Sprouting seeds is an easy and inexpensive way to provide yourself with incredibly nutritious food year round. Because sprouted seeds are "raw" food they don't loose their essential vitamins and nutrients which happens during the cooking process. Also, as the seeds grow, proteins, enzymes, vitamins and other nutrients increase while becoming more easily absorbed by the body. (bioavailable)
While you can sprout any seeds, I've only done Alfalfa although I have Wheat Berry on hand and I recently read that Quinoa sprouts well so I might try that next.
And when I say easy, I mean easy!
Seeds, water, a jar, a screen and an elastic is all you. I originally bought a "sprouting starter kit" at Halifax Seed only because the kit contained a thin screen that I still use to this day.
Start by ensuring you have a nice clean mason jar. My jar of choice has always been a salsa jar as I always seem to have a lot of them around the house. But my friend UrbanHippy recently pointed out to me that it's easier to use a Mason jar because that way you can hold the screen on using the jar lid ring instead of an elastic band. He also uses door screen which is much easier to obtain then the screen I use. I do plan on using a Mason jar and lid ring the next time I sprout seeds.
Measure 1 tablespoon of your seed and pour it into your jar.
To get the sprouting process started, it is vital that you soak your seeds for at least 8 hours.
Below show my seeds in the jar with my screen on top. Usually when I soak my seeds, I will put clean, filtered water in before I go to bed and let it soak over night. Different seeds take a different amount of time but I've always found that overnight is sufficient for Alfalfa.
Be sure to use good clean water!
In the morning, drain the water well. This is why the screen comes in handy.
From this point on, you want to rinse your seeds two or three times a day. Simply put in some water, swish it around and drain well.
You want to keep the seeds moist but ensure that they are not sitting in a pool of water at the bottom of the jar.
Now put them somewhere out of direct sunlight and tilt the jar a bit. My little spot does not get direct sunlight even though it's in the windowsill.
The next few pictures show how the seeds grow over the next few days. It generally takes about 6 days to get them all sprouted.
I find it absolutely amazing how many Alfalfa sprouts can fit in one jar!