Growing radish sprouts at home is easy and cheaper than buying them at the grocery store – if you can even find them there. All you need is to rinse them a couple of times a day and nature does the rest. Plus, they are the key ingredient to taking your sandwich to a whole new level.
Did you know that sprouts are a living food?
Living foods are so good for you because they are full of living enzymes, have lots of fiber and are nutrient dense. The living enzymes and fiber in sprouts aid in digestion. The enzymes are at their peak when food is alive because as soon as your food is picked from the plant the enzymes start dying off. Fiber is something that we cannot digest actually, but it plays a very important role in our digestion because it moves the food throughout our digestive tract, plus as an added bonus, it keeps us regular.
When you eat food that is alive you get the most out of it for your body because it has the maximum amount of nutrients in it while it is still alive. Plus sprouts can even be good for your heart by lowering your blood cholesterol. There is even some evidence to suggest that they actually increase the “good” cholesterol and lower the “bad”.
The best part about radish sprouts though is that on top of being good for you, they are also scrumptious! They taste, not surprisingly, like radishes!! What sets these apart from other sprouts is that they give you that little bit of a kick that takes your meals up a notch.
What can you put radish sprouts on?
Start by thinking about what you would put radishes and sprouts in or on, then try using radish sprouts instead. Radish sprouts go great in a salad, on rice bowls, and in wraps, but our favorite thing to put sprouts on is a sandwich. Sprouts always take a sandwich to a whole new level and radish sprouts do this, but with that little kick we mentioned before. Alright so now you know why you need to grow radish sprouts, all you need to know next is how.
How to grow radish sprouts?
Radish sprouts are probably the easiest sprouts to grow. They are much easier to grow than broccoli sprouts which require additional care. And they don’t take as long to get a harvest as microgreens, although those take just 3 days longer.
First, you want to source out some good quality and preferably organic seeds for sprouting. You need to make sure they are still in their raw form. You can’t use roasted seeds for example. We are focusing on radish sprouts here in this post, but you can substitute any kind of edible, raw, organic seed for sprouting. Whichever ones you choose, make sure it says sproutable somewhere on the package and as silly as this sounds, make sure they are also edible. We, personally, love these radish seeds from True Leaf market.
First, soak your seeds. This counts as Day 0. You want to sprout as many as you can eat within about 5 to 7 days because sprouts keep in the fridge for about a week. Usually we soak 1-2 tablespoons and that will turn into about the amount you buy in those clear square clamshells at the grocery store. Cover the seeds with at least an inch of clean, cool water. Make sure that all of your seeds are under the water and you want them to soak for at least 8 hours or ideally overnight. Then in the morning strain and rinse the radish sprouts and put them in whatever you use to sprout.
This is considered Day 1. I use this one in the pics below but even easier than that, if you have a mason jar kicking around, you can use cheesecloth under the ring. Or if you want another mason jar solution, these are great too.
Once you have them in your sprouting container of choice, I throw a towel over them to keep them in the dark. You could also put them in the cupboard to keep them cool and in the dark. The reason for keeping your radish seeds in the dark is that once enough light hits the seeds it communicates to the plant to start growing the leaf and bud, which makes for short stubby sprouts. I prefer my sprouts to be long and slender because I get more bang for my buck this way, more sprout for your seed so to speak. The next thing you will need to do is rinse and drain your seeds again in the afternoon.
Starting on Day 2 rinse and drain them every morning and afternoon until Day 4. Never forget to rinse your sprouts, like never forget. They will start to grow bacteria pretty quickly if you do not rinse them well and often. For this reason, I prefer the towel method over putting them in the cupboard because I see them sitting on my counter which reminds me to rinse them. It only takes a few seconds a day to do and really it is the easiest part, nature is just doing its thing for the rest of the process.
Day 2 – It’s not mold!
You can see we have some seeds still closed up, some where the embryo has formed and some where the seed coat is half way back or so. Before we get to Day 3, I want to let you know if you see something that looks like what is pictured below growing on the stems, don’t panic it is not mold. At first glance it may look like mold, but it’s actually little tiny hairs or maybe roots and they seem to go away when you rinse them. Again, not mold.
Day 3 – We see the cotyledon is in various stages here.
Day 4 – You can see the seed leaves or cotyledon have formed on the radish sprouts. They are ready!
When are they ready to eat?
On Day 4 you can harvest them and one of the benefits of harvesting them at this point is that they have the most enzymes they will have in their growth cycle. They decline slightly the next day, however, on Day 5 the radish sprouts are nuttier which I personally find yummier. Additionally another day means your sprouts got to grow for one more day so they are bigger and you feel like you get more sprout reward for your efforts.
Regardless if you choose to harvest on Day 4 or Day 5, when you take them out of the dark hideout that you chose, give them some light (ideally sunlight) for anywhere between 1-3 hours. That gives your radish sprouts a little spurt of leaf growth and they turn from a yellowy colour to a beautiful green.
Now that you’ve got your fresh radish sprouts, you can put them on a salad, stick them on a rice bowl, put them into a wrap or use them in a sprout sandwich, which we think we’ve perfected and you can check it out here. However you decide to eat your sprouts, when you take a bite remember how good eating living foods are for you.
This is a guest post by Savanna Hines.
Savanna lives in British Columbia and has experience in the hospitality industry/entrepreneurship. She’s also a certified life coach. Authenticity is important to her. She’s passionate about living a raw, authentic and unabashedly vulnerable life! She also believes that the whole raw vulnerability thing is the cornerstone for growth, love and connection so she’s committed to inspire conversation about all of the qualities that make us human.
On her blog “Being Raw” (coming soon) Savanna wants you to explore with her the concept of taking in and putting out raw vibes to the world with amazingly unique raw/vegan recipes and insights on being your most vulnerable self.
Love sprouts? Learn more about making sprouting a regular habit