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April 2010

Growing Sprouts

Sprout TrayI love growing sprouts and have done so off and on for about ten years. This year, however, I stopped for a couple months over the winter. Until I began sprouting again recently, I had forgotten how much I missed sprinkling fresh sprouts on my salads, soups, veggie wraps, and added to stir-fries. I love the variety of flavor, crunch and texture that they add to my meals.

Though the initial costs of sprouters and seeds can be a little steep, the cost per batch of sprouts is quite low and much more economical than the cost of buying wilted, gross sprouts at your local grocer.

Resurrected below is my original article about sprouting, originally posted on AromaWeb in March, 2009. Because so many people aren't aware of how easy it is to grow sprouts (and fascinating/fun for kids to help!), this article deserves to be dusted off and republished. Since the time I first published this article, I've switched to exclusively using the Easy Sprout Sprouter (see link below).

Sprouts: Easy to Grow, Nutritious and Can Be Grown Indoors Year Round

As a former vegetarian, I remain a veggie lover and advocate for consuming fresh, uncooked, organic produce whenever possible. I have enjoyed growing sprouts indoors for almost ten years. Growing sprouts is an easy way to ensure that you eat freshly grown and harvested produce even during the colder months of the year.

The Advantages to Sprouting...

  • Relatively easy
  • Inexpensive
  • Doesn't take up much space
  • Most sprouts are ready to consume in 2-4 days
  • Educational for children

Bioset SprouterI love adding sprouts to my salads, sandwiches, veggie wraps, stir fries, soups and as a garnish. Sometimes, I sneak a small handful of alfalfa or red clover sprouts into my smoothies as their flavor can't be detected once blended.

Sprouts are low in calories and are rich in an array of enzymes and nutrients including vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Compared to sprouts purchased at the store, your own sprouts are fresher and cost a lot less. Since growing my own sprouts, I wouldn't dream of buying sprouts in the store as even their "fresh" sprouts look so old compared to those I grow.

Seeds Suitable for Sprouting...

  • Alfalfa
  • Red Clover
  • Red Lentil
  • Daikon Radish
  • Mung Bean
  • Adzuki Bean
  • Buckwheat
  • Fenugreek
  • Broccoli

Finding Sprout Seeds...

I recommend purchasing your sprouting seeds from well known sources that offer organic seeds. AromaWeb advertiser Mountain Rose Herbs sells a small selection of certified organic sprouting seeds. I've tried several of their varieties including their alfalfa, red clover, red lentil and fenugreek seeds. If you are an AromaWeb advertiser that sells sprouting seeds, let me know so I can update this post to also mention your company.

A Tip about Chia Seeds...

Like flax seeds, chia seeds are extremely mucilaginous. In other words, they become especially sticky once they have been moistened. They're perfect for Chia Pets and they are nutritious, but they won't grow successfully for you if you use a standard sprouter. If you find yourself given chia seeds but don't want to go to the hassle of sprouting them, include them in your favorite smoothie recipe.

How to Grow Sprouts...

To grow sprouts, you will need a sprouter. There are quite a few varieties available. . I use two types of sprouters. The first is the Bioset Seed Sprouter. I also regularly use and now prefer the Easy Sprout Sprouter because it offers better drainage and is easier to clean. For the serious sprout lover, large family or restaurant owner, larger and more advanced sprouters exist.

Although growing sprouts is easy, I'll leave it up to the directions that come with your sprouter.

For More Information...


For more information on growing sprouts, consider reading one of the above books.