How To Grow Sprouts in a Mason Jar

No matter the season, you can always grow a successful batch of sprouts in the comfort of your kitchen. The Mason jar method is my favorite, since it involves just one piece of specialized equipment: a sprouting lid. Sprouting lids come in both wire mesh and plastic varieties, and either will work well. Just be sure to use a lid whose mesh is fine enough to keep the seeds from falling through. For very small seeds like broccoli, you’ll need a very fine mesh lid, and you can go slightly larger for sprouts with bigger seeds, like radish and fenugreek. You can find them in natural food stores such as Country Sun in Palo Alto, or order one online.
By | April 16, 2015


Equipment and Supplies:

1 quart-sized Mason jar

2 teaspoons household bleach

3 tablespoons sprouting seeds such as radish, clover or broccoli

1 fine-mesh sprouting lid (metal or plastic)


Disinfect the seeds. In the Mason jar, mix up a solution of 1 cup warm water and 2 teaspoons household bleach. Discard any shriveled, discolored or broken seeds, then add the sprouting seeds to the jar, stir and let soak for 15 minutes. Screw on the mesh lid, then invert the jar over the sink to drain the seeds. Rinse them well, filling the jar with clean tap water and draining it completely.

Soak the seeds. In order to germinate, the seeds now need to be hydrated. Fill the jar halfway with water and place it in a cool, dark spot for at 8 to 12 hours.

Drain, rinse, repeat. Drain the soaking water, then swirl the seeds with about a cup of fresh water. Tilt the jar gently to drain the seeds slowly, so that they distribute evenly along 1 side of the jar. Store the jar in a dark place, upside-down in a bowl or planter saucer, propped up against a wall at a 45° angle. This allows for good drainage, so none of the seeds are left soaking in standing water. Repeat the rinsing process 2 to 3 times a day until the sprouts are ready to harvest.

Harvest your sprouts. Depending on the variety, the sprouts will be ready to harvest in anywhere from 3 to 6 days. They will have white tails that are 1 to 2 inches long, and the sprouts will have filled the Mason jar entirely. Fill a large mixing bowl with water, then add the sprouts, agitating them gently with your fingers to untangle the roots. Skim off any seed hulls that float to the top, then drain the sprouts in a salad spinner or spread out on a kitchen towel. Let them sit out on the counter until dry to the touch, about 6 hours, then store them in the refrigerator, in the sprouting jar or another storage container.

Stored this way, sprouts will keep for up to 4 weeks.

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