Yes, You Can Grow Alfalfa or Clover Sprouts

Heather Reseck

Prep Time: 2 minutes a day
Growing Time: 6-7 days
Yield: 4 cups
Cost per serving: $0.16

You can buy a set of 3 plastic sprouting lids (fine, medium and coarse mesh) and a sprouting chart for about $5 at most natural food stores. Or you can make your own screen with cheese cloth (available at grocery stores) and a rubber band to hold it in place.)

Equipment needed:
• Wide-mouth quart jar
• Fine-mesh sprouting lid
• Medium-mesh sprouting lid
• Cereal bowl

2 tablespoons alfalfa or clover sprouts
1 cup warm water

Place the seeds in the jar and cover with water. Place the fine-mesh sprouting lid on the jar and soak for 4-8 hours. Drain the soaking water. Fill the jar with tepid tap water and drain. Shake jar gently to distribute seeds along the side. Place the jar, screen side down, in a cereal bowl at an angle to allow ventilation and drainage. Repeat rinsing and draining procedure twice a day for 6-7 days until the sprouts have reached 1-1 ½ inches long. Switch to the medium-mesh lid on the fourth day in order to rinse away the hulls. (This makes the sprouts more attractive and helps them keep longer.) One to two days before harvesting, place the sprouts in light so they develop chlorophyll and turn greener. When ready to harvest, rinse with cold water. Drain well. Leave mesh lid on and refrigerate. Rinse and drain well daily. Use in salads, on sandwiches, or in wraps.

For more information about sprouting, see or

In case you are wondering about the safety of eating sprouts, keep in mind that no salmonella outbreaks have been traced to home-grown sprouts or to organic seeds.

Tips for safely growing sprouts:

• Buy only food-grade seeds that are intended for sprouting.
• Purchase seeds from reputable companies that test seeds for contamination.
• Whenever possible, buy organic seeds since they are handled more carefully.
• Use clean jars and water, and properly refrigerate finished sprouts.

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