One day a few months ago I was at the grocery store in the produce section and I saw a small package of alfalfa sprouts. My mind went wild with thoughts of sprinkling sprouts into wraps and sandwiches and on top of eggs as I tossed them in my cart. Later, back at home, I started wondering about these little sprouts and what the health benefits were so naturally, I googled. It turns out that alfalfa sprouts have concentrated amounts of some vitamins and minerals because they are baby alfalfa plants. There is approximately 10 mcg of Vitamin K in 1 cup of sprouts, which is about 13% of the daily recommended value. My research indicated that Vitamin K could help me live longer and I thought, “that’s good”.
Since I was going to be eating a lot more alfalfa sprouts, I decided I needed to figure out how to grow them myself, because gardening, DIY and saving money are my favorite. I paid $1.99 for 4 oz of alfalfa sprouts at the grocery store and I just knew that I could grow them for less. I went to Amazon and purchased 1 Pound of Todd’s Alfalfa Sprouting Seeds. I decided to go with these seeds for a few reasons: 1) they referred to them as chemical free which I think is code for organic. I decided a while ago that if I was going to sell any of my produce from my farm I would call it “chemical free” since I don’t use pesticides or herbicides in my garden but can’t use the word organic without going through an expensive certification process with the USDA. Whether or not these seeds are actually organic, I’ll never know, but do you really know about the stuff labelled organic anyway? I digress. 2) 4.5 star rating on amazon with the worst complaint being “they made my parakeet vomit” 3) the listing on amazon says that they are packed and inspected by real humans 4) They provide instructions on their website for growing the sprouts. You can read their instructions here.
I received my seeds and 6 days later I had a pile of beautiful little alfalfa sprouts! Here’s how I do it:
- Take 2 Tablespoons of seeds, rinse them, then place them in a clean quart size glass mason jar and cover them with water, cover the jar with butter muslin (fine cheesecloth) and a rubber band and leave them overnight (or for 8-12 hours).
- Pour out the water and rinse the seeds by swirling water around in the jar, then pouring it through the muslin.
- Roll the jar on its side to get the wet seeds to stick to the sides of the jar instead of clumping up. Your seeds should be moist but not soaked.
- Leave the jar on your counter on its side out of direct sunlight and roll it when you think of it.
- Twice a day rinse the seeds by filling the jar with clean water, swishing the seeds around and pouring the water out.
After a few days you should see the little seeds starting to sprout. Keep up with the rinsing and after 6-7 days your sprouts should be filling the jar!
At this point they are ready for consumption! You can rinse them, let them dry slightly by letting them sit out in a strainer for an hour and put them in the fridge. You can also put them out in the sun for a few minutes to green them up before they hit the fridge.
In case you are wondering about how the cost of growing sprouts compares to the cost in the store, don’t worry, I did the math! By my calculation, one batch of alfalfa sprouts made at home (which is approximately 8 ounces) costs only 62 cents, or less than 8 cents per ounce! Compared to the ones in the store which are 1.99 for 4 ounces, or about 50 cents an ounce. The other benefit is that you don’t have to go to the store to buy them! Grocery shopping is one of my least favorite activities so growing sprouts at home gives me one more reason I can avoid the store!
Ok, now that I have convinced you that you need to eat alfalfa sprouts and that you should sprout them yourself you’re probably wondering how you should eat your sprouts. Fear not! I have some ideas for you!
- The next time you make a sandwich or a wrap, toss some sprouts on there!
- What’s a fried egg without sprouts?
- Can you even eat a salad without sprouts on it?
- Take your soup to the next level by dropping some sprouts in your bowl
- Make some spring rolls!
- Pizza night? Put some sprouts on it!
Not a fan of alfalfa sprouts? There are lots of other kinds of sprouts out there that you can try. You could go wild and even try sprouting multiple different kinds of seeds mixed together!