Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Adventures in Sprouting - Growing Alfalfa Sprouts

Finished Alfalfa Sprouts
I purchased some organic alfalfa seeds the other week as part of my winter sprouting endeavor. I've probably only eaten alfalfa sprouts a handful of times in my life, but since they are Marc's favorite, I thought I'd add them to our diet and regular sprouting schedule. There's no disputing their nutritional value, that's for sure.

Making Alfalfa Sprouts
For those who have never sprouted seeds before, it's really easy. For most seeds, all you need is a large mason jar fitted with a screw-top band and some cheese cloth. You start by soaking your seeds for 12 hours. Several layers of cheese cloth stretched across the mouth of the jar allows for easy rinsing and proper air circulation.

Making Alfalfa Sprouts 2
You want to rinse your seeds about 2 to 3 times a day. After rinsing, spread your seeds throughout the inner surface area of your jar by turning it several times. (This provides better overall air circulation.) Keep your jar faced downward at a 45 degree angle at all times to allow for excess water to drain into a bowl.

Your sprouts should be ready in about 6 days. To remove the seed coats, submerge the sprouts in a large bowl or salad spinner filled with water. As the seed coats float to the top, carefully tip the bowl to pour them off. Excess moisture will cause sprouts to spoil quickly so run them through a salad spinner before storing them in an air-tight container in the fridge.

How do you like to eat your sprouts?


  1. I'm going to try starting some sprouts soon. I have seen a few videos on youtube and read a few articles, but I like your simplicity and will try it this way first.

    You really have greats posts here!


  2. Alfalfa and broccoli sprouts are my two favorites.
    I like the alfalfa on sandwhiches and the broccoli in my salads. I've added them to stir fry, but, I find they are a little wimpy and don't hold up well to the high heat.
    I might give a go at trying to sprout at home.
    Thanks for posting about sprouts. Learn something new each time I visit! Love it!

  3. Thank you for highlighting sprouting. I've got some sprout seeds...and a mesh topper for a mason jar...I've just been too intimidated to try it. But now I will...my husband loves sprouts, too!

  4. I love to eat alfalfa sprouts on vegetarian sandwiches with slices of fresh cucumber, chunks of button mushroom, and a big slice of summer tomato. You are making me long for summer now.

    For winter, they're great on turkey sandwiches with slices of red onion. And in spring, of course, topping a salad with whatever is in season... carrots, lettuces, mustards, radishes.

    Have you ever tried Fenugreek sprouts? Those are excellent, too!

  5. Another great post on sprouting Thomas. I tried your tip on growing mung bean sprouts with weight on them, and it produced some lovely & long sprouts. I've got another batch going right now.

    I like to mix other seeds in with my alfalfa, like clover, arugula or broccoli. It's all good, and tasty on salads or sandwiches.

  6. Looks great! I will use them in a stir fry, but my favorite is raw in a salad or on a home grilled panini!

  7. I don't eat them regularly but I think they would be a good choice to add to salads. One warning - DO NOT ADD TO A SHAKE. The entire thing will taste like super strong sprouts and you won't be able to taste anything else. It's unbelievable. If you made a 5L shake and put in a single sprout, that's all it will taste like...

  8. Your sprouts look great Thomas. I started my mung beans last night with your instructions. How long do you weight them for, the whole time?

    I am envisioning a stir fry and homemade egg rolls in a few days :-)

  9. I think I need to give sprouts a try. I like alfalfa sprouts alot so maybe I should give them a try first?

  10. Hey dan, yes, I keep the wait on until the very last day. Good luck!

  11. I went to an organic store yesterday and got mung bean and radish sprouts. So excited to try these as I've never had sprouts. They had the mesh top, but I going to start with the cheesecloth.

  12. Andrea, you should probably pick up the mesh top one of these days. The only reason why I used cheesecloth is because it was what I had lying around. Hopefully, I'll see the mesh top on of these days.

  13. We eat them straight out of the canning jar I sprout them in! I usually sprout mung beans. I like to soak almonds also, but usually eat them all b4 they sprout. :) I tried adzuki beans which sprouted fine, but I didn't like the taste as much.
    I just soak mine in a canning jar with regular lid for a day, and then rinse them a few times a day for a couple of days. After that, I put them in the fridge where I should continue to rinse them morning and night, but usually they are eaten by then or--sadly--forgotten.