Alfalfa Sprouts | How to grow Alfalfa Sprouts

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Grow your very own alfalfa sprouts at home any time of the year. All you need are alfalfa seeds, water and some patience! Serve these nutritional crunchy homemade alfalfa sprouts with salads, burgers, sandwiches, veggies or lentil dishes.

alfalfa sprouts

About Alfalfa Sprouts

In Hindi, alfalfa sprouts seeds are called ‘rajko‘. I like to buy organic alfalfa seeds from the Fabindia store or superstores. One of my friends showed me how to sprout alfalfa seeds at home and I am so thankful as now I get to enjoy these sprouts whenever I like!

Alfalfa seeds are really tiny but, once they grow they become tasty, nutritious sprouts. They are crunchy and can be eaten in different ways. These sprouts will add texture and nutrients to your family’s diet. Add them to your breakfast, lunch or dinner meals – sprinkle on salads, soups, top in sandwiches, burgers or serve as a side with your main course.

alfalfa seeds in a white bowl.

I sprouted these seeds for 3 days in the hot month of May in India. For colder temperatures, sprout the seeds for 4 to 5 days. You will get beautiful green sprouts that are a delight to look at! I love to add these little beauties to my morning toast with tea and my simple salads.

Once sprouted, store sprouts in a zip lock bag or airtight box for 4 to 5 days in the fridge.

alfalfa sprouts on salad in a white bowl.

Alfalfa sprouts also have health benefits. They are rich in antioxidants, an excellent source of protein for vegetarians, they contain valuable minerals and vitamins like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, B complex vitamins and Vitamins A, C, E and K.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Alfalfa Sprouts

1. Grab a clean jar. You can opt to sterilize the jar by rinsing it with hot water. Pick the stones and damaged seeds from about 2 tablespoons alfalfa seeds. Then add the seeds in the jar.

alfalfa seeds in a sterilized jar.

2. Rinse the seeds a couple of times in the jar. Pour the water out and be careful not to spill the seeds.

Add water to the same jar, cover the jar and leave the seeds to soak in the water for 5 to 6 hours.

You could opt to rinse the seeds in a bowl instead of the jar. And use the jar only to grow the sprouts.

rinsed alfalfa seeds soaking with water

3. Cover the jar with a muslin cloth, cheesecloth or thin cotton kitchen napkin.

soaked alfalfa sprouts in a jar covered with cloth.

4. Tighten the muslin to the mouth of the jar. Then use a rubber band or string to hold it in place.

alfalfa sprouts with a muslin and rubber band.

5. Drain the water from the jar as shown in the picture below. After draining all the water, gently pour some clean filtered water inside the jar through the cheesecloth or muslin. Shake the jar and drain all of the water.

draining water from the jar.

6. Below is a picture of the soaked alfalfa seeds. Leave the seeds in the jar and leave the rubber band and muslin on top.

I opened the muslin cover to show what the soaked seeds look like.

soaked alfalfa seeds.

7. Keep the bottle inverted in a bowl to ensure that all of the water is removed from the jar. Any remaining water will cause the seeds to rot.

inverted jar with alfalfa seeds inside it.

8. Rinse the seeds with clean filtered water every day. In hot temperatures, you may need to rinse the seeds a couple of times.

You can keep the jar inverted and slightly tilted in the bowl so that any extra water drains out. Discard this water from the bowl.

Rinsing removes toxic substances and harmful microorganisms that may grow in the jar. After one day, you will start to see sprouts.

alfalfa sprouts growing in a jar.

9. After the second day, some greens will appear on the sprouts. Remember to rinse the sprouts every day.

After rinsing drain the water completely. Rinsing will also help the seeds to retain moisture and prevent drying.

If during the sprouting process, any time you get an awful smell, trash all of the seeds.

alfalfa sprouts on day 2 in a jar.

10. On the third day, the sprouts should be fully grown. I stopped sprouting after 3 days as it was very hot. So the sprouts are quite small compared to when they are sprouted for 4 to 5 days in cooler temperatures.

Before consuming alfalfa sprouts, rinse them thoroughly with warm or lightly hot water. This may get rid of the harmful bacteria if any on the sprouts.

Note that if you have a weak immune system, avoid eating any type of raw sprouts.

alfalfa sprouts in a white plate.

11. After rinsing and draining all the water, add these sprouts to your salads, rice, curries, sandwiches or burgers for an extra healthy bite!

collage of grown alfalfa sprouts served with vegetables and sprouts in a plate.

Expert Tips

  • Sterilize jar: If you can, sterilize the jar with hot water before you add the alfafa seeds. This will ensure that the jar is not contaminated and help the sprouts to grow to their maximum potential.
  • Rinse alfalfa seeds: Make sure you rinse the alfafa seeds a couple of times. Be careful when pouring the water out of the seeds as you don’t want to lose any of the seeds. To avoid this use a fine strainer.
  • Seasons: Growing alfafa seeds will yield different results in different weather conditions. If you are growing sprouts in hot weather then they will only need 3 days to grow. However, if you are growing alfafa seeds in colder weather then they will take more than 3 days to grow. When sprouts are grown in the summer over a three day period they tend to be quite shorter in comparison to sprouts grown in colder weather. This is because the extra days allow the sprouts to grow longer in length.
  • Serve: Get creative with these delicious seeds and serve them with any dish of your choice. My favorite things to serve alfalfa sprouts with are morning toast, salads, veggies, burgers, curries and more. Don’t forget that these sprouts are rich in protein too and can be added to vegetarian or vegan dishes too!

FAQs

Do we have to change the muslin cloth cover every day?

You don’t need to change the muslin cloth cover every day at all. Use the same muslin cloth to cover the jar throughout the three-day period. Feel free to change it if you want to.

Where can we get alfalfa seeds? Are they available in supermarkets?

You can buy alfalfa seeds in the organic grocery section in supermarkets or you can order them online.

Are broccoli sprouts the same as alfalfa sprouts?

Though broccoli sprouts and alfalfa sprouts look similar they are not the same. Broccoli sprouts and alfalfa sprouts taste different and have different nutritional contents.

More DIY Homemade Sprouts!

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how to make alfalfa sprouts

Alfalfa Sprouts | How to grow Alfalfa Sprouts

Grow your very own Alfalfa Sprouts at home any time of the year with my easy doable method of growing the sprouts in a jar. Serve these nutritional crunchy homemade alfalfa sprouts with salads, burgers, sandwiches, veggies or lentil dishes.
4.78 from 9 votes
Prep Time 3 d 6 hrs
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 3 d 6 hrs
Cuisine World
Course Side Dish
Diet Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 1 medium size bowl of alfalfa sprouts
Units

Ingredients

Materials required

  • 1 cheesecloth or muslin cloth
  • 1 small jar – glass jar or mason jar
  • 1 string (cotton or jute) or rubber band, to tie

Ingredients for sprouting

  • 2 tablespoons alfalfa seeds
  • 1 cup water

Instructions
 

  • Pick the seeds if there are stones or damaged seeds.
  • Take a clean jar. If possible sterilize the jar by pouring hot water over it or keeping the glass jar in boiling water for 5 minutes.
  • Add the alfalfa seeds in the jar.
  • Rinse the seeds a couple of times with water taking care the seeds don’t spill out.
  • Cover the jar lightly and soak the seeds in 1 cup water for 5 to 6 hours.
  • Secure a muslin cloth or cheesecloth on the mouth of the jar with a string or rubber band.
  • Drain all the water from the secured muslin cloth.
  • Next rinse the seeds with clean filtered water. Gently pour some clean filtered water inside the jar through the cheesecloth or muslin. Shake the jar and drain all of the water.
  • Keep the jar inverted for some time till the extra water also drains out.
  • Store the jar in a cool and dry place for 3 to 5 days till you see the sprouts.
  • Rinse the seeds and the jar everyday with clean filtered water and then drain the water completely.
    You can keep the jar slightly inverted in a bowl so that any extra water drains out in the bowl. Discard this water.
  • When the sprouts are done, then remove the alfalfa sprouts with a spoon in another jar/box/zip lock bag and store airtight in the fridge.
  • Alfalfa sprouts stays good for 4 to 5 days when refrigerated.
  • Before using the alfalfa sprouts, thoroughly rinse them with warm or lightly hot water a few times. This also removes the hulls if you do not prefer them.
  • Add the rinsed alfalfa sprouts to your food whenever you want them.

Notes

  • You can use a clean glass jar or mason jar. If you prefer, you can opt to sterilize the glass jar with hot water. You can also use a sprouting jar or a sturdy BPA free plastic jar.
  • Rinsing is very important throughout the entire sprouting process. Rinse the seeds first before soaking. After soaking, rinse the seeds again. While the sprouts are growing, rinse with clean filtered water every day once. 
  • Before eating the sprouts, rinse them thoroughly in warm or lightly hot water. 
  • Keep the jar inverted in a bowl for some minutes to drain out all the water from the jar when you keep the alfalfa seeds to sprout and also after you rinse the sprouted seeds later. 
  • If at any point of time you get an awful or stinky smell, trash the sprouted seeds.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Alfalfa Sprouts | How to grow Alfalfa Sprouts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 4 Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value*
Fat 0.1g0%
Saturated Fat 0.01g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.01g
Sodium 13mg1%
Potassium 21mg1%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 0.4g2%
Sugar 0.2g0%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 57IU1%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.01mg1%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.03mg2%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.1mg1%
Vitamin B6 0.01mg1%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Vitamin E 0.02mg0%
Vitamin K 6µg6%
Calcium 13mg1%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 6µg2%
Iron 0.2mg1%
Magnesium 7mg2%
Phosphorus 10mg1%
Zinc 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This How to grow Alfalfa Sprouts post from the archives first published in August 2012 has been republished and updated on November 2022.

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39 Comments

  1. A well explained post. Always a delight to read your blog,Dassana. Admire the efforts you put into your recipes and the write ups. I do have a question though…while the seeds sprout in jar, they have to be kept covered with muslin cloth, right? U have mentioned to rinse the seeds everyday. So do we have to change the muslin cloth cover everyday? Thanks in advance.5 stars

    1. Thanks NP for your kind words. No need to change the muslin cloth cover every day. Keep them covered.

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