Instructions for Sprouting

Excerpt from Dr. Cousens’ book, Conscious Eating:

There are several methods for sprouting, including using a glass jar, a sprouting tube, sprouting basket, sprouting bag, or organic soil. Generally, I recommend the glass jar method or organic soil, depending on the type of sprout. The glass jar method works well with all of the sprouts in the Conscious Eating recipes, except for buckwheat and sunflower sprouts (greens). These, as well as wheatgrass, are best grown in an organic soil base. People often enjoy growing a variety of sprouts in the same jar. Alfalfa and clover is one combination; fenugreek and radish is another.


Glass Jar Sprouting Technique

  • Soak nut, seed, or grain according to the Instructions for Soaking given above.
  • Drain and place in a glass jar with a fine-mesh screen secured over the top with a rubber band. This keeps out insects and allows for aeration.
  • Place the seeds in a dark area for 24 hours and then expose to indirect sunlight.
  • Sprouts should be rinsed 2-4 times a day, by simply filling the jar with water, lightly swishing, and draining with the screen in place. Repeat this twice. For proper drainage the jar should be stored upside down at an angle of 50-70 degrees (an angled dish rack works well.)
  • When the sprouts reach their specified length, store them in the refrigerator to slow their growth and preserve their freshness.


Organic Soil Sprouting Technique

  • Soak seeds or grains according to the guidelines given in Instructions for Soaking above.
  • Place organic, compost-rich soil in a shallow tray that is 2-3 inches high. Gardening “flats” work well. The soil should be loose and 1-2 inches deep.
  • Place the soaked, unhulled sunflower seeds, soaked unhulled buckwheat groats, or soaked wheat berries on the soil in a thin even layer (1 cup of grain or seed per 10×14 inch tray). Cover lightly with extra soil.
  • Water gently and thoroughly. Depending on the quality of the soil, you may want to add some “kelp fertilizer” to the irrigation water.
  • Cover with plastic and place in a dark area, at room temperature, for 4 days. Water daily.
  • After approximately 4 days, the sprouts need sunlight and oxygen to fully develop. Remove the plastic and place in indirect sunlight for several more days, continuing to water daily, until the sprouts are 4½ to 6 inches long.
  • To harvest, cut with scissors as close to the soil as possible because the nutrients are most concentrated in the stem near the soil.

Sprouting Tip

Sometimes in humid, hot weather, mold may grow on the sprouts. The best prevention is to rinse frequently and to spray regularly with a 3% food-grade hydrogen peroxide mist.

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