The Basics of Growing Your Own Sprouts

Growing Your Own Sprouts

When I was a child, I remember my mom growing sprouts in our kitchen.  I have always loved sprouts, and I was happy to discover that my children also liked them. I quickly realized that I should be growing my own sprouts!

There are so many great reasons to grow your own sprouts.  It is convenient to grow them right in your own kitchen.  It is more cost effective and eco-friendly than driving to the store and purchasing commercially grown sprouts.  Commercially grown sprouts have also been associated with some bacterial contamination (like salmonella), which although is a very low risk, can be better avoided by caring for your own sprouts.  And sprouts are nutritious – they have been grown for over 5,000 years!

Sprouts come in many varieties.  Popular seeds that are often found that the grocery store include alfalfa, broccoli or clover.  You can also sprout different kinds of legumes (lentils, chick peas, etc),  grains (such as wheatgrass or barley), and micro-greens (such as cabbage or arugula).

Beet Sprouts

Beet sprouts! Aren’t they pretty?

Alfalfa is a good introduction to sprouting, has a mild flavor, and it is generally easier to find than other varieties.  You can find so many different kinds of seeds as well as blends of seeds, each of which has their own set of instructions.  If you can’t find sprouts at a local health food store or garden center, check online.  You may want to try smaller quantities of seeds to see which you like best, before committing to buying a larger bag.

You will also need a sprouting device.  This can be something like a tray system or bag, or as simple as lids that you use on a canning jar.  I use a glass Ball canning jar, and a set of lids with various mesh sizes.  You can also trying simply using a bowl, as long as you can adequately drain the seeds.

Sprouting Lids

~ For your first step, soak the seeds for 8-12 hours.  2 tablespoons of seeds will yield about 4 cups of sprouts – just remember that each type of seed varies.

Soaking Sprout Seeds

~ Rinse and drain well.  Continue to rinse every 8-12 hours.  The water from rinsing the seeds are full of nutrients, and great for watering houseplants!  Keep the alfalfa seeds in indirect light.

Beet Sprouts

~ The seeds will begin to sprout quickly – you should see some growth within a day or two.

Sprouting seeds

About 36 hours after soaking

~Within about 5-6 days, your sprouts will be turning dark green and are almost ready to eat!  At this point, you can move the sprouts so that they get more light (indirect), to help them “green up”.

~ Store your sprouts in the refrigerator about 8-12 hours after the last rinse.  You can rinse the sprouts in a bowl to remove hulls (as they will rise to the surface), but it is not necessary.  Make sure the sprouts are well-drained and reasonably dry, and then place in a bag or other sealed container, otherwise they will dry out.

Sprout Sandwich

My 4-year-old showing off her sprout sandwich!

Sprouting is a great activity for children to participate in.  Since sprouts grow so quickly, it is a teaching tool to show kids the process of growing.  My kids like a toasted pita pocket or toasted bread with some mayonnaise and sprouts.

Sprouts are a very versatile food – you can make sandwiches, salads, and so much more with sprouts.


By | 2018-06-03T03:04:53+00:00 May 2nd, 2013|Food, Meal Prep, Natural|10 Comments

About the Author:

Busy blogger and mom of two girls! We love traveling and the great outdoors, and are always looking for our next adventure!


  1. Candy June 3, 2018 at 3:06 am - Reply

    Sprouts are wonderful to eat and incorporate into salad. Easy to do and fun to watch grow.

  2. wendy June 3, 2018 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Such a healthy spring food! Great that you make your own! This is a fun thing to do with your kids too and I really love the crunch of sprouts in salads.

  3. Melissa Chapman June 3, 2018 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    I don’t even see the sprouts in the market so I would have to grow them myself. I need to find the seeds but it is great that they are ready in about a week or less.

  4. Katie Kinsley June 3, 2018 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    Sadly, I don’t have a green thumb. I was doing well this spring with a bunch of cilantro indoors with a grow light, but then, all of a sudden, I started getting mold and mushrooms. I even tried catnip once for my kitty – and they never grew. 🙁

  5. Kim June 3, 2018 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    Beet sprouts?? I never knew they existed and I LOVE beets. Those look so yummy. Going to have to give them a try.

  6. Heather Stone June 4, 2018 at 7:41 am - Reply

    I have never grown any sprouts before. We don’t have great soil here but I don’t have a green thumb. I so wish I could.

  7. Vyjay Rao June 4, 2018 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    We love sprouts, favourite being Chickpeas. Off late we have not been growing our own sprouts. But motivated looking at your post. We eat sprouts with a general sprinkling of spices.

  8. Jeanine June 4, 2018 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    I’d love to grow my own sprouts! I actually really enjoy eating them myself so this would be great for me to do!

  9. sara June 4, 2018 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    My Mom used to grow these sprouts when we were little! I remember enjoying them on my salad. Thank you for reminding me about this delicious and healthy snack.

  10. Roch June 4, 2018 at 11:51 pm - Reply

    We don’t have a gardening space at home to grow any vegetables but it’s a good thing that you can start seeding sprouts with only a small jar. It’s also nice to involve kids so they will learn how easy the process is.

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