Did you know you can grow your own alfalfa sprouts at home? Growing your own alfalfa sprouts is super easy and they grow from seed to edible sprouts within a week! Alfalfa sprouts are a super food (very nutritious) and they are delicious on salads & sandwiches. In fact, I used to own a café years ago and I used alfalfa sprouts on all my sandwiches – my customers LOVED them!
Because of their quick turnaround time, you can keep fresh, organic produce on hand all year round! This is especially handy during the winter months when locally-grown produce is not available.
Like I said, growing your own alfalfa sprouts at home is very simple and you need only a few things:
- Organic Alfalfa Sprouting Seeds (make sure that you are using sprouting seed)
- Mason Jar with lid (1 Quart)
- Cheesecloth + elastic band, or plastic canvas mesh
- Filtered water
- A bowl or something to keep the jar on an incline
How To Grow Your Own Alfalfa Sprouts At Home
Growing your own alfalfa sprouts requires very little equipment and time, but you should always make sure that you are working in a clean environment – I always sterilize my jars before I start.
- First, I want to get my lids ready. When you’re growing alfalfa sprouts at home, you need to make sure that your little babies get lots of air. As I mentioned above, you can use cheesecloth fastened with an elastic band to allow for proper air circulation but I prefer using plastic mesh. I found this in the craft section at Walmart and I just cut them the same size as the lid.
- Next, you need to soak the seed. I find that 2 Tablespoons of alfalfa seeds per mason jar (one-quart jar) works really well but you’ll be able to adjust the amounts yourself after you grow your first crop. Add 2 Tablespoons of alfalfa seeds in your jar. Add lid and mesh top. Fill with water (1-2 cups water is plenty – the amount is not important). Let the seeds soak for about 4-6 hours. Keep out of direct sunlight.
- After your seed is done soaking (4-6 hours), simply tilt the jar in the sink to drain all the water.
- Once the jar is drained, “swoosh” the seeds around in the jar to spread them all out – make sure that they’re not all stuck together in one big clump. I usually give the jar a few shakes and this usually does the trick.
- Place jar in a bowl so it stays on an incline. This allows any excess water to escape.
- Leave the jar on the counter (no direct sunlight). Every morning and night, fill up the jar with water. Shake it around and drain right away. Swoosh the sprouts around in the jar and put back in bowl. So basically, you need to rinse, drain and swoosh every 12 hours until they are ready (normally 5-6 days depending on temperature in the house).
See How Fast Alfalfa Sprouts Grow
Day 1 – It’s amazing to see how fast these little guys can grow! As you can see here, there’s not much going on – this is right after soaking the seed.
Day 2 – Only 12 hours later, the little tails begin to appear….
Day 3 – The tails are definitely visible now.
Day 4 – Filling up fast!
Day 5 – The green is really starting to show…
Day 6 – Ready for harvest!
How to Harvest Alfalfa Sprouts
- Once your alfalfa sprouts are done (usually 5-6 days), they are ready to be eaten! First, empty your jar into a bowl.
- Fill the bowl up with water and mix the sprouts around to loosen them up. This also frees up the seed hulls which usually float to the top. Simply use a spoon to remove the hulls. Seed hulls are fine to eat so don’t panic if you don’t get them all. Your sprouts will just look better without the hulls.
- Remove the alfalfa sprouts from the water and place in other container with paper towel so they can dry out. This is crucial because if you put your alfalfa sprouts in the fridge when they are wet, they will turn to mush. Sometimes I used my salad spinner to drain as much water as possible. In any case, you should let them dry out for a few hours on the counter before putting them in the fridge.
- Enjoy your alfalfa sprouts! You did it!
My Home System For Growing Alfalfa Sprouts
My husband and I own a greenhouse operation and we’re constantly on the lookout for different new crops to grow for sale at different farmer’s markets. I’m still doing trials but in order to grow a significant amount of alfalfa sprouts, I had to come up with my own “home system”.
We had this shelf in our garden center – it works because it has holes in the shelves. My husband just cut 3 long sticks of wood which I fastened to each shelf with wire to keep them in place. This works perfectly to keep the jar tilted. I keep a few trays underneath to catch any water.
That’s it for now! Have you ever grown your own alfalfa sprouts? Leave me a comment below to let me know how you made out. Did you use another technique? I would love to hear all about it!