Sprouting seeds in mason jars is SO much fun! Mason jars are pretty darn perfect for seed sprouting. Once you learn how to grow sprouts in a mason jar from seeds, you can enjoy yummy sprouts in your day-to-day meals.
Seed sprouting is the process of helping seeds to germinate and grow a small green shoot. Growing sprouts in a mason jar is almost as simple as soaking the seeds, rinsing them often, and watching them germinate and sprout! While the steps are simple, cleanliness is key to keep the spouts free of harmful pathogens.
Read on to learn all about growing sprouts at home in mason jars.
Supplies for a Mason Jar Sprout Garden
- 2 Tablespoons of Seeds: Certified Organic, Pathogen-Free Sprouting Seeds. Start with large seeds, such as Radish, Sunflower, Pea, Buckwheat, and Wheatgrass. I like Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds (Canadian). In the US, Botanical Interests makes a Sprouting Seed Sampler Pack. Also – (Check out what real gardeners think about seed companies here.)
- Mason Jar: Wide mouth glass mason jar and solid lid
- Straining Jar Cover: Mesh jar lid or cheesecloth
- Jar Lid (for storage)
- Hydrogen Peroxide: 3% hydrogen peroxide solution (sold at drugstores and grocery stores).
- Water: Filtered water is best. If using tap water, allow it to sit on the counter in a container for several hours to off-gas the chlorine.
Now that growing sprouts is becoming more popular, sprouting kits are easy to find. If you’re just starting to learn how to make sprouts, an organic seed sprouting kit may be an economical way to get started.
How to Grow Sprouts in a Mason Jar
- Measure out your seeds.
- Sterilize your supplies. I use my dishwasher’s sanitize setting to clean the jar and lid.
- Treat your seeds (clean them). I follow the University of California method, in which seeds are immersed in a mixture of warm water and hydrogen peroxide for 5 minutes.
- Rinse the seeds with filtered water, using the mesh lid to drain the rinse water.
- Add one cup of filtered water to the jar.
- Lightly cover jar with cheesecloth/elastic or mesh lid.
- Let the seeds soak in filtered water for 4-8 hours.
- Drain and rinse the seeds through the mesh/cheesecloth jar cover.
- Rinse the seeds with filtered water twice each day until the sprouts are several inches long.
- Once the sprouts are ready, close the jar with a solid lid.
- Refrigerate for up to four days.
More About Sprouting Seeds in Jars
Many different edible plants produce seeds perfect for easy at-home jar seed sprouting. All you need to do is find your favourite kinds! Learning how to grow sprouts in your kitchen will also teach you how to germinate seeds growing in indoor kitchen gardens or outdoor organic gardens.
If you don’t already know how to grow sprouts, know that they are incredibly easy to grow and to introduce into your meals. No soil or fertilizer is required. Small mason jars with a bit of water are common supplies for growing sprouts.
Seed sprouts are, hands down, the easiest crop to grow in the kitchen. If you have four square inches of countertop space, you have enough room to grow one of the most nutrient-dense veggies!
Enjoying Your Homegrown Mason Jar Sprouts
Once you learn how to make sprouts, the entire sprout can be eaten, seed and all. This feature makes them easy to cook with and add to various meals.
Sprouts and sprouting seeds are commonly added to sandwiches, where they provide a lovely “crunch” which contrasts with the soft bread. I also like them as a salad topping, in a buddha bowl, or blended into a green smoothie. So many choices! So much versatility!
Nutrient Availability in Seed Sprouting
The nutrients in sprouts start with the nutrients in the seed, which have been made somewhat more bio-available because they have been activated in germination. For nutrition stats on specific sprouts, search “sprouts” in the USDA Food Database for many common varieties.
Important Safety Considerations for Growing Sprouts at Home
Make sure you thoroughly sterilize your tools prior to preparing your sprouts. Sanitary working conditions are vital when learning how to make sprouts (and for all sprouting). Check out this article on safely growing sprouts over at Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds, a Canadian sprouting seed provider.
One way to avoid sprout-related safety issues is to avoid sprout crops which have interaction with animal crops. Check out Dr. Greger’s video about Alfalfa Sprouts over at NutritionFacts.org. According to the video, 1 out of every 67 packages of Alfalfa Sprouts at the grocery store are contaminated with E. Coli. This is because the E. Coli bacteria from manure on the crop can get into the “nooks and crannies” of the seed itself. For this reason, use only human food crops from a reputable seed provider, such as Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds.
Sprouting Seeds into Microgreens
Once you master sprouts, it might be fun to try microgreens too. I used to grow sprouts in mason jars all the time, but now I grow weekly batches of microgreens. Growing microgreens is just like growing sprouts, except the sprouted seeds are placed on soil to grow rather than simply grown in the jar.
I find there are fewer problems with the airy environment around the microgreens as opposed to the moist environment inside the jar of sprouts. I also find the microgreens grow faster than the sprouts, and they look more appetizing!
Once you learn how to grow sprouts and microgreens, you’ll be growing them every week!
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