How to sprout seeds in a jar

When we first bought a Biosnacky sprouting seeds jar we weren't sure exactly how to sprout the seeds. The instructions included with the jar didn't seem to help. After we had finally figured it out, I decided to write this page as a help to anyone interested in sprouting seeds!

What you need

The easiest method is to use a glass jar. It's best to choose one with a wide neck as this makes it easier to remove the sprouts when they are ready. Cover the jar with muslin or netting held in place with a rubber band. This is so that the seeds can drain and have plenty of air.

You can also use a commercial sprouting jar such as the Biosnacky one that we used. These have a wide neck and a special lid which contains a sieve allowing the seeds to drain and breath. The lid also doubles as a stand to keep the jar at an angle so it can drain.

Simple Steps

Always use organic seeds produced for sprouting. Other seeds may have been sprayed with pesticides. When you buy the seeds, the packet will usually recommend how long to soak for, and will tell you how many days before they are ready to eat.

1. Soak 4-12 hours

 Soaking the seeds

Use the recommended quantity for the seeds you are using. Here we have a mix of mung beans, white radish, and wheat. 2-3 tbsp was the recommended amount. For soaking you just need to make sure that the seeds are fully covered by the water.

Seeds in the sprouting jar

After soaking, pour out the water and rinse. Leave the jar resting in a dish or bowl to catch the any water that drains out. Try to get the seeds evenly distributed along the length of the jar.

Tip: You don't have to remove the lid to rinse the seeds. Hold the jar under the tap and let water run in slowly at an angle. This helps the water to run through the sieve. You can now pour the water out without loosing the seeds down the sink!

2. Rinse twice daily

This ensures that the seeds are kept wet, but in fresh water. If they are not rinsed often enough, they can start to rot. Yuk!

This is how our seeds were looking after 1 day's growth.

The seeds after 1 day showing small shoots

If you look closely, you can see a few white sprouts already forming. Here's a closer look:

A closer look at the sprouting shoots

After four days they are almost ready to eat!

The sprouted seeds after four days

Some of the roots can grow very fine fibres. These should not be mistaken for mould, and is quite normal for certain types of seeds. You can see these fibres more clearly in the next photo:

Close-up of root fibres

Don't worry if your shoots don't look exactly as in the above photos. Depending on the types of seeds you are growing, the appearance of the shoots can be quite different. Previously we grew some alfalfa, and these look very different to the seed mix shown above:

Sprouted alfalfa

Along with some other types of seed, alfalfa seeds shed a hull when they germinate. The hulls are the brown bits in this photo. These can be removed by placing the sprouts in a bowl and running cold water over them.

Light or Dark?

There is some confusion over whether you should grow the seeds in a light or dark place. We have grown them in a room that receives moderate light during the day and they were very nice to eat! If you grow them entirely in darkness they will be very pale, so some people bring them into the light about a day or two before they are ready to eat.

Tip: Do keep the seeds away from direct sunlight.

More tips

3. Ready to eat after 3-5 days

Once ready to eat, the sprouts can be stored in a refrigerator for 2-3 days. Do not keep them for longer than this.

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