Updated: Apr 26
Why are sprouts at the grocery store so expensive?
Are they hard to grow?
Do they have any nutritional value?
Just a few weeks ago, I had all of those questions.
But now. Oh-hoh NOW. I'm an expert! (I also made a companion video to this blog post if that's your thang!)
"Tell me more, Jules!"
Just check out these beauties!
I GREW THEM MYSELF.
If I'd gotten these from Whole Foods, I'd be out $5.99! And probably would have gotten home only to discover they were brown and slimy on the bottom.
Cue: Robert from OrganicSproutBox.com.
When Robert reached out to us about his new company, Organic Sproutbox, my reaction was along the lines of, "YOU'RE GONNA TEACH US HOW TO GROW SPROUTS? OMG I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO THAT."
What can I say? I'm easily excitable.
Maybe I should put a cap on it.
Over the coming days, using the tools Robert kindly gifted us, Robin and I followed the video instructions and started our very first at-home sprout experiment.
How did it go? Let's see...
Well, that sure LOOKS easy. Is there anything else involved in growing sprouts at home?
As you can see above, you've got to wait a few days for your sprouts to, well, sprout, but the total time commitment is about, oh, one minute per day. After soaking the seeds for one day, you simply rinse and drain each jar of sprouts once a day for three days (covering with a towel each day after rinsing)! On day five, bam! You're ready to rock and roll!
Day 5! (I had a little trouble with my adzuki - the red bean - sprouts.)
DISCLAIMER: This post is not sponsored, but does contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you make a qualifying purchase. As always, we only recommend products we use and love!
So... how much DOES it cost?
The cost of a few tablespoons of dried mung beans from the bulk section? So nominal I can't even calculate it! Even if you invest in jars (I got 3 for $5.99!), the cost of growing your own sprouts is mere pennies overall.
The yield on four tablespoons of mung bean sprouts or one tablespoon of alfalfa sprouts is about 1/2 cup = a nice topping for two sandwiches or stir fries.
Did someone say stir fry? (Mung bean sprouts and parsley with Sweet Earth Mindful Chick'n [watch the taste test here!].)
Then why are sprouts at the grocery store so expensive?
I asked Robert this, and he said, "If I had to guess, I would say high costs are due to packaging, refrigeration, and transportation."
But grow your own? You've got a meal for 1-2 for $3.99!
Sprouts taste great and all, but can they have a larger impact?
YES. Robert continued his answer above by saying, "Not surprisingly, all of these things [packaging, refrigeration, and transportation] are also drivers of climate change. Sprouting at home greatly reduces all of those things and the cost associated with it."
Sprouts can also play an important role in food accessibility. Low impact, inexpensive, grow-at-home foods like sprouts could potentially provide healthy, nutrient dense, eco-friendly food to areas otherwise known as "food deserts."
For even more compelling reasons to grow your own sprouts, click here.
Oh, a tasty crunch with my Tofurky, Chao cheese, and cashew spread wrap? Don't mind if I do...
You said, "nutrient dense." What does that mean? Doesn't seem like sprouts could have much nutritional value...
While it varies depending on sprout type, according to WedMD, sprouts "generally contain high levels of folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin K. In fact, they have higher amounts of these nutrients than fully-grown versions of the same plants. Furthermore, food made from sprouts, such as sprouted tofu or soy milk, has more protein and less fat than other forms of these foods."
Sprouts also have calcium, potassium, and beta-carotene. Put all of that together and you have a powerhouse, plant-based food that can lower blood sugar levels and improve heart and digestive health! Not bad for something with 8 calories per 1 cup serving (alfalfa sprouts), eh?
I see you hiding in there, mung bean sprouts! You tasty!
Okay. You convinced me! What do I need to start growing my own sprouts?
Wow, you ask all of the right questions! Of course, you can scoop up the essential materials on Robert's site, OrganicSproutBox.com (again, not a sponsored post - we just think what he's doing is great!). Besides seeds, Robin and I agree that the key element is a mesh lid for your wide-mouthed mason jar(s). This makes the daily rinsing and draining a complete breeze.
Robin likes to order her bulk pantry items -which now includes seeds for sprouting!- from Thrive Market.
Did someone say sprouts? (Meet Sprout the cat.)