Sprouts are nutritional powerhouses, packed with protein, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. Most consumers are familiar with alfalfa sprouts and bean sprouts, but many other kinds of sprouts can be grown, too. From spicy radish, garlic or fenugreek sprouts to nutritionally dense broccoli and kale sprouts, adventurous eaters discover a world of flavors. Using a specially designed sprouting box is a convenient way to contain your sprouts, and it makes the growing process easier.
Things You'll Need
Sanitize the sprouting box before each use by soaking it for two to three minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of bleach per 1 gallon of water. Wash, rinse and dry the tablespoon thoroughly before using it again.
Rinse sprout seeds with water, and place them in the sprouting box. The amount of seeds to use depends on the seeds’ size, the sprouting box’s size and how many sprouts you want. Start with 2 tablespoons of seeds, adding more or less in subsequent batches as desired.
Add water that is about 80 degrees Fahrenheit to the sprouting box, using enough water to cover the seeds by about 1 inch. Cover the sprouting box with its lid or cover. If your box does not have a lid or cover, then place cheesecloth on the box, and secure it with a rubber band.
Set the sprouting box in a dark location for eight to 12 hours or overnight. Small seeds should be ready after eight hours while larger seeds need the full 12 hours.
Remove the sprouting box’s cover, and drain the water from the sprouting box. Refill the sprouting box with water, and drain its water again to rinse the seeds.
Put the cover back on the sprouting box securely. Turn the sprouting box upside down, and prop it on a tray, drain board or baking pan so that the box’s water can drain.
Rinse the seeds and drain the water three times each day. Empty water from the tray, drain tray or baking pan each time. Continue this process for four or five days, until the sprouts are 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, or up to 2 inches long for bean sprouts.
Place the sprouting box in a sunny spot that receives indirect sunlight if you desire green sprouts. Skip this step if you grow bean sprouts, however. Continue rinsing and draining the sprouts three times each day, until the sprouts are green and about 2 inches in length.
Rinse the sprouts a final time, removing all hulls that float to the top. Store the sprouts in a sealed storage container in a refrigerator, and use them within three to four days.
References and ResourcesMother Earth News: Growing Sprouts at Home
University of California Cooperative Extension: Growing Seed Sprouts at Home