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Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Sprouting Seeds

Sprouting seeds is probably one of the easiest things a person can do to ensure more nutrition is incorporated in their food choices. All that is needed is a quart size mason jar (a wide mouth jar will also work) with a ring screw top lid and a piece of cheese cloth.  In the past I’ve used a new knee high nylon with an elastic rubber band.  You may want to purchase a stainless steel sprouting screen instead.

The choice of which beans and seeds to use is up to you but any sprouts can add flavor to your salads and sandwiches and also adds more live foods to your meals. Some of the beans and seeds that can be sprouted are: green peas, garbanzo beans which you may have in your pantry.  Other seeds that can be found are radish and clover seeds. We currently purchase a one pound bag of seed salad mix through Frontier wholesale Coop.  But there is the option for you to purchase the seeds separately .

If you’ve never tried sprouting but are thinking about it but have been procrastinating here is an easy step by step process which I have used and I hope will be of encouragement to you.

Using your clean quart size mason jar, place two to three tablespoon full of your selected seeds in the jar. Add clean water to the jar enough to cover at least three to four inches above the seeds. You want to ensure there will be enough water for the seeds to soak up. It is always preferable to use some kind of pure water such as distilled water but I know that is not always possible. Using distilled or filtered water ensures that no added chemicals will enter the soaking seeds.

You will then place the cheese cloth or other preferred mesh over the mouth of the jar and secure with jar screw top, rubber band or piece of string.

Let the seeds soak overnight for a minimum of six hours if you are using the smaller seeds. Beans will take longer and I will cover sprouting beans in another post.

In the morning, you will want to drain the water from the jar and that can easily be done by holding jar  upside down until all the water has been drained. I let my jar rest in the dish rack for a few more minutes to ensure there is no water at the bottom. Living in the southern states can leave the seeds soggy at the bottom if the water is not drained properly.

After rinsing, place jar back out of direct light. I found that by placing my jar on its side allows more room for the seeds to germinate.

Repeat Rinse and Drain
Rinsing and draining will need to be done at least 3 times during the day: morning, mid day and in the evening. Use clean water every time and drain according to instructions above. Some seeds may stick to the sides so be sure to swish the water around and have all seeds have a chance to get wet. Wait 10-20 seconds before draining. This procedure will take anywhere from three to five days depending on temperature.

On the last day, once the sprouts have germinated, 1 to 2 inches long, you will want to expose your jar in daylight. This will ensure the sprouts to become green, they will develop chlorophyll. It usually takes my seeds around 3-5 days but it may take longer. Be sure to continue to rinse and drain until sprouts are ready.

Place sprouted seeds in the refrigerator. They will last 2-4 days with good moisture.

Note: Author Sally Fallon of Nourishing Traditions does not recommend sprouting alfalfa.  She states that tests have shown alfalfa sprouts inhibit the immune system and can contribute to inflammatory arthritis and lupus.  Alfalfa seeds contain an amino acid called canavanine that can be toxic to man and animals when taken in quantity.  (Canavanine is not found in mature alfalfa plants; it is apparently metabolized during growth.)  I personally have eaten alfalfa sprouts and have not had problems.  My advice, do your research if you are concerned.

For those who have sprouted and enjoy the benefits, please leave some encouraging comments!

This post was shared with Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFLINS


  1. Great post, very informative. I love to sprout! My children love to sprout! One of our favorites is lentils, we eat these by themselves as a snack food!

  2. We love sprouts too! Oh and so does my chickens!

  3. wow, I was just going to start seed sprouting, thanks for the info, it was very helpful. I read the post about certain raw veggies being potentially harmful. And I looked up some references, and don't agree with the conclusions of Ms. Fallon. But I agree, do your own research.

  4. Thank you Trish for your comment, It is good to hear that my post was helpful. Email me if you need help with your sprouting.

  5. I'm looking forward to sprouting. I've sprouted quinoa, but prefer cooked quinoa. Will it still have the same nutritional value if sprouted, then cooked?

  6. Hello Anonymous, I would believe that yes the nutritional value in most sprouted foods would be high as they are considered a live food. There are only a few beans that we need to be careful of when sprouting, they would need to be sauteed. The kidney beans will need to be cooked according to Sally Fallon.


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