Sprouted seeds are well-known for their nutritional benefits, and it has been proven in various studies and research. They contain extra fibers and other nutrients that are beneficial to human health.
Some indoor growers love to sprout seeds for their own consumption, and many growers do it on a commercial scale.
In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know to sprout seeds. We will discuss everything in detail so that beginners can sprout seeds on their own.
What is Seed Sprouting?
Sprouting is a natural process that seeds, grains, beans, and lentils undergo. If sprouting is done on seeds, it is known as seed sprouting.
In seed sprouting, the seeds are soaked in water. After a specific period, these soaked seeds put out their first shoot. Such seeds are known as sprouted seeds and are consumed when the shoots are young.
We can also say that the seeds are germinated by soaking them in water. Due to soaking, the outer layer of the seeds opens up, and a young shoot starts to come out of the seed.
Sprouted seeds are very beneficial because of their nutritional value. It is a very simple and easy process that beginners can also do.
Benefits of Sprouting Seeds at Home
You can sprout seeds at home, and many people prefer their own sprouted seeds because of the additional benefits.
The first benefit of sprouting seeds at home is the low cost. If you buy sprouted seeds from the market, it will cost you more.
After germination, these seeds increase their weight by 5-15 times, so you only need to take a small number of seeds, and you will have an excellent yield at a fraction of the cost you pay in the markets.
By sprouting seeds at home, you get freshly sprouted seeds. You know the life of the seeds and can consume them just out of the sprouting jar or tray.
On the other hand, the sprouted seeds that are available on the market are stocked; they are not as fresh as your home production.
If you sprout seeds on your own, you know the exact ingredients and what they contain. There is nothing harmful or non-organic. You can trust your own yield.
The sprouted seeds available on the market have preservatives, additional chemicals, and some unwanted ingredients that you might not like.
Easy to Sprout Seeds
It is quite easy to sprout seeds in jar at home. It is not something you can’t do. So, there is no need to buy sprouted seeds. Within 5-10 days, your fresh sprouted seeds will be ready to be consumed.
Needs Minimal Space
Sprouting seeds does not need a lot of space. You can sprout seeds in a tray or jar. It is quite easy and does not require any massive investment. The seed sprouting kit is also very cheap and affordable.
Grow Whatever You Want
When you are sprouting seeds at home, you can grow whatever you want. You can sprout any seeds you like. There is no need to wait for the availability of seeds in the market. Just soak your seeds and follow the right steps and get the sprouted seeds within a week.
Home-sprouted seeds can remain fresh for up to 4-5 days. But on the other hand, you can keep seeds bought from the market for only two days.
Can You Sprout Any Type of Seed?
The simple answer is NO.
There are many types of seeds, such as chia seeds, broccoli seeds, leek seeds, sesame seeds, apple seeds, and orange seeds, but you cannot sprout all of them.
It depends on the constituents or substances present inside the seed. If there is anything toxic or harmful to humans, the seed cannot be sprouted.
For instance, apple seeds contain amygdalin. It is a cyanogenic glycoside that is made of cyanide and sugar. This glycoside turns into poisonous hydrogen cyanide. If apple seeds are taken in a large quantity and crushed, it can lead to death.
Similarly, there are many seeds, such as the seeds of citrus fruits and pears that also contain harmful substances. Thus, they cannot be sprouted.
Commonly, chia seeds, broccoli seeds, leek seeds, sesame seeds, linseed, radish seeds, sunflower seeds, fenugreek seeds, clover seeds, mustard seeds, and alfalfa seeds are sprouted for consumption. These have various nutritional benefits, and there is no harm.
Another important thing that must be kept in mind is that you cannot pick random seeds for sprouting. Although the seeds available in stores can sprout, they should be avoided.
The sprouting is intentionally stopped in such seeds so that they can easily be stored. Furthermore, these seeds could be treated with chemicals, and there can be various things that are not suitable for sprouting.
Secondly, the common seeds can contain bacteria and pathogens, which are harmful in the end. The seeds that are specially packed for sprouting are tested, and they do not contain harmful pathogens and microorganisms.
Therefore, it is better to get authentic seeds for sprouting. These seeds are easily available and are for the said purpose.
How to Sprout Seeds?
This is the most important part of the whole post.
Before getting into the process, you need to buy sprouting jars. These are the common mason jars; you can go with a quart or half-gallon jar, depending on the quantity of the sprouts.
The second thing you need is the breathable fabric; cotton is usually preferred. This fabric is to cover the lid of the jar and help in the sprouting process.
Moreover, do not forget to buy the seeds for sprouting. It is the main component of the whole process.
Step 1: Get Everything Ready
Everything should be ready for sprouting.
Once you have mason jars, clean them thoroughly with soap and water. Make sure the jars are well-cleaned. You can either use a clean breathable fabric or a sprouting lid. If you are using fabric, make sure to clean it.
Step 2: Rinse the Seeds
Before you sprout seeds, you need to rinse them properly. Rinsing seeds is quite important in the first place because it removes dirt, stones, debris, or other unwanted elements. Use cool water to rinse the seeds and rinse them thoroughly.
It is important to rinse the seeds in the first place because you can clean them easily before germination.
Step 3: Soaking the Seeds
Now, you need to soak the seeds in water. The soaking time can be 8-24 hours, depending on what you are sprouting. For seeds, it is generally 8-12 hours.
Moreover, keep in mind that in warm temperatures, the soak time is shorter than in cool temperatures.
The process of soaking allows the seeds to absorb water as much as they can. It helps in sprouting.
- Take the jar and fill it with cool water. The water should be about three times the volume of the seeds.
- Stir the seeds well and cover the jar with a breathable cloth.
- Use a rubber band to hold the cloth in its place. The best way is to use sprouting lids to make the process easier.
- Keep the jar away from the direct sunlight and keep them at the optimal temperature.
You might not notice any germination the next day or after the period because it is normal. The germination has already started, but you won’t be able to see it at this stage.
Step 4: Rinse & Drain
After soaking the seeds, the germination process starts. Now, the next step is regular rinsing and draining of the water.
It is necessary to do it three times a day to keep the seeds clean and prevent the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms.
If you are using sprouting lids, you only need to drain the water and fill fresh and cool water. Shake the jar gently a few times and drain the water. Fill fresh and cool water again.
If you are using cloth, then you need to have a mesh to rinse the water easily. You need to do this three times a day.
Step 5: Final Rinsing
Before harvesting, you need to rinse the seeds again. It is necessary to clean them and remove all unwanted contaminants from the water.
Step 6: Harvest and Store the Sprouted Seeds
The final step is harvesting.
Depending on the type of seeds, you can harvest them in 5-7 days. Once they are ready, you can now store them for consumption.
Make sure to let the sprouts dry before storing them. You can use kitchen towels to dry them out. Once they are completely dried, you can put them in jars and store them in the fridge.
Home-sprouted seeds last about 4-5 days, but you need to keep them in optimal condition. Keep them away from the sunlight and in a cool environment, like a fridge.
Relation of Grow Lights with Seed Sprouting
If you want to sprout seeds for your personal use, and you don’t need a massive quantity, there is no need for a grow light. You can keep the jars in your room away from the direct sunlight.
But if you want to sprout seeds commercially, it is better to use grow lights.
Grow lights help in germination and make the process faster. Moreover, the soaking time of the seeds is also reduced. Thus, with the help of grow lights, you can get more yield in the shortest time possible.
For seed sprouting, you should use LED grow lights. The reason for using these lights is that they are efficient and emit minimal heat energy. These do not increase the temperature and provide the required light needed.
The brightness of LED grow lights can also be adjusted as required. These last for a long time and reduce the running cost. Therefore, they are the best option to sprout seeds at a faster rate and at a low cost. These can greatly increase the overall yield.