About a Sprout
How to grow alfalfa sprouts

I am presently sitting comfortably on the couch, scouring Google for some interesting facts to give you about Alfalfa Sprouts.

Something that would make you proclaim  “Wow!  I had no idea!  Home grown sprouts can straighten a lazy eye AND tame my aversion to unconventional sex?    Sign me up!”.  But the truth is sprouts can’t do that or anything else terribly interesting.  (to my mother and relatives and mother’s friends who read this blog … I was just joking about the “unconventional” sex thing … you know … making stuff up to make the blog funnier, heh, heh … real knee slapper, eh mom?)  Yeesh.

Alfalfa sprouts are of course good for you, and some people even claim sprouts can help with arthritis and kidney stones but these are “claims” – so who knows.  I also claim to be interested in all of my boyfriend’s work stories.

So the reason for all of this pre-amble is that I grow my own alfalfa sprouts and it’s a lot of fun and I think you should try it.  Even if they can’t improve the look of your hammertoe.

I didn’t start to grow my own sprouts  for any health reason, I started to do it because it seemed like fun.  I should point out however, that I recently found out  that store bought sprouts are sometimes treated with a sparkling chlorine bath before they leave the greenhouse, so health benefits seem to indeed apply.

Growing your own alfalfa sprouts is really easy and you go from seed to edible sprout in about 4 days!  4 days!!!  That’s less time than it takes to make bread!  Isn’t it?

If you like this, you might be interested to know you can also grow mung bean sprouts in the same amount of time. The method is slightly different, but I outline it all in my bean sprout post.

Here’s how ya do it!


Mason Jar with ring (no seal needed)

Alfalfa Seeds (got mine at a health food store  … where the majority of people look unhealthy, by the way)

Fine Screen (bought a splatter screen at Dollar Store and cut it to size of mason jar seal, fine window screening would work too)

1.  Add 2 Tbsps of seeds to mason jar.

2.  Soak seeds in jar overnight.

3.  Notice the screen I’ve cut to fit the top of the jar.  It’s secured under the jar ring.

4.  Drain all of the water out of the jar, by pouring through the screen.  This handy little thing will allow the water out but keep the seeds in.

5.  Rinse the seeds with water (by running the tap right through the screen into the jar) and drain again.  Once you’ve drained them, rest the jar on a cloth to allow the last little bits to dribble out.  You want to get as much of the water out as possible.  You don’t have to be crazy about it, just let it drain a little more.

6.  Now just leave the jar in a darkish corner of the kitchen.  Rinse and drain the seeds once every morning and once every night.

Day 1:

alfalfa sprouts day 1

alfalfa sprouts day 1

Day 2:

alfalfa sprouts day 2

Day 3:

alfalfa sprouts day 3

Day 4:

alfalfa sprouts day 4

On day 4, before you remove your sprouts from the jar, put the jar on a windowsill for a few hours so they can get some sun.  This will help give the sprouts a nice green colour.

Put them in  a sealed container and keep them refrigerated.  Ready for sandwiches, salads and snacks.  They’d probably make a pretty good fake moustache too.

These sprouts by the way don’t have that musty taste that some of the supermarket alfalfa sprouts have.  And I could just be projecting here, but since I’ve started eating them I’m pretty sure my bunion is getting better.  At least that’s what I’m gonna claim.


  1. Marie Fulgham says:

    The sprouts are rinsed with inexpensive Chlorine to rid them of possible E coli. Soak your seeds in vinegar for 15 minutes. It will kill pathogens. Don’t soak for more them 15 minutes or you’ll also kill your seeds. Hydrogen Peroxide also works well and eventually breaks down into H2O. With either treatment, make sure you RINSE well.

  2. Elaine Cunnup says:

    I will be 70 years old this November. Should I not make my own sprouts?

    • Karen says:

      Are you healthy Elaine? The only people who should *maybe* shy away from sprouts are the same people who should shy away from raw eggs. If that’s you then avoid them, if not sprout away! ~ karen

  3. Elaine Cunnup says:

    I will be 70 years old in November, should I NOT do my own sprouts; I love them.

  4. Karin says:

    who woulda thunk. that’s the same way i did it. at a time i didn’t even know your wonderful blog exisisted. to be poetic about it i’m gonna say, like minds think alike.

    and then there is the German version: two idiots, one thought….

    yupp, that’s how we roll


  5. Thanks for this, really useful as I am a beginner. What I realised is it can be difficult to find organic seeds online – so I created this free API you might find useful which puts all of the prices in one place. Hope you find it useful!

  6. Nicki Woo says:


    This this project will be especially important to my self esteem this week as it has gone down the tubes with all the durn mishaps in my veggie garden. Bugs! Crazy storms! Horrible, horrible, yellow leaves and ants. I will make these sprouts, and I will eat them, and my world will be better. And then I’ll wait for my mother’s green thumb to arrive to fix my hot mess of a garden.

  7. wayne says:

    try adding about 1oz of 3% common peroxide to your soak and rinse water it will not hurt you or the sprouts but will take care of any bacteria concerns

  8. Kae says:

    Hello Karen,

    Wonderful site. Just found it via a story on Lifehacker. Do you also grow other types of sprouts using this same method, such as radish, mung, etc?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kae! I’m glad you found my site. I got a lot of new viewers from Lifehacker! I only grow alfalfa sprouts on a regular basis because the seeds are the easiest to come by. I’d love to do pea sprouts! I’ve tried mung sprouts, but there’s a bit more of a trick to them, so I’ve stuck with alfalafa. They’re the quickest and easiest! ~ karen

  9. Shauna says:

    Is there anything a mason jar isn’t good for? I love them, I love this idea and this post. Now, I must go buy alfalfa seeds;)

  10. Amy says:

    Hi Karen –

    What size jar are you using? I want to make sure that I’m not about to put 2 tbs of seeds in a too-small jar. Thanks!

  11. smidgen says:

    My coworker says “Oh! I love jars and things that come in jars!”

    Easy, cheap and brilliant. I likes!

  12. Scott says:

    Hi Karen,

    I have seen many sites that mention “dangers” of eating Alfalfa sprouts? I purchase organic seeds and follow the same directions that you share above. Do you have any thoughts on the “dangers” of growing your own alfalfa sprouts and eating them?


    • Karen says:

      Hi Scott! I regularly eat my own home grown sprouts! Mind you, I also regularly run wish scissors AND on occasion watch Jersey Shore on a full stomach so … I’m obviously a bit of a risk taker.

      The danger comes the fact that the seeds and sprouts are grown at room temperature. This of course is also the idea temperature for bacteria to grow! That’s why it’s really important to rinse the sprouts a couple of times a day while you’re growing them (like I say in the post). Like raw eggs, it’s also best for pregnant women, the elderly and young children to stay away from raw sprouts (cooking them will kill any bacteria). As long as you’re careful about rinsing and aren’t a pregnant elderly woman … I think you’ll be O.K. Thanks for visiting. – karen

  13. Rebecca says:

    Okay, just going through your archives and saw this. Now I’m totally pissed off because my “brilliant” idea has already been done! I was going to do the whole monarch butterfly-raising thing, but then they chopped down all the weeds (my milkweed source) at the medical clinic down the street. Anyway, I was going to use a mason jar and put a screen in instead of the lid. Thought I was pretty clever coming up with that one, but I guess that’s old news, eh?
    By the way I hate sprouts! They ruin perfectly good food.

  14. Tickled Red says:

    Neat! Thanks for sharing, especially the informative chlorine part…eewww. i will be growing mine from now on!

  15. This is awesome! I want to grow sprouts!

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