Growing alfalfa sprouts has got to be the easiest ‘gardening’ activity there is.
You can do it inside, they grow in a couple of days, and you don’t even need any dirt!
Growing alfalfa sprouts is a great gardening activity for kids because it’s quick and easy.
You grow the sprouts in a glass jar so the kids can easily see the progress from seed, to tiny sprout, to green leafy sprout ready to eat.
The kids can help with every part of the process and after only a few days they can eat what they’ve grown!
How to Grow Alfalfa Sprouts
To grow alfalfa sprouts you’ll need:
- A glass jar
- A special straining lid, or some nylon netting and a rubber band
- Alfalfa seeds – make sure they are specifically for sprouting.
- A plate or bowl to sit the jar in to drain
Put a tablespoon of alfalfa sprouting seeds into your jar and fill it with enough water to totally cover the seeds.
Put the lid on and let the seeds soak for around 6 hours (or over night)
Once the seeds have soaked, drain the water out of the jar, rinse the seeds with fresh cold water, drain again and let the jar sit upside down on an angle to allow the water to drain. If you have a sprouting lid put the jar on a plate to catch the drips, if you are using netting sit the jar in a bowl to keep it resting on an angle and to catch the drips.
Place the jar of sprouts in a cool spot, out of direct sunlight. Your kitchen bench is usually perfect.
Rinse and drain your sprouts every morning and night until they are about 2-3cms long and starting to green up.
It should take around 3-5 days and then they are ready to eat!
You can store the sprouts in the fridge for a couple of days, but make sure they are not slimy or moldy before you eat them.
So now that you and the kids have grown some alfalfa sprouts, how are you going to get the kids to eat them?
Kid-friendly Alfalfa Ideas
Alfalfa is super good for you, and it’s quite mild in flavour, so it mixes well with all kinds of other things, and that is the trick to getting the kids to give it a go.
Here are a few alfalfa sprout ideas that your kids might like:
- Add sprouts to tacos as part of the salad toppings.
- Include sprouts in sushi – either traditional sushi or bread sushi.
- Add sprouts to coleslaw or other salads your kids like. (We love this greek yoghurt coleslaw recipe)
- Make rice paper rolls (summer rolls) with alfalfa. (we put chicken in ours instead of shrimp)
- You can even add sprouts to smoothies, once they are whizzed up they pretty much disappear.
- Sprouts are also great in all kinds of sandwiches and wraps.
My kids eat sprouts, but only when they grow their own!
Their favourite way to eat them is in a simple mountain bread wrap. A great combination is tuna, alfalfa, carrot and mayo – spread the mountain bread with mayonnaise, then layer with alfalfa sprouts, thinly sliced carrot and tuna. Roll it all up and cut it into ‘sushi’ rounds.