Growing alfalfa sprouts in your kitchen

Do you know how easy it is to grow alfalfa sprouts?

I didn’t until recently. I used to buy them on rare occasions for special recipes. Because it seemed like they were a luxury ingredient. One that didn’t take away much when it was skipped.

And then I started seeing stories of recalls and e coli and the like showing up in grocery store sprouts. And, I decided that they weren’t a luxury item, they were a dangerous item to buy at the grocery store.

And then I read something about growing them at home. It seemed like a throwback to the crunchy granola hippie days of the early 1970s. I realized that it was now economical and safe to have alfalfa sprouts again. It feeds my need to garden in the dead of winter, too.

I bought my alfalfa seeds from Amazon. They are Sprout House organic alfalfa seeds. If $14 for a pound of seeds seems high (I think I got mine slightly cheaper than that), rest assured a pound will last you a LONG time.

I found a similar article on ehow Home to guide me. But, here’s my step-by-step.

You will need:

  • A quart-size mason jar and lid ring (ring only)
  • small piece of screen or cheese cloth that will fit over the lid
  • alfalfa seeds

Measure 2 Tb of seeds into the jar. Fill jar halfway with cold water and soak seeds over night.

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The next day, screw the ring on over the screen to hold it in place. Drain the seeds, rinse with cold water and drain again. Lay the jar on its side and gently roll it to spread the seeds around the sides so they aren’t laying in one wet clump. Place on a window sill or somewhere the seeds will have light exposed to them.

IMG_2889IMG_2890Rinse and drain the seeds and spread them around the jar everyday for a couple days. You will see the sprouts begin to form from the seeds after about three days. Once the sprouts appear, it won’t take long for them to grow. They seem to grow like crazy! The jar will completely fill up with sprouts, and you will see tiny leaves begin to form. This means the sprouts are ready. The whole process takes around five to seven days.

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Carefully remove the sprouts from the jar and lay out on a paper towel to dry a bit for 10 or 15 minutes. I wrap my sprouts in a clean paper towel and store in a gallon-size ziplock bag in the refrigerator for a week or so.

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My brown bag lunch salad with alfalfa sprouts and feta

They are great on sandwiches and in salads. I could probably cut the amount I grow in half, honestly. A quart of alfalfa sprouts is a lot of sprouts. But much cheaper than buying them at the grocery store. And no extra pathogens either.

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