The most popular and convenient method for sprouting seeds at home is in a jar. It’s a great way to grow your own fresh, organic vegetables at home. It's also a great way to save money and avoid the chemicals used in store-bought produce. Plus, sprouting seeds in a jar is easy enough for anyone to do. You just need some seeds, water, and a jar that can be covered with cheesecloth.
If you're new to sprouting seeds, we've got you covered. In this article, we'll share everything you need to know about how to grow sprouts in a jar.
Before we jump right into the main discussion of how to grow sprouts at home, let's lay the groundwork with a discussion of what seed sprouting is, the benefits of growing sprouts, and what you need to get started.
WHAT IS SEED SPROUTING?
Seed sprouting is the process of germinating seeds and putting out shoots. It involves soaking the seeds in water, then keeping them warm and moist until they sprout.
Sprouting can be done for most types of seeds, including peas, beans, lentils, and even grains like rice. You can grow sprouts at home, and it’s very simple to do, even in a small space. It’s not only easy, but the resulting sprouts can be used in a variety of dishes.
Furthermore, homegrown sprouts are often vastly cheaper than store-bought sprouts. A new batch of sprouts should be started every week or two to keep up with your family's appetite for them.
By starting with seeds and sprouts, there is also minimal impact on the environment from food waste.
WHY IS SPROUTING GOOD FOR YOU?
Sprouting is a great way to get the most out of your favorite seeds and legumes. Sprouting activates enzymes and increases the nutrient content of your food, making it more digestible, nutritious, and delicious. Here are some other benefits of sprouting:
- Increases vitamins and minerals
- Increases enzyme activity
- Improves digestion
Reduces phytic acid (which blocks the absorption of nutrients)
HOW TO GROW SPROUTS AT HOME:
The most popular and convenient method for sprouting seeds is in a jar. It doesn't require much equipment at all! Just 3 easy items (a clear jar, breathable fabric, and a rubber band) can get you started on the road to healthy fresh food. Following these basic sprouts directions, almost any seed or bean can be sprouted in a jar.
1. CHOOSE A JAR AND LID FOR SPROUTING SEEDS.
Any glass jar will do for sprouting, though one with a wide opening is most convenient for rinsing, draining, and removing sprouted seeds. Choose a jar large enough to contain the seeds and sprouts.
2. RINSE SEEDS FOR SPROUTING.
Rinse seeds well with cool water (around 70ºF) and drain. Remove any debris, stones, or broken seeds. When sprouting smaller seeds, removing broken seeds is not practical. But do look for any non-seed material and remove it at this point, if possible.
NOTE:Don't use cold or hot water—it could damage the seeds!
Sweet Greens Sprouting Seed Blend
3. SOAK SEEDS FOR SPROUTING.
Place rinsed seeds in a jar and fill about ¾ full with cool water. Cover with a mesh lid or cloth, secured with a rubber band, to allow airflow.
A general rule is to soak for at least 8 hours. Some larger seeds may require a longer soak. Soak until the seeds have doubled in size. Keep in mind that temperature also affects soak time. In warmer temperatures, the soak time is shorter. In cooler temperatures, soak time is longer, and larger seeds like chickpeas or kidney beans may require a 24-hour soak.
4. DRAIN SEEDS WELL.
It is important to drain the seeds well for several hours while allowing plenty of air circulation. Mesh lids work well for this step, as the jar may be inverted and propped at an angle to drain for long periods.
5. RINSE, DRAIN, AND REPEAT THE STEPS FOR SEED SPROUTING.
Rinse seeds with cool water and repeat draining. Rinse gently to avoid damaging tender new sprouts. Usually, 2-3 days of rinsing and draining about 3 times per day are sufficient.
In very warm temperatures, rinse more frequently. In cold weather, less frequent rinsing may be fine, but keep in mind that seeds may not sprout as well. A temperature of about 65-80ºF for most seeds is fine.
6. FINAL RINSE AND DRAIN FOR SPROUTING SEEDS.
Once sprouts are ready to harvest, rinse one final time and remove un-sprouted seeds and seed hulls, if desired. Drain thoroughly one final time before eating or storing sprouts.
USING SPROUTED SEEDS
Sprouts are ready to eat at any point after a sprout tail appears. Taste sprouted seeds daily and enjoy once they taste good to you. Many seeds will lose their mild flavor if sprouted too long. In general:
- Sprout grains just until the sprout tail appears for cooking ordehydrating and grinding to flour
- Sprout grains in a jar just until the sprout tail appears, and transfer to the soil forgrowing grass for juicing.
- Sprout legumes just until the sprout tail appears or before leaves appear.
- Sprout seeds to the desired length, tasting daily.
- Sprout seeds in a jar just until the sprout tail appears, and transfer to a tray for growing longer sprouts. Or transfer seeds to a tray with soil for growing microgreens.
STORING SPROUTS AND SPROUTED SEEDS
Sprouts are easy to grow in small batches, staggered, so that there are fresh sprouts to eat daily. However, if storing is necessary, make sure the sprouts have drained completely before storing. Transfer to a glass or plastic container, seal tightly, and store in the refrigerator for a few days.
GROWING YOUR SPROUT SEEDS WITH CULTURE FOR HEALTH
Now that you know exactly how to sprout seeds in a jar, it's time to do it yourself, and Cultures for Health is here to help.
We have the best selection of everything fermentation, from tools to starters to all-in-one kits. Cultures for Health is your one-stop shop for all of your needs.
We have three different types of seeds you can use to sprout that work well, depending on what kind of sprouts you'd like.
- Sweet Greens Sprouting Seed Blend
- Deli Sandwich Sprouting Seed Blend
- Vegan Protein Sprouting Seed Blent
FAQS ABOUT GROWING SPROUTS AT HOME:
HOW LONG DO SPROUTS TAKE TO GROW IN A JAR?
It depends on the sprouts! Some sprouts, like alfalfa, chickpeas, and green peas, can take as little as three days to grow. Others are slower growers, like beet or sunflower seeds (which can take two to three weeks to sprout).
Secondly, the quality of your seeds will affect how quickly they sprout. If your seeds are old or have been improperly stored, they'll take longer to germinate. The best way to know how long your sprout will take is to check out the package or online resource for that specific type of seed.
WHAT KIND OF SPROUTS CAN YOU GROW IN A JAR?
You can grow almost any kind of sprout in a jar! Bean and pea sprouts, sprouted grains, and sprouts from vegetables, nuts, and other seeds are all popular options. Here are a few suggestions:
HOW MANY SEEDS DOES IT TAKE TO SPROUT IN A JAR?
It depends on the type of seed, the type of sprout you're growing, and the time you're planning on keeping the jar. In general, though, it's good to start with two tablespoons of seeds for each quart-sized jar. This will fill your jar with sprouts so that you can enjoy them for days!
DO YOU NEED SPECIAL SEEDS FOR SPROUTING IN A JAR?
If you're a beginner, it’s best to use seeds sold specifically for sprouting. Sprouting seeds are specially manufactured to be free of certain chemicals that can harm our health. Therefore, only buy seeds intended for sprouting use. We can help provide some of the bestsprouting supplies andseeds to sprout for your home use.
DO SPROUTS NEED SUNLIGHT?
Sprouts don't need sunlight to grow, but they do need some light to photosynthesize and produce their own food. Make sure not to put your sprouting jars in direct sunlight. This can cause your sprouts to become too hot. Room light should be enough for most of their growing process.
WHAT SEED WILL SPROUT THE FASTEST IN A JAR?
Lentils and mung beans grow the fastest, sprouting in as little as three days. Alfalfa, chickpeas, and adzuki beans need a bit more time to grow, sprouting between three to five days.
THE BOTTOM LINE FOR SPROUTING AT HOME:
Growing veggies and herbs from seed is fun and rewarding. And it's even more gratifying when you enjoy eating your own homegrown food throughout the season. Sprouts are a great way to get started on your gardening journey.
Sprouts are also a tasty and nutritious way to add bulk and flavor to your diet. You can eat them as they are or add them as part of a salad or sandwich. They're easy to make at home, and in no time, you'll have a delicious kitchen garden filled with healthy sprouts.
If you're ready to start sprouting your own seeds,click here to check out our whole collection of seed-sprouting products now!