Sprouts are nutritious and add crunch, texture and flair to dishes. If you love sprouts, you’ll know that finding them at even the best stocked grocery store is difficult. Delicate and perishable, when available, they tend to come in plastic containers. What to do when you’re craving them on a sandwich, salad, lettuce wrap or spring roll? For the best variety, freshest product and less plastic waste–grow your own!
You don’t need special equipment or skill to grow sprouts. For years I used canning jars with a piece of nylon screen over the top, soaking the seed in fresh water for a few hours, draining off the water and re-moistening a few times a day.
Santa brought me a set of stacking seed starter trays/germinators especially for the kitchen and I must admit they’ve been quite handy to keep rotating batches of sprouts going in winter when home garden vegetable harvests are slimmer. Clean, room temp water is poured into the top tray several times a day, after which it drains through the stacks to rest in a bottom storage tray. Saves a step or two, and better air circulation to boot.
Finding local sources of food grade sprouting seed has turned out to be much easier than finding fresh sprouts. Buy only seed labeled expressly for edible sprouts (it will have been tested for absence of E. coli and salmonella bacteria). I’ve bought seed sprouting mixes at my local independent nursery in large seed packet paper envelopes; mart-style box store and small town hardware store in zip top bags (with canning supplies); health food store bulk food section; and of course, seed companies through both catalogs and the web. I sourced my sprouting trays through a regional seed company catalog.
Sterilization of your jars and trays is important for food safety. Clean well and let dry completely between batches and wash your hands well before handling the containers, seeds and sprouts.
For a short and informative video on how to grow sprouts in jars and in sprouting trays, check out this video “How to grow sprouts” from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply: https://www.groworganic.com/collections/sprouting-seeds