Grow Your Own Bean Sprouts at Home: A Step-by-Step Guide and Cost-Saving Tips
Growing bean sprouts at home is a simple and cost-effective way to enjoy fresh, crunchy sprouts all year round. Not only will you save money by avoiding expensive grocery store prices, but you’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that your sprouts are grown in the comfort of your home.
To get started, all you need is minimal equipment and space. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
- Dried beans such as mung beans, lentils, or alfalfa seeds
- A jar or container with a lid (a colander with a bowl under it or a specialized sprouting container)
- A piece of cheesecloth or a sprouting screen
When it comes to purchasing your seeds, there are a few options:
- Online ordering of organic sprouting seeds, like Mumms Sprouting Seeds (https://sprouting.com/)
- Bulk or international aisle at the grocery store
As for containers, you can use the following:
- Fancy jar sprouting lids (or cheesecloth as a lid) – available on Amazon
- Colander + Bowl + Cheesecloth (items you likely already have at home)
- Fancy sprouting trays and kits (whatever your budget allows)
To save time, you can also use a seedling heat mat which will make the sprouts sprout twice as fast. In tests, a 7-8 day start to finish time was reduced to a four day start to finish time (with a cold house), and these mats are around $20 online.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to grow your own bean sprouts:
Step 1: Rinse the beans thoroughly under cool water to remove any dirt or debris. Place the beans in the jar or container and add enough water to cover them by at least an inch or two. Cover the jar or container with the lid or cheesecloth and soak the beans in the water for 8-12 hours.
Step 2: Drain and rinse the beans. If you’re using a jar, turn it upside down. If you’re using a colander, spread the beans on a piece of cheesecloth, cover them with dish towels and place them somewhere warm. Add a small plate on top of the cheesecloth to provide pressure to the seeds and make them grow straight.
Step 3: Rinse and drain the seeds/sprouts two or more times a day. Make sure that excess water is able to drain off.
Step 4: When the sprouts are at a good eating size (around 1.5-2 inches), remove them, rinse, let them dry out a bit, and then store them in the refrigerator for use.
When it comes to how many seeds to use, it depends on how many you plan to use. Typically, a couple of tablespoons for a quart jar will fill the jar with sprouts. A colander may require around a ¼ cup of seeds and will produce a large number of sprouts.
In terms of cost savings, 1kg of dry mung beans can make around 20 batches. If you were to buy 1kg of mung beans for $15.49 from Mumms Sprouting Seeds, you would save $44.51. If you were to buy 1kg of mung beans for $3.88 at the grocery store, you would save $56.12.
It’s worth noting that while bean sprouts are typically harvested after 4-7 days, microgreens require a bit more work and soil and are harvested after around 14 days when their first true leaves form. But thats another article.