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How to Grow Alfalfa Sprouts at Home

How to Grow Alfalfa Sprouts at home. Image shows a stacked sandwich on wholemeal bread packed with alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, sauerkraut, cucumber and kale. The sandwich is on brown paper and there is a glass container of sprouts in the background.
How to Grow Alfalfa Sprouts at home. Image shows a stacked sandwich on wholemeal bread packed with alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, sauerkraut, cucumber and kale. The sandwich is on brown paper and there is a glass container of sprouts in the background.

Ever wondered how to grow alfalfa sprouts at home? I'll show you how in this handy tutorial - all you need are alfalfa seeds, a mason jar and some cheesecloth!


We all seem to have a little more time on our hands right now, and what better way to use that time than by growing our own food? I'm not talking about complicated methods or full-on gardening, but simply sprouting your own seeds at home.

I grew up with a mother who used to sprout alfalfa seeds regularly (yes, I was that kid at school) so have been familiar with the process since childhood. Because of this, I've always loved the taste of crunchy fresh sprouts. And they're also really good for you, being high in vitamin C, K and iron, among other things. Sprouting seeds and beans greatly increases their nutrient quality, and makes them easier for us to digest.

However you use them (in sandwiches, salads, smoothies or stir-fries), they're an incredibly versatile little food that doesn't get enough kudos.

An image showing how to grow alfalfa sprouts at home shows a square glass food storage container filled with green alfalfa sprouts on a grey background.

Wondering how to grow alfalfa sprouts at home?


Alfalfa is very easy to sprout at home (it's one of the easiest and fastest seeds to sprout). However, I recommend ensuring you've soaked the seeds for 6+ hours first. This will help make the sprouting process much easier and faster!

You don't need fancy equipment: a large glass jar, cheesecloth and an elastic band will do the job. I have an alfalfa sprouter (essentially a tiered system where the water drips down like this), and whilst it is helpful, it's by no means essential. You can grow great sprouts in just a jar, so scroll down for the recipe!

These instructions - although for alfalfa - can essentially be used for any other seeds you want to sprout. Alfalfa is one of the most popular but there are loads of other seeds you can use: clover, broccoli, radish etc. All have different nutritional profiles and taste different. Experiment with a few to see what flavours you like - or even make up your own mix of seeds!


Where can I buy alfalfa seeds?


You can buy seeds for sprouting in your local health food store. Alternatively, stores like Whole Foods usually sell a decent selection, and sometimes you can even find them in your local supermarket.

Image shows how to grow alfalfa sprouts at home. A large mason jar sits on its side filled with sprouting alfalfa seeds.
How to Grow Alfalfa Sprouts at home. Image shows a stacked sandwich on wholemeal bread packed with alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, sauerkraut, cucumber and kale. The sandwich is on brown paper and there is a glass container of sprouts in the background.
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How to Grow Alfalfa Sprouts at Home

Ever wondered how to grow alfalfa sprouts at home? I'll show you how in this handy tutorial - all you need are seeds, a mason jar and some cheesecloth!
Prep Time5 mins
Sprouting time4 d
Total Time4 d 5 mins
Course: Salad, Snack
Cuisine: gluten-free, healthy, vegan
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free, Low Salt, Vegan
Servings: 1 mason jar

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp alfalfa seeds
  • sea salt

Equipment

  • 1 large mason jar
  • Piece of cheesecloth

Instructions

  • Place the seeds in a large mason jar. Cover them in twice their volume of water and add a pinch of sea salt.
  • Cover the jar's mouth with a piece of cheesecloth and secure it with an elastic band or half of a mason jar lid (see image below). Leave the seeds to soak on a countertop overnight (or for 6+ hours).
  • In the morning, drain the water out of the jar through the cheesecloth, and pour about ½ cup of fresh water into the jar again (you don't need to remove the cheesecloth for this - I usually just pour the water straight through it).
  • Swill the water around in the jar and then tilt it to drain the water out again.
  • Leave the jar on a countertop on its side to allow the seeds to spread out and sprout.
  • In the evening, repeat the rinsing and draining process with ½ cup of water.
  • Continue to repeat this process morning and evening for about 4 days, until the sprouts are roughly 3-5cm in length with green tips.
  • Remove sprouts from the jar, rinse thoroughly and store in a sealed container in the fridge until needed.
  • That's it! Use in sandwiches, salads and smoothies. (Sprouts will keep for about 3-4 days in the fridge.)
Got more time on your hands right now? If you're wondering how to grow sprouts at home, this handy guide will show you how to prepare and grow them in a few minutes! All you'll need is seeds, a jar and some cheesecloth. Sprouts are a great source of nutrients and growing them at home is a good way to have fresh produce year-round. #sprouts #diy #vegan #budgetrecipes

Comments 14

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks for your comment! You’ll just need some type of cloth that allows the water to drain through it – a bit of fabric from an old pair of tights or stockings would work instead. I hope that helps. 🙂

      1. Post
        Author
    1. Post
      Author
    1. Post
      Author

      I’ve found it in Whole Foods before, or any local health food store should sell it! They usually have other varieties for sprouting too, like clover and broccoli. 🙂

    1. Post
      Author

      You should be able to find them in your local health food store! Otherwise, stores like Whole Foods usually have a selection. 🙂

  1. What a great lookin sandwich.. Thanks for the tutorial but was just wondering if I can just grow them out normally like Wheatgrass?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Andy. I haven’t tried this myself so am not certain – I’ve never heard of it being done before! Certainly, alfalfa seems to be most beneficial when eaten as a sprout. Let me know if you find any info that says otherwise! 🙂

  2. What’s the purpose of the salt added at the beginning? I’ve never seen that before…

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Sally, I was taught that it helps encourage the seeds to germinate and reduces enzyme inhibitors, which is why I’ve always done it. The seeds will still sprout if you don’t use salt though (they just might be a little slower), so feel free not to if you’d prefer!

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