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How to Grow Sprouts Using the Jar Method
Sprouting is a simple way to produce fresh, nutritious food in a small space. This guide shows how to grow broccoli sprouts in a mason jar. You can easily substitute other common sprouting seeds.
The mason jar method is by far the easiest way to get started with sprouting. You will need the jar, measuring spoons, a lid with a strainer, and a couple tablespoons of organic sprouting seeds.
Make sure your mason jar is clean. I am using a quart sized, wide mouth jar.
You will need to cover the jar with something that holds the seeds when you rinse. You can purchase a plastic cap that fits on a standard quart sized mason jar (shown here) for about $5.
Place two tablespoons of the seeds in a clean bowl. Pick out any discolored or broken seeds, or foreign matter.
Cover with cool water. Let seeds soak for about 10 minutes.
Pour the seeds and water into a sieve to clean them. You can use a strainer, cheesecloth or the plastic sprouting lid.
Place the seeds into the mason jar and add cool water. Soak the seeds for about 8 hours. Note that this is the correct soaking time for broccoli. Other types of seeds have different soaking times.
Pour the water out of the jar. As you pour the water out, swirl the seeds around. Try to drain as much of the water as possible.
Prop the jar at an angle with the screen facing down, so any excess water can drain off. Make sure the seeds are distributed around the jar, and not blocking the screen. Keep in a cool, dark place.
Rinse two or three times daily. To rinse, add cool filtered water to the jar. Swirl the seeds around the jar. Put the lid on top and pour the water out. Vigorously shake to get all the water out.
This is what the seeds look like after 24 hours. Continue rising 2-3 times a day, and propping the jar at an angle (as in step 9) the rest of the time.
48 hours. It is a good idea to taste the sprouts each rinse. You will taste slight changes each day. Take note of when you find the taste preferable, so you know when the sprouts are complete.
72 hours. As you continue to rinse every morning and evening, be sure to really swirl the water to move the sprouts around.
96 hours. At this point, expose the sprouts to indirect sunlight for a day or two so they green up. Do not expose the sprouts to direct sunlight.
After 120 hours. All done! The seeds have fully sprouted.
Put the sprouts in a bowl of cool water. Loosen the sprouts up by pulling them apart with a fork. Then, using a clean hand, swirl the sprouts around until the hulls float to the top. Remove the hulls.
Place the spouts in a salad spinner. Spin until all excess moisture is removed.
Allow the sprouts to finish drying on a paper towel. You want them to be good and dry, so that you don't have problems with mold or spoilage.
Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to a week. To store in the fridge, wrap in a clean paper towel and place in a plastic bag or container.
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San Francisco, California
Librarian, Beekeeper, Gardener, Healthy home cook