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Fabaceae: Beans family, Food, glorious food!, Grains, lentils & pulses

Super food for the vegetarian kitchen – sprouts

Red Chori (Red Mung Beans).

Image via Wikipedia

I love it when I get feedback from my friends, families and readers. Tanya from Hong Kong is a young mum of two gorgeous boys, and a yoga instructor (in her former life she was a kick-ass regional marketing manager for a major US media channel). She wanted to know more about sprouting. My response was “sprouting is a no brainer,” and her response was “doing a split is a no brainer.” Point taken.

One of the easiest ways to start your own sprout is to use a large 1-liter glass jar with a wide mouth, some gauze like materials and elastic bands – the gauze to go over the mouth of the jar and the elastic bands are to hold the gauze in place. Simple.

Decide on what you want to sprout, and soak them in cold water over night. Drain the grains, seeds, nuts or whatever you have decided to sprout and place them in the jar, cover the mouth with the gauze like materials and secure with the elastic bands, place the jar in a warm sunny spot in the kitchen at 45° angle with the mouth of the jar pointing down to drain away any seepage.

Sprouting seeds will need to be rinsed twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening and seeds agitated by turning the bottle a few times, each time you rinse the seeds. In about three to four days, you will see roots of about 1-cm long developing with most grains and seeds. Continue the process but keep the jar in the fridge. This will prolong the growth period, and helps to keep the sprout fresh and crunchy. You can start eating them at this stage. Sprouts will keep for about 3-5 days in the fridge.

If making your own glass sprouter sounds complicated and too much work, you can get a special sprouting jar, available from most health stores.

If you are in Melbourne, these jars are available from Shop Neutral, at the Prahran Market. Shop Neutral also carries single-tier and multi-tier dome sprouters. These are made of plastic with a clear dome shaped plastic cover with trays for the grains and seeds to sprout. It is a clever design and the one I personally use at home. I find it really easy and effective to use, and easy to clean.

Multi-layered sprouter for a big family.

Or a single layer sprouter good for two people.

You can also use woven basket made of untreated bamboo or other natural materials. These basket make great sprouters as the seeds and grains sprout their roots will naturally attach to the bottom of the baskets, however, they need to be moistened more regularly to avoid complete dehydration. These baskets also require a bit more work when it comes to cleaning in between sprouting.

Certain seeds and grains do better when sprouted in dirt like buckwheat, although I have spouted them in a dome but the result is not as desirable as in dirt. Buckwheat, like chia, flaxseed and psyllium are mucilaginous in nature and are better off sprouting in dirt.

Sprouts are living food:

  • Good source of essential fatty acids
  • Good source of protein
  • Good source of fibre
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Rich in enzymes
  • Rich in minerals
  • Rich in vitamins
  • High chlorophyll content

They are quick and easy to grow and you can grow them all year round in your kitchen, on your kitchen counter. They are also cheap. So, what are you waiting for? Go into the kitchen and start sprouting. 🙂

Fenugreek is easy to sprout using a glass jar.

Mung beans are also quick and easy to sprout.



About Urban permaculturist

I have an interest in sustainability; from food security to renewable energy. I am also a keen food gardener and vegetarian cook. For more information, check out my blog at:


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