Topics » In The Kitchen » Sprouting 101 – How to Sprout Beans and Seeds
T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies

In the field of nutrition, sprouting signifies the practice of germinating seeds to be eaten raw (preferably) or cooked.

Sprouts are low in calories and rich in fiber, enzymes, protein, and other micronutrients. They can easily be bought, but they can also be grown at home with no advanced gardening skills. There are tremendous health benefits from including sprouts in your diet:

  • Sprouts are easy and cheap to grow and, as locally grown vegetables, they offer additional environmental benefits by avoiding pesticides, food additives, and pollution from transportation.
  • Sprouts offer a powerful source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes that fight free radicals, as sprouting can increase their potency by 20 times or more.
  • Because sprouts are oxygen dense, they protect the body against bacteria, viruses, and abnormal cell growth.
  • Vitamins, such as A, B, C and E, and essential fatty acid nutrients increase in sprouting.
  • In sprouting minerals bind to protein, making them more easily absorbed in the body.
  • Sprouted seeds, grains, and legumes help support cell regeneration.
  • Due to their richness in dietary fiber and low calorie content, sprouts offer substantial help in your weight loss goals.

How to Sprout Grains/Beans/Legumes

Use drinking water for soaking and rinsing each time.

Wash the whole beans. Soak them in water for 6-8 hours (or more depending on the size of the bean). Drain the water. Wash the beans with fresh water. Place the beans in a sprout maker or place them in a sieve and cover it. Keep them in a dark place. It will take anywhere between 8 to 16 hours, depending on the weather, for sprouts to start to emerge. The beans that have not sprouted are spoiled and should be separated from the sprouted beans and discarded or composted. Rinse and drain 2-3 times per day for 2 days or until your beans are sprouted to desired length. Give your sprouts one final rinse and drain. Then, wrap the sprouts up with a paper towel and store in a container in the fridge for up to a week.

How to Sprout Beans and Seeds

How to Sprout Seeds (Mustard, Clover, Radish, Alfalfa, Broccoli, etc.)

Use drinking water for soaking and rinsing each time.

Step 1: Soak your seeds.

A good rule of thumb is to use three parts water to one part seed. Start with 1 tablespoon of seeds. Place the seeds in a clean wide-mouth glass jar, cover with water, and stir to make sure all the seeds are wet. Cover the jar with a mesh lid or a piece of muslin cloth that has been secured with a rubber band. Set the jar aside and allow the seeds to soak for 6-8 hours.

Step 2: Drain and rinse your soaked seeds.

Once the soaking time is up, you need to drain your seeds. Tip the jar over the sink and drain out the water. Add fresh water to the jar, swirl it around a little, and then drain out that water. Make sure to really shake out as much water as you can. Set the jar angled downward in a bowl to help with aeration and drainage. It’s important to keep the seeds draining nicely, and this seems to do the trick. Set the bowl with the jar in it in an out-of-the-way spot. It doesn’t need to have sunshine, but it does need to be able to breathe.

Step 3: Rinse, drain, repeat.

Visit your sprouts twice a day and rinse them with fesh, cool water, drain, and prop back up in the bowl. For most seeds, you’ll start to see little baby sprouts within a day or so. Keep on rinsing and draining until the sprouts are the length you want. Usually this takes 4-5 days.

Step 4: Harvest, store, and use your sprouts.

Give your sprouts one final rinse and drain, then remove the jar lid and place all the sprouts onto a clean, absorbent kitchen towel. Then, wrap the sprouts up and close the container. Extra moisture is the enemy of sprouts. Store your sprouts in the fridge for up to a week.

Happy sprouting!

How to Sprout Beans and Seeds

*This article is reprinted with permission from

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