containers at home is a fun indoor activity that can be grown indoors at home any time of the year, including fall and winter.
Over the last few years, I have really taken an interest in gardening/sprouting and growing micro greens!
I’ve been inspired by several people: Carolyn Herriot! She’s the author of the “Zero Mile diet”! It’s an amazing book to have on hand for beginners and advanced gardeners.
An additional two amazing books on sprouting are: “Sprout Garden” with Mark M. Braunstein, and “Sprouts, the Miracle Food” by Steve Meyerowitz And my latest favorite is “Microgreens: How to Grow Nature’s own Superfood” with Fionna Hills. I found this book few months ago…and am looking forward to getting hooked on microgreens soon! Like…in 2015!
Good quality organic produce is challenging to find in my area…and I wanted to save money.
So, a few years ago, I started my own organic garden, sprouting in jars, and growing wheat grass and Sunflower sprouts like crazy!
Many of you have asked me how to grow sprouts at home. Microgreens and sprouts are today’s popular gourmet garnish ad flavor accent. They grow really well in any home that has natural light all day long.
I use sprouts and microgreens in my salad all the time, and you can also include them in sandwiches, use as a garnish, or mixed into soups, dressing, meat dishes, dips, stir fries, pizzas, or as decoration.
It doesn’t take much space to grow. You can see that I have a beautiful rack, which I purchased at Solutions store in Mississauga: http://www.solutions-stores.ca: It comes in different sizes and you assemble it yourself.
To clarify, sprouts are not the same as microgreens. Sprouts are basically germinated seeds. You eat the seed, root, stem and underdeveloped leaves. They are generally grown in dark, moist conditions. Microgreens cannot be grown using the same methods; they are planted and grown in soil or a soil substitute.
But…sprouting requires a lot less time and space to grow than microgreens. And…sprouting is soooo easy!!! That’s why I do it!
My favorites are radish, mustard, arugula, broccoli, and Brassica Blend (Broccoli Raab, kale, radish and mustard…)
How to grow sprouts:
Buy seeds/beans. Try a mix for a variety of colors and flavors: I get mine from Handy Pantry:
www.handypantry.com here in the USA!
Mason Jars– Quart size
Netting, Screen or Sprouting Lids
Seeds – UNTREATED, and preferably organically grown
Water – preferably not chlorinated
Indirect Sunlight, (65-70 degrees)
Medium size bowls– for draining (It is very important! Lack of drainage will mean that your seeds may develop mold.)
Step 1. Soak Seeds
Broccoli- 1 Tbsp. placed in mason jar
Radish – 2 -3 Tbsp. placed in mason jar
Peas, lentils, chickpeas – ¼ cup placed in mason jar
Place seeds or beans in your mason jar. Place netting, screen or sprouting lid over jar and if using netting or screen…secure it to the jar with a rubber band or elastic band.
Fill jar with water for a quick rinse. Give it a little swirl and drain all of the water out. Fill the jar about ½ way with water. Place in a dark room, pantry or closet for 4 hours. With the exception of the broccoli seeds. They are from the cabbage family and only need 2 hours of soaking.
Step 2. Rinse twice per day
Now that you’ve let the seed soak for 2 – 4 hours, depending on what seeds you are sprouting, it’s time to rinse, swirl and drain. Fill the jar with water, swirl the seeds/beans around a bit…then drain them. Give them a little shake to make sure that the seeds spread out. This lets the excess water out and creates good air circulation and also prevents mold. After rinsing, place the jar lid down into a bowl on the counter out of direct light. You are going to rinse like this twice per day.
Step 3. Watch them grow!
Now, the growing time varies depending on the seed you are using.
- Lentils, peas, chickpeas (which are garbanzo beans) – 3 days
- Brocoli, radish, red clover, alfalfa – 5 days
- Garlic, chives, onion, dill – 10 to 12 days
If you see little white hairs growing on the roots of the brocoli or radish seeds…don’t worry…these type of sprouts have a really extensive root system. It’s normal.
*If you have to leave for a day or so during the rinsing process: Pop a plastic cover over the jar and place it in the refridgerator until you are back. Take the jar out of the fridge when you get home and start rinsing again.
Step 4. Store Sprouts
To store you sprouts… are going to rinse, swirl and drain them onto a paper towel or clean dish towel. Make sure they are fairly dry before you pop them in a container. Make sure the container is well sealed with a cover and place them in the fridge. They will last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks!
Hope you enjoyed my blog on sprouting. Check out my video here. If you have any questions…post them in the comments below.
Have fun experimenting with different seeds and beans!
Amaranth, basil, beet, broccoli, cabbage, chives, clover, garbanzo beans, fennel, fenugreek, kale, mizuna, mustard, parsley, peas, radish, arugula, wheatgrass.