A few weeks ago I decided I really needed to try sprouting those seeds I bought (2 years ago, with the best intentions), and so I did.
But first, a bit of research. I learned that all sprouts do not utilize exactly the same instructions, which I hadn’t quite realized before. Having decided to start with alfalfa sprouts (because they seem to be the foundation of the sprouting world) I discovered that they expand considerably. So, starting with a clean quart jar, I added 1 Tablespoon of alfalfa sprouts and filled the jar about 1/2 way full of water. Then I secured a piece of cheesecloth over the rim with a clean rubber band. Lucky for me, I decided to check on just how long they were supposed to soak about 9 hours later. Since the answer turned out to be 8 to 12 hours, I drained and rinsed the sprouts, taking care to prop the jar up at an angle so any remaining water could continue to drain off. At the same time I learned that like all sprouts this draining and rinsing procedure needs to be repeated approximately every 12 hours, or twice a day. So, I proceeded to do just that. After two days I thought I remembered something about needing to put alfalfa sprouts in indirect light for a bit. So, when they were thoroughly dry, instead of sticking them back in the cupboard I just left them out, propped against the stove top (as long as it was not in use and cool). After several days I started to wonder when alfalfa sprouts were done. A quick check elicited the information that they need to sprout for anywhere from 4 to 6 days. After about 5 days I pulled the sprouts out and placed them in a bowl, filled it with water and swished the hulls loose and rinsed them off. Then I left the sprouts folded on a dish towel on the counter to dry.
To recap, to grow alfalfa sprouts:
- Use an appropriately sized container, 4 Tbsp. of seeds will fill a 1 gallon container.Make sure the container is well washed.
- Soak them for 8 to 12 hours.
- Rinse and drain them twice a day.
- Keep them in indirect light for the last few days (not right in the window) for chlorophyll development.
- After 4 to 6 days rinse the hulls off, dry them, and store in the fridge.
- They should keep well in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days.
And, even though I used 2 year old seeds, that’s a bit of a gamble and better luck would be had with fresher seeds.