The Ultimate Sprouting Guide

The Ultimate Guide To


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Why Sprout

What to Sprout


How To Sprout


Why Sprout?

Sprouts are one of the most incredibly nutritious, affordable and easy to grow foods we have available. They are one of very few edible plants that can be grown with limited exposure to the sun, which is why sprouting should be an important part your survival strategy.

Sprouts are a living food.

Plant based foods in their original and uncooked form are what we call a “living” or “raw” food. Once any food has been cooked or heated, it loses essential vitamins and nutrients and becomes a dead food. Living foods still contain all the life giving nutrients (enzymes, oxygen, vitamins, nutrients and chlorella) that are absolutely vital to the proper maintenance of the human body.

Sprouting at home can help improve your health and provide fresh food during emergencies. In this booklet we will teach you everything you need to know about preparing, purchasing, growing and harvesting a year round organic sprout garden right in your own kitchen.


Ounce for ounce sprouts are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. According to and Wikipedia sprouts contain:

  • Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K,
  • Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Zinc, Chlorophyll, Phosphorus, Niacin, Magnesium, Pantothenic Acid
  • Trace Elements
  • All amino acids
  • Protein: up to 35%”

Sprouts are alkalizing to the body
Most modern diets are incredibly acidic, which leads to weak bone, fatigue, weight gain and an out of balance digestive system. Eating alkalizing foods like sprouts help to balance the diet and lead to better overall health.

Sprouting helps your digestive system
Sprouts help to neutralize something called phytic acid, an acid in your body that binds with minerals like calcium, iron, copper, zinc and magnesium. When phytic acid is bonded to those nutrients your body is unable to absorb them. Sprouts will allow you to absorb these nutrients better, which help nutrient absorption from any food that you eat.

Sprouts also help to neutralize enzyme inhibitors, allowing healthy enzymes to operate. Adding them to your regular diet can also help with the breakdown of complex carbohydrates and sugars and turn them into glucose molecules making them easier for your body to digest. It has been suggested that sprouts even deactivate a carcinogen found in grains call “aflotoxins”.

*Under certain conditions food borne illnesses can occur during the sprouting process. Although this is somewhat rare (like with raw milk) since sprouts are grown in moist, warm conditions bacterial growth can occur. However most sprouting seeds are tested for bacteria and as long you use uncontaminated seeds and use clean equipment and water and refrigerate your sprouts the risk of bacteria is almost 0.

More on Sprouting Nutrition


Sprouting kits and seeds are very affordable, particularly if you obtain seed from a farm store and buy in bulk. Some stores have 20 lbs of seeds for about 20 dollars; remember that a few tablespoons can fill up an entire jar with sprouts. A small package of live sprouts can cost 5 dollars or more at the grocery store.

Growing your own sprouts requires very minimal effort to get started. It’s easy, quick and fun. Get the kids involved and make it part of your routine. With a few minutes a day for 3-5 days you have a week or more worth of sprouts. See easy how growing your own sprouts can be.

Eco Friendly
When you sprout, or grow anything yourself, you are helping the environment by reducing the amount of energy and thereby reducing the amount of carbon emissions that are needed to bring food to your table.


Sprouts are a great survival food. Most stored foods loose nutrients over time; additionally cooked foods lose a great deal of the initial nutritional value. Sprouts are a quick and cheap food that can supplement the rest of your food storage.

Convinced yet? Now let’s explore what we can sprout and how to sprout it.

What to Sprout?

There are many different options for which seeds you can sprout, the most popular being alfalfa and mung bean sprouts (what you’ve most likely seen in the store).

Popular Sprouts include:

  • -Sunflower
  • -Mung beans
  • -Snow, Green Pea
  • -Wheat
  • -Radish
  • -Adzuki
  • -Garbanzo bean
  • -Barley
  • -Chinese Cabbage
  • -Lentils (French, green, red)
  • -Chia
  • -Broccoli

Other sprouts:

  • -Buckwheat
  • -Almonds
  • -Soybeans
  • -Black Eyed peas
  • – Black, Kidney Beans
  • -Sesame
  • -Pumpkin
  • -Peanuts
  • -Clover
  • -Garlic
  • -Onion
  • -Fenugreek

Sprouting Instructions and Dietary Information for Individual Seed Types

Where to buy

Many local stores carry sprouting seeds. Some good places to look are health stores, preparedness stores, farm stores (not always best for consumption). Some great sites to buy online are:


Once you have sprouting seeds you will need to purchase or make a sprouter.

Sprouting Jar

The jar method of sprouting is one of the easiest ways to sprout. You can create your own using a mason jar and some kind of screen like cheesecloth, mesh or metal screens. Cheesecloth is probably the easiest and most sanitary method; you will need a rubber band to secure it to the top of your jar. There are also several pre-made options like the Sprouting Jar from Handy pantry shown here.

Sprouting Jar

Sprouting Cloth/Bag

Another great method for sprouting is known as “the bag method” or sometimes the hemp bag method. Some people swear by the bag method, saying that it has better air circulation and drainage than other methods, which allows for high yields and better sprouts. Some debate exists about bag sprouting however; some have suggested mold is more common with the bag method. Since sprouting bags are very affordable and easy to transport, they are a great option.

Sprout Sack

Sprouting Tray

There are several different types of sprouting trays available like the popular Sproutmaster and the Sprout Garden. A huge advantage of the tray system is you can grow a lot more sprouts and use less space. The only real drawback to using a tray sprouter is that they are slightly more expensive and slightly more difficult to use. For larger production a tray is a great option, if you don’t need a lot of sprouts one of the other methods would be preferable.
Sprouting Tray

Make Your Own

A simple sprouter can be made easily with a mason jar and some cheesecloth. Simply attach the cheesecloth to the top of your mason jar with a rubber band and you’re done. Below are some great tutorials on other Do-It-Yourself sprouters.

How to Sprout

There are several different ways you can sprout but the basics apply to every method.

Soak Your Seeds – Soak your seeds in warm water (NOT hot water) for about 24 hours, smaller seeds can be soaked for 6-12 hours. Make sure that you use purified water, as contaminates from water can be absorbed into the seeds and in turn pass it on to you. Also many states use chlorine and fluoride in the public water, water with these chemicals should be avoided if possible.

Drain – The next day once your seeds have had time to absorb the much needed water you will need to drain the jar. Use your cheesecloth or covering here so that you can drain the water and keep all your seeds.

Store Away From Light – Set your jar or cloth away from light in a warm place. A popular option is to place the jar in a kitchen cabinet. For proper airflow and drainage you jar should be place angling down like pictured. Some people say to store your jar upside down but this is a mistake because you will be covering your lid, blocking airflow and reducing the space your seeds have to grow.

Rinse, Rinse, Rinse – Everyday you will need to rinse your seeds, drain them and put them back into the angled position. Rinsing your seeds 2-3 times a day is recommended for most types of seeds. By the 3-5 day your sprouts should be ready for the next step.

Put out in the sun – The final step to your sprouts is exposing them to sun, this will allow them to absorb chlorophyll which will add the green color to your sprouts as well as help your sprouts develop nutrients. Most seeds only require a few hours of sun exposure, but it will vary depending on what seed you are using.

Harvest and Enjoy – A common question is how do I know when my sprouts are done? Some of it is guesswork, but with seeds you will see green leaves and with beans, nuts and grains you will see white chutes. Basically they should look like the photos below. This site has great info on when to harvest different seed types

Sprouted Mung BeansAlfalfa Sprouted

Uh oh!!!!!

If you see mold on your sprouts, or notice any other odd things DO NOT eat them. If you do have mold on your sprouts here are a few things you might consider doing differently next time to prevent it.

  • -Improve air circulation. Although cabinets work most of the time, sometimes you will not have enough fresh air flowing to your seeds. If this is the case try some other dark location, or add a small fan to improve circulation.
  • -Make sure your seeds are properly drained. Poor drainage is a leading cause of mold, that’s why we angle our jars.
  • -Clean your sprouter and any equipment used in the process (including your hands)
  • -Try using colder water during rinses and consider adding an additional rinse per day
  • -Consider switching to a different sprouter

Sprouting Resources

Sprouting Movies

Sprouting Books
Sprout Garden

Fresh Food From Small Spaces

The Sprouting Book

Sprouts The Miracle Food

Great Sprouting Sites

About The Author

Survival Spot is dedicated to helping everyone learn philosophy and fundamentals of preparedness and survival.

25 Responses

  1. Gardengirl

    Great post! Thanks for the info. Where can I get everything all in one package?

    • concerned47

      WOW! That is amazing! No one can grow "terminator" GMO seeds! Hold onto some of those seeds – you may need them in the future. Go to: Organic Consumers Association AND World Natural Health Organization (WNHO) for great info plus history of Monsanto!

  2. Shreela

    Great article/PDF. I'm going to try sprouting again; we already like sprouts on salads and sandwiches (avocado, cucumber, and alfalfa sprouts with mayo, tomato optional, on multigrain bread, yum!)

  3. MrsJ

    I tried for years with the Mason jar method and often had problems, but I've just bought (very cheaply) one of those multi-tray sprouting systems and it works better than I could hope – and takes up very little space.

  4. Pam

    The top tray of my worm farm works GREAT for sprouts! And the worms get what we don't use.
    I feed the worms, the worms feed the soil, the soil feeds the plants, and the plants feed me!

  5. Philippe

    ok, but what if you run out of seeds.How do you take this a step further and creat more seeds? or is that not Practicle?

  6. William Barentine

    Evidently, NOT!
    That's one reason I chose not to grow them…..
    Storage is a problem can't be dehydrated, and can't be re-hydrated, but, they do grow fast!
    ALSO: Like Chinese food, you can eat a couple of pounds, but in 15 minutes you'll be hungry again!
    No substance, just water!
    Not much of a diet, albeit a supplement, I guess.

  7. William Barentine

    Evidently, NOT!
    That's one reason I chose not to grow them…..
    Storage is a problem can't be dehydrated, and can't be re-hydrated, but, they do grow fast!
    ALSO: Like Chinese food, you can eat a couple of pounds, but in 15 minutes you'll be hungry again!
    No substance, just water!
    Not much of a diet, albeit a supplement, I guess.

  8. Steve

    Great article on sprouts and sprouting. One more great home sprouter should be mentioned here. The Easygreen Sprouter. I own 2 of them myself. Having been a commercial sprout grower for a number of years these are the best and easiest home sprouters available. The sprout quality is superior to other growing methods.

    • Survivalspot

      Very interesting design there! Thanks for sharing. I bet it does really well with wheat grass.

  9. Steve

    It is a cool sprouter. I've grown a lot of wheat grass in the Easygreen with dirt and hydroponically and it does an excellent job.

  10. concerned47

    Sprouts are fantastic! Fresh right now food that can help with any sort of ailement! Here is a thought on keeping the sprouts fresh and free from mold or fungus: go to Freshwater Organics they have a powder that is made of "food grade" fossilized diatoms. Sprinkle on growing sprouts! Also great for you too! Tasteless and helps you stay healthy! Inexpensive. Amazing! Good info: is DE?, or look at USES FOR DE and "Detox"…DE: Diatom-aceous earth! Keep Sprouting and Stay Healthy

  11. Dale

    I tried to download the sprouting pdf but I got, "Sprouting guide could not be downloaded because it could not be found –error 404." Just got the email so the link must be bad. Any ideas? Please email me at: Thanks, Dale


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