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How to Grow Your Own Sprouts & Microgreens
I am a huge fan of sprouts and microgreens! Sprouts are great for digestion as they contain natural enzymes & are packed with nutrients. Sprouts and microgreens contain a higher concentration of nutrients than most of the full-grown vegetables of the same version of that particular plant/vegetable. They have so many benefits for your health and sprouts are really easy to make!
When I was in school studying & completing my holistic nutrition diploma, I fell in love with microgreens! I first discovered them at the farmer’s market and I found out about how incredible they are for your health and that’s what made me decide to grow my own.
I love adding sprouts & microgreens to my salads, wraps, sandwiches, smoothies (I add lentil sprouts to my smoothies because I don’t like the texture of eating lentil sprouts but I love the health benefits they provide), etc.
A benefit of growing your own sprouts & microgreens at home is that you can have them whenever you want and it’s very convenient, it’s also much cheaper to grow them yourself (and you know I love that because I’m a financial coach!)
How to Grow Your Own Sprouts
- Use 1 tbsp of seeds (for small seeds), put it in my sprouting jar (can use a regular mason jar just put something on that it can still “breathe” as a lid). I used to use a regular mason jar but then I purchased these sprouting seeds and I love them. They make it sooo easy to rinse & drain your seeds.
- Fill it above the seeds with filtered (I use RO) water.
- Swirl it around
- Drain liquid
- Some seeds that are bigger require you to soak them in water ahead of time (ex: lentils, chickpeas, etc). These ones are tiny seeds so there is no soaking time required. Just read the directions on your particular seeds to find out if you need to soak them or not.
- Tip upside down to keep draining any excess water (helps reduce the chances of mold).
- Rinse 2-4 times a day (pour water above seeds, tip upside down & drain).
- Depending on what types of seeds you purchased, they usually grow in 3-5 days.
When it comes to sprouting seeds, you don’t need any soil, if you want to make microgreens you will want to use soil (there are other methods I just found them more difficult and that using soil has been the easiest for me personally).
Read the particular time listed for your sprouts on the package, but typically they will range from 3-5 days (but some can take longer, microgreens typically take longer as well) until they are ready to eat.
Once my sprouts are ready I use them in my next meal and store them in the fridge in a container that is “breathable.”
There are all sorts of different seed varieties including (but not limited to):
- Adzuki Beans
You can also buy blends of different seeds or bundles of seeds as a “tester” pack basically. Here’s a bundle of seeds you can try out.
If you aren’t already following me on Instagram, I highly recommend you do so. I share a ton of health tips on my health account @mandyy.thomas and make sure to follow my Instagram stories as that is where I share the bulk of my information!
How to Grow Your Own Microgreens
Sprouts are super easy to make, but microgreens are my absolute favorite because they have some of the highest nutrient content when it comes to vegetables. Sprouts and microgreens are not the same, they are two different things. Sprouts are most often grown in water and microgreens are often grown in soil and they also need sunlight and they take longer to grow.
These little superfoods are often high in potassium (which is an electrolyte), zinc (zinc is a mineral that’s great for immune health, sexual health & hormones, blood sugar balancing, etc), antioxidants (help to reduce free radicals in the body that cause oxidative damage), and more!
For these directions in particular, this is me making a “2-week blend” pack of seeds (so it has a few different types of seeds in it).
This is how I am currently growing my microgreens (will probably evolve as I learn more). I fill my planting tray with 2 cups of filtered water to “bottom” water my soil.
I fill my germination growing tray to about 3/4 with soil & then flatten it so the seeds aren’t getting stuck in any low ruts. I’ve been buying soil from my local Co-op.
I try to evenly distribute my seeds & then take a spray bottle of filtered (RO) water & lightly mist the seeds to get them wet (you will want it to have moisture, but don’t have them and the soil soaking wet). These seeds didn’t have to be pre-soaked, but seeds that are largest sometimes require you too (such as sunflower, peas, etc – refer to the packaging to find out if they need to be pre-soaked).
The amount of seeds to use will depend on the seed you are using as well as the size of container you are going to be growing your microgreens in. Small seeds can vary from 1.5 – 2 tbsp or seeds, some medium seeds ⅓ c, etc.
I don’t cover my seeds with any soil, I leave the seeds exposed. Then I cover up my seeds (currently using a cooking sheet) so it’s dark, to add weight to help the seeds come up better because it also helps for even germination and growth. (Once I buy a second tray I will use that tray to put on top of it).
I’ll check it to see if it needs any water and water as necessary using a spray bottle to mist it. I’ll wait around 2-5 days depending on the variety (smaller seeds typically start to sprout up in 2-3 days and larger seeds in about 4-5 days) and keep checking it until the seeds have sprouted up pretty decently then I will move them to under my light (this is the light that I use).
You need to be careful about the kind of light that you expose the microgreens too, if it’s too hot it can damage them by burning them. I’ve found great success with the light that I use.
Once they’ve sprouted up and I place them under my light, I will leave the light on from the time that I wake up until I fall asleep. Then I will shut it off at night. I don’t have a spot in my house where I can leave to receive sufficient light, so I find this works the best for me (I’ve also seen that most other people who make microgreens also have them under growing lights as well).
Over the next few days I watch my microgreens continue to grow and I monitor the soil and water with a spriting mister spray bottle using filtered water as necessary.
Depending on the type of blend, it will vary for how long until you can “harvest” them (cut them with clean scissors) and be able to eat them. So far the ones that I’ve made are about a 2-week grow to harvest grow time. They typically range from 1-3 weeks for harvesting.
When it comes to seeds such as sunflower, beet, chard, etc it will have hulls that need to fall off, you can typically do this by lightly brushing the tops of the microgreens to help knock them off.
I cut them with a clean pair of scissors and then rinse them and put them in my food. I typically don’t put them in the fridge because I cut them fresh and use them as I go.
Unfortunately with microgreens you can’t just cut them and regrow them, typically you have to start a new batch again.
Different Types of Microgreens Include:
- Swiss chard
I suggest buying a small packet of seeds to play around with growing microgreens. Microgreens were a little bit more of a learning curve than sprouts were, but I’m glad I stuck with it. It just takes a little trial of error and then you’re off to the races!
If you aren’t already following me on Instagram, I highly recommend you do so. I share a ton of health tips on my health account @mandyythomas and make sure to follow my Instagram stories as that is where I share the bulk of my information!
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Come check back to this post because I will be adding more photos & a video showing the process from start to finish!