Alfalfa sprouts are tasty and nutritious, but many people avoid them due to the risk of salmonella infection. If you’re worried about memories of clover sprouts from a few years ago, try growing your own alfalfa sprouts. By growing alfalfa sprouts at home, you can greatly reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses associated with commercially grown sprouts. Keep reading to learn more about house buds.
How to grow alfalfa sprouts
Learning how to grow alfalfa sprouts is not very difficult. The simplest tool for growing seeds is a canning jar with a germination lid. Bud covers are available when you buy your own seeds or in the canning section of the grocery store. You can make your own jar by covering the jar with a double layer of cheesecloth and securing it with a large rubber band. Clean your appliances with a solution of 3 tablespoons of unscented bleach per liter of water and rinse well.
Purchase certified pathogen-free seeds that are packaged and labeled for germination. Seeds intended for planting can be treated with pesticides, fungicides, and other chemicals and are not safe to eat. If you want an extra precaution, you can heat the seeds in a pot of hydrogen peroxide to 140°F (60°C). Dip the seeds into hot hydrogen peroxide and stir often, then rinse under running tap water for one minute. Place the seeds in a bowl of water and remove any debris that floats to the surface. Much pollution is associated with this debris.
How to germinate alfalfa
Once you have your supplies and are ready to plant your alfalfa sprouts, follow these simple steps for growing your alfalfa sprouts:
- Put 1 tablespoon of the seeds and enough water to cover them in a jar and put the lid in a safe place. Wash the seeds the next morning. Strain the water from the jar through the bud lid or cheesecloth. Gently stir to remove as much of the water as possible, then add lukewarm water and stir the seeds into the water to rinse. Add enough water to cover the seeds, and replace the jar in a warm, dark place.
- Repeat the drying and rinsing process twice a day for four days. On the fourth day, place the jar in a bright spot out of direct sunlight to allow the house sprouts to develop some green.
- Wash the alfalfa sprouts and place them in a bowl of water at the end of the fourth day. Remove the layers of seeds that have risen to the surface and strain through a sieve.
- The sprouts should be kept in the fridge in a plastic bag. Homemade sprouts will keep up to a week in the refrigerator.
- Now that you know how to grow your own alfalfa sprouts, you can enjoy this nutritious treat without any hassle.