How to Grow Sprouts Indoors All Year Long


* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 


How to grow sprouts indoors | Indoor growing | Grow food indoors | Grow sprouts in sprouting trays | Grow sprouts in Mason jarsSprouts are considered to be a nutrient-dense superfood. Learn how to grow sprouts indoors and add these fresh homegrown greens to your diet all year long!

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When I first started growing my own food at home, the gardening world seemed pretty black and white to me: plants grow in the dirt, outdoors, in the spring and summer. That’s what us city kids always learned in school anyway.

And obviously that’s not wrong, but once you get into gardening and growing food, a world full of endless possibilities starts to open up, including growing food indoors year-round.

But growing indoors can often conjure images of expensive lights, complicated hydroponics systems, converting your guest bedroom into an indoor garden and maybe even getting a visit from the police who got a call from your neighbour on the suspicion you’ve started a grow-op and are secretly part of a murderous gang. And let’s be honest, none of that sounds fun.

Thankfully, growing food indoors doesn’t require any of the above and it doesn’t have to be nearly as complicated or stressful as you might think. In fact, you can grow highly nutritious sprouts using nothing more than a Mason jar or a seed-starting tray on your kitchen counter, and you can grow them all year long!

 

 

What Are Sprouts?

Sprouts are exactly what they sound like: They’re sprouted seeds.

To break it down a little more, sprouts are seeds that have germinated and sprouted, but that haven’t grown into seedlings yet. They’re basically newborn plants.

If you think of full-grown plants as adults, and seedlings as babies and kids, sprouts are more like infant plants who have just hatched into the world. So sprouts are simply seeds that have been soaked and allowed to germinate, and are then harvested (aka. eaten) in the sprouting stage rather than being allowed to grow into full-grown plants.

 

The Nutritional Benefits of Sprouts

Sprouts are considered to be a superfood because of how nutrient dense they are. Because sprouts are infant plants, they’re packed full of nutrients that they need to grow into healthy, full-grown plants, and when we eat them, we get the health benefits of all of those nutrients in our own bodies.

Sprouts are also considered to be a highly nutritious food because they’re tiny but packed with nutrients, and because they’re so tiny, you can eat LOTS of them at once and therefore consume way more nutrients than if you were eating their full-grown counterparts. They’re also considered to be more nutritious than seeds because they’re a living food (as opposed to dormant seeds) which makes the nutrients they contain active and more bioavailable. In other words, the nutrients they contain are easier for our bodies to absorb.

They’re also very low in calories, so while sprouts alone won’t get you through a long, cold winter, they’re an excellent option for anyone looking to lower their calorie intake while upping their nutrient-consumption (and I’d venture to say that’s most people in the western world nowadays). PLUS, adding sprouts to pantry meals full of calorie and carbohydrate-dense grains and preserved fruits and vegetables throughout the winter will help give you complete nutrition all year long without having to step foot in a grocery store!

 

Related: 8 Things to Think About Before Starting Seeds

 

Other Benefits of Growing Sprouts Indoors

Sprouts are incredibly quick and easy to grow indoors and are super cost-efficient too. A pack of sprouting seeds usually costs anywhere from about $2 to $10 (depending on the type of seeds) and stretches quite a long way. On average, 1/4 cup of seeds is all you need to grow enough sprouts to divide up generously between a family of four or five.

To grow them, all you need is a Mason jar and a piece of mesh screen or a sprouting lid. Or you can invest a nominal amount in some sprouting trays (my preferred way to grow sprouts) and stack them on your kitchen counter to save space and grow even more.

To sprout the seeds, all you need is a little water. Because they’re harvested before they even become seedlings, you do not need any fancy overhead lights or even soil. Sprouts will grow indoors at any time of year, and typically take just a few days until they’re ready to harvest and eat.

 

Related: How to Make Your Own Indoor Grow Light Stand

 

How to grow sprouts indoors | Indoor growing | Grow food indoors | Grow sprouts in sprouting trays | Grow sprouts in Mason jars

 

Most Common Sprouting Seeds

While you can technically sprout just about any seed, nut or bean/legume, the most common seeds to sprout and eat are:

  • Mung beans
  • Lentils
  • Alfalfa
  • Clover
  • Radish
  • Broccoli
  • Sunflower
  • Peas

Some seeds can be dangerous to sprout and eat raw. Kidney beans and tomato seeds are two examples of seeds that produce toxins when sprouted. Always stick to using designated sprouting seeds.

How to grow sprouts indoors | Indoor growing | Grow food indoors | Grow sprouts in sprouting trays | Grow sprouts in Mason jars  

 

Using Mason Jars vs. Sprouting Trays to Grow Sprouts

There are two main ways to grow sprouts indoors…

  1. In Mason jars (or any glass jars)
  2. In sprouting trays

There are pros and cons to each method. Mason jars are great because you probably have some on hand already so they don’t cost a thing, and if you’re only growing one or types of sprouts, they take up very little counter space.

Sprouting trays are something you’ll probably need to purchase (albeit only once), but they allow you to grow more sprouts and allow for more airflow and surface space. This helps prevent the sprouts from going musty or even moldy, and prevents harmful bacteria from forming (which can happen if sprouts are not properly rinsed regularly and and left to stagnate).

The other nice thing about using sprouting trays is that you can stack them on top of one another and grow a few different kinds of sprouts at once without taking up any additional counter space. I use this sprouting kit, which allows me to grow up to three different types of sprouts at once in under one square foot of space. Sprouting trays are my preferred method, but in the end, the choice is yours and either way will work just fine.

 

How to Grow Sprouts Indoors

You’ll need to start by soaking seeds for at least 8 to 12 hours. Whether you plan to grow your sprouts in jars or trays, you’ll want to soak them in a jar to start out.

1. Scoop a small amount of seeds into a Mason jar (one or two tablespoons if growing in a Mason jar, up to 1/4 cup if growing in a tray) and cover with water. Cover the top of the jar with a piece of fine mesh or a sprouting lid and let soak for 8 to 12 hours. (I let mine soak overnight).

2. In the morning, or after the seeds have been initially soaked, strain out the water through the mesh or sprouting lid.

3. Rinse seeds again and strain once more.

* (If you don’t have a piece of fine mesh or a sprouting lid, you can simply strain seeds through a fine mesh strainer and return them to the jar or transfer them to a sprouting tray. You can use cheesecloth but sprouts tend to stick to the cheesecloth when you strain them so this method is a bit more cumbersome.)

4. At this point, if you’re using a Mason jar for the entire process, leave the rinsed, strained sprouts in the jar and tip the jar at a slight angle so that excess water can drain off and air can flow in. I find it easiest to place the jar at an angle in a bowl, but you could also place it in a dish rack if you have one.

5. If using a sprouting tray, transfer seeds to the sprouting tray instead. The sprouting tray has small holes in the bottom that naturally allow water to drain and air to flow in. Each tray sits on top of another tray which prevents any excess water from draining onto your counter.

6. Rinse sprouts once in the morning and again in the evening. Rinsing them helps to keep them moist and prevents them from sitting in stagnant water. Continue doing this until sprouts are ready to harvest and eat (usually within 2 to 6 days)

7. When sprouts are ready to harvest, rinse one more time under cold water and strain well. (I like to lay mine out on a paper towel to soak up excess moisture).

Either eat right away or transfer to a container or bag and store in the fridge for up to one week.

How to grow sprouts indoors | Indoor growing | Grow food indoors | Grow sprouts in sprouting trays | Grow sprouts in Mason jars

 

Ways to Use Sprouts

Sprouts make an excellent healthy addition to salads, sandwiches, soups, stir-fries and smoothies. Try adding alfalfa sprouts (or this 3 salad mix) to sandwiches or pita shells along with some deli meat and/or fresh sliced tomatoes and avocados.

Top your next salad with a few radish sprouts to add some spicy flavour. Radish sprouts, like all sprouts, tend to taste very similar to their full-grown counterparts, so radish sprouts pack the same spicy kick! Use sprouted beans in place of regular soaked beans in bean salad for added nutrition.

You can even use sprouted beans to make sprouted bean chilli! (Apparently the sprouted beans are easier to digest). Add bean sprouts to stir fries or Asian dishes. Use lentils to make sprouted lentil curry, or sprouted green peas to make sprouted green pea dip. Add sprouted wheat grass to smoothies or grind dried sprouted wheat berries to make super nutritious homemade bread!

You can use sprouts in place of their regular seed or full-grown counterparts in just about any recipe. The options are pretty much endless! So not only is growing sprouts a great way to grow food indoors year-round, it’s a fantastic way to expand you repertoire of healthy homemade recipes too!

 

Where to Buy Sprouting Kits and Seeds

My favourite place to purchase sprouts and sprouting accessories is from True Leaf Market (affiliate link). This is where I got my sprouting kit from that I use all the time.

You can also purchase sprouting jar kits and sprouting lids, as well as sampler packs of multiple different seeds or packs of individual seeds like alfalfa seeds or lentil seeds, or seed mixes like sandwich mix or bean salad mix.

I’ve also found a much smaller assortment of sprouting seeds from my local garden supply store, but I’ve found that ordering sprouts online has given me the best variety and value for money.

Have you ever grown sprouts before? If so, what’s your favourite way to enjoy them? Let me know down below:)

 

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂

 

 

     


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

6 Comments

  1. Robyn

    How long will sprouts last as you are cutting and eating them?

    Reply
    • Jamie Pearson

      Hi Robyn,

      I think you may be confusing sprouts with microgreens. Sprouts are simply sprouted seeds and do not need to be cut.

      As noted in the article you rinse them for 2-6 days until ready to harvest, and then rinse one more time under cold water and strain well (I like to lay mine out on a paper towel to soak up excess moisture). Either eat right away or transfer to a container or bag and store in the fridge for up to one week.

      Reply
  2. Grammyprepper

    I have a similar sprouting kit. I like it because it is much more hands off than the jar route. It also ‘feels’ safer to me. Because the seeds/sprouts don’t ‘sit’ in the water and the kit offers better airflow I feel there is less opportunity for mold/bacterial growth.

    Sorry for the loss of your beloved pet.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Yes I feel the same way. I find they go musty in the jar sometimes so I prefer the trays. But a jar works in a pinch:)

      Thanks for the condolences. He lived a good long life.

      Reply
  3. Sophia

    So helpful to me! I will take time to try it!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      🙂

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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I also asked YOU what emergency skills or supplies you recommend having in your back pocket “just in case,” and one of the responses I got was to have a bug out bag packed and ready to go.

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If the concept of a bug out bag is new to you, have a watch through this video and check out this article on 15 Emergency Preparedness Items You Need to Have Packed and Ready to Go: https://thehouseandhomestead.com/15-emergency-preparedness-items-you-need-packed-ready-to-go/

Also, if getting more prepared for anything and everything from a power outage to a natural disaster to a medical emergency to a man made disaster like a war or a cyber attack is a goal of yours, be sure to check out the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, which is packed with great advice on emergency preparedness for any situation. (Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit modernhomesteadingmagazine.com)

I’d also love to hear from you!

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With everything going on in the world these days, we’re getting more and more serious about equipping ourselves with the tools, supplies and skills needed to handle emergency situations if the need arises.

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One of our neighbours passed away very suddenly last week (just 50 years old 😔) and it reminded me of just how quickly things can go sideways. As far as we know he suffered a heart attack, and while his wife did everything she could to save him, by the time the ambulance arrived it was too late. It was a wake up call for me, that not only do we need to be prepared with supplies on hand, but with knowledge and skills too. I’m definitely looking into booking a refresher First Aid course and highly recommend everyone reading this do the same if this is a skill you need to brush up on!

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My hubby @ryan.sakawsky covered many emergency scenarios and how to prepare for them in detail in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, you can subscribe and read the latest issue via the link in my bio, or by visiting https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com/subscribe/

I’d also love to hear from you! What are you doing to prepare and/or what skills and resources would you recommend that everyone acquire now before it’s too late?

Comment below 👇
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(Quote in the reel by Mike Fitzgerald, “Rolling With the Punches,” Modern Homesteading Magazine | Issue 29 | Fall 2022).

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We’ve barely had time to adapt to the “new normal” and still things are continuing to shift, change, and in some cases spiral more each day.

From rising inflation and persistent supply chain issues, to a looming recession and food shortages that are expected to get worse after a very tough farming year, to a war on European soil and the threat of cyber attacks and (God forbid) a nuclear attack, to the future of digital IDs and increasingly pervasive government control over every aspect of our lives, it’s no wonder more people are looking for ways to escape the matrix and “opt out” of the system.

I consider myself an optimistic realist: I hope for the best and I live fully and freely in the moment, but I prepare for the future accordingly based on what I can see unfolding in our world. And honestly, I find this “sweet spot” to be incredibly empowering.

This is why I do what I do and why I share it with you on a regular basis; I WANT TO EMPOWER YOU TOO!

That’s why I created The Society of Self-Reliance: A private membership that connects you with the resources, support and community you need to reclaim your independence and become more self-reliant in every aspect of your life.

From growing and preserving your own food to crafting and using herbal medicine to life skills like how to manage it all and stay calm in stressful situations, how to prepare for emergency situations and much more, if you’re ready to learn invaluable skills that will help you take control of your family’s food security, health and wellbeing, time, finances, and ultimately over your own future, The Society of Self-Reliance was created for you!

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Doctors are not gods and as mothers we do not co-parent with the government!!!

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I’ve hesitated about posting this reel over and over because I know I’ll probably get backlash, hate and vitriol from some people in return. But I wouldn’t be being true to myself if I didn’t speak the truth that’s on my heart and mind…

If you haven’t noticed, there are currently thousands of Canadians sharing their stories and using the hashtag #trudeaumustgo on their social media posts right now in response to the divisive rhetoric and actions of our prime minister over the past few months. But our media has downplayed the issue and has attributed most of the hashtags to “bot” accounts and foreigners trying to influence our politics.

In response, real Canadians are making videos and sharing their stories to show that we are not bots, but real people who have been negatively affected by the words and actions of our leaders, particularly our leader at the top.

I used to consider myself a lifelong leftist and have supported the liberal government and Trudeau over the years, but after what I’ve witnessed over the past few months; After how he has spoken about Canadians who have made a different medical choice or who have protested mandates (which have done nothing to stop the spread of you-know-what anyway); After the hate and division that has trickled down from the top and infiltrated our communities, I can no longer stand silently by.

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I lost followers, friends and even a couple family members. I was told I’d been “radicalized,” although my views have never changed.

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(Special thanks to fellow 🇨🇦 homesteader @meggarlandd for inspiring me & giving me the courage to post this:)
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284 59

What would you do if the grid went down?

Imagine not just the lights going out, but all power, all digital communication and information. Would you be prepared?

A lot of us THINK we’re prepared for a grid down situation, but unless you’re already living off grid, you might not realize how dependent on technology we really are!

In the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, contributor Ashley Constance of @dirtypawshomestead and @alittleselfreliant shares her experience voluntarily going without power for the day, and what she and her husband, Shawn learned from their grid down experiment.

You might be surprised at the things they discovered and missed on their prep list, and it might prompt you to reevaluate whether you’re ready in case the grid goes down, or even just Google 😱

Check out the full story in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine!

Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

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The other day when I had a few minutes to spare, I was out in the garden doing a little work when my neighbour said hi over the fence.

I lamented to her about how busy we’ve been and how hard it’s been to keep on top of this year. Very sincerely, she replied “wait until you have another one,” referring to our baby on the way.

“You’ll be moving back to the suburbs so quick, mark my words,” she said.

Now, I don’t for a second think there was any ill intent behind her statement, but still, it took me aback.

“We’ll never move back to the city or the suburbs,” I replied with a laugh. “This may be hard work but we love it.”

She then repeated her statement and followed it up with “just you wait and see.”

I decided not to continue the back and forth. After all, I told myself, it doesn’t matter if she or anyone else knows what’s truly in your heart. It doesn’t matter if she understands that there’s no amount of difficulty that would make me run back to the suburbs and leave this life behind. In fact, our dream is to upgrade to a bigger property someday where we can grow an even bigger garden and add more livestock to our homestead!

Likewise, I visited the city last weekend for a family event and as always, I had at least a couple people ask me “so when are you moving back to the city?”

Seven years later, and still we have friends and family members who think this is just a phase we’re going through, and eventually we’ll come to our senses and move back.

I used to get offended by these questions because I felt unseen; I felt like nobody took this life that I’m so passionate about seriously, and thought it was “cute” that I was “playing farmer” for a bit, but eventually I had to grow up and become part of the “real world” once again.

Now I just smile and reply “never:)”

Can you relate? How do you (politely) respond when someone questions your lifestyle choices or implies that you’ll eventually come to your senses and come back to “reality”?

Let me know below 👇
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88 16

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• Drool-worthy recipes that feature garlic as the star!
• Expert advice from A Farmgirl in the Making’s Ann Accetta-Scott on what to look for (and look out for) when buying or selling a homestead property
• Advice on how to learn and grow from perceived homesteading “failures”

And more!!!

Go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com or click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky to subscribe or login to the library and read the latest issue if you’re already subscribed!
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