Growing Sprouts from Seed
Home grown sprouts are easy to grow and fast to sprout. You can grow them in a mason jar, in a kitchen sieve, or in one of several specialized sprouters like the Biosta sprouter. Follow along with this handy How to Grow Sprouts from Seed Guide and grow delicious, nutritious, sprouts for your salads every day!
All sprouts are good for you. If you’re just starting out, you may want to try the very mild Alfalfa (ZSS102) or Mung Beans (ZSS705). For a stronger flavour, try the super-food Broccoli Sprouts (ZSS132) or spicy Red Radish Sprouts (ZSS202).
For Urban Gardeners:
Sprouting is the easiest way to grow food at home. We have been selling the Biosta Sprouter (ZHG177B) for 30 years, and it has proven to be the best sprouter on the market. It can produce as many sprouts as the typical household can consume, and it is 100% safe and easy to use.
Sprouting seeds sprout quickly and are ready for harvest usually within a week from first rinsing them. Grow only as many as you can reasonably eat within a given freshness period. Try staggering your sowing to get a long, continuous harvest. Sprouts can be grown at any time of the year.
The quantity of seeds to use depends on the size of the seeds in question as well as the size of your sprouter. Usually one tablespoon is ample. You will give these seeds an initial rinse in clean water, to wash away any dust or debris. After that, we recommend that you rinse your sprouts 3 times daily. It may be helpful to place your sprouter some place very central, like on a kitchen island, so that you will see it in the morning, when you come home from school or work, and again in the evening. Every time you rinse, you allow the sprouts to drain so they are not sitting in a pool of water.
Many sprout enthusiasts like to give sprouting seeds an initial soak to start the process. The thinking is that soaking allows the seeds to imbibe water, which breaks the dormancy, “waking up” the seed and starting germination. We feel that if the seeds are given a thorough rinse in the beginning that soaking the seeds is not wholly necessary. Water will remain present on and between the seeds, and in the sprouter after the first rinse. However, much of the sprouting literature recommends 8 to 12 hours of soaking before the first rinse/drain cycle.
Rinsing 3 times per day will help keep the sprouts fresh and free from mould. Allowing the rinse water to drain away means that the seeds will be in contact with oxygen – an important consideration for all germinating seeds. You might try using the drained rinse water to water houseplants, as it will contain enzymes from the developing seeds. Larger seeds, like radish sprouts, will develop a root that may be covered in fine filamentous rootlets. Don’t confuse these fuzzy structures with mould.
Once the first pair of leaves (the cotyledon or seed leaves) have opened, the sprouts are ready. Many sprout growers like to expose sprouts at this stage to bright, indirect sunlight, which causes chlorophyll to develop. The leaves will turn a much darker green colour, which may enhance the nutrition of the sprouts.
When the sprouts reach this stage they are ready for eating. Wash them energetically under cold water to loosen and discard any seed husks. They can then be used fresh or kept in the refrigerator for three or four days. Our Care Bags will keep sprouts fresher for longer by allowing them to breathe in the refrigerator.