How to grow sprouts in a mason jar

Sprouting in large quantities doesn’t have to be confined to one season. You can grow sprouts in a mason jar and eat them! Find out how:

bean sprouts

Bean, seed and legume sprouts make excellent sandwich toppings, as well as crunchy, nutty flavoured salads. Growing sprouts for food is nearly effortless and comes with great reward. All you needs is some seeds, cheesecloth and a mason jar.

Here are some step-by-step instructions for growing your own food sprouts in a jar:

1. Get something to sprout. Nearly any bean, seed or legume can be sprouted for eating. You’re likely to have something in your kitchen already. Here are a few examples I found in my own kitchen:

Seeds to Sprout

Alfalfa seeds, radish seeds, quinoa, and kamut also sprout well in jars. Sprouting seed mixtures are also available at most health food stores. I’m using this mix of fenugreek, lentils, kamut and adzuki beans for this tutorial:


2. Get a mason jar and some cheesecloth. Once you have your sprouting seeds and these two materials, you’re ready to start!

mason jar and cheesecloth

How to get sprouting:

1. Sterilize … your jar by rinsing it out with boiling water. This step is important because the moist conditions inside the jar make it susceptible to bacteria growth. Starting with a clean, sterile jar will minimize the risk of any harmful bacteria growing inside.

2. Put your sprouts in the jar. Place a few heaping tablespoons of sprouts into the jar. 

3. Add water and wait 6 hours. Add enough water to the jar so that the sprouts are all submerged and allow them to soak for about six hours. Also, cut a square of cheesecloth, big enough so that it easily covers the mouth of the jar, and affix it there with the jar lid (see photos below).

sprouts in a jarThe cheesecloth allows for air to circulate within the jar:

sprout jar

4. Drain the water. Once the six hours is up, pour the water out into the sink, letting it run through the cheesecloth. Then, place the jar in a well-lit windowsill (not in direct sun, though). Position it so that it’s resting on a 45 degree angle so that moisture can drain out and air can circulate inside. Something like this:

sprouts on windowsill

5. Rinse and repeat. Rinse the sprouts with cool water two times a day (once in the morning and once at night). Simply allow the water to flow through the cheesecloth from your tap, swirl it around, and drain it out. Place the jar back on its side in the windowsill until it’s time for the next rinse. After about two days, your seeds should have started sprouting, like this:

sprouts in a jar6. Ready to eat. After 3-5 days of rinsing and repeating, your sprouts should be ready to eat. There should be roots protruding from the seeds, and you might even see some tiny green leaves depending on what you decided to sprout. Here are my sprouts, ready to eat:

sprouts ready to eatNow you can eat them in any manner you desire!

How to store your sprouts:

  • Allow the sprouts to dry out a bit (just so that they are not soaking wet) and store them in the mason jar in the fridge. Replace the cheesecloth with the original metal lid so that the jar is airtight. 
  • The sprouts will last this way for about 3-5 days.

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