Bean sprouts are simple enough to grow at home indoors. Some beans, such as lentils and mung beans, are better to grow for sprouts than others. There are generally two methods used for growing bean sprouts. Some people use a glass jar and water, while others decide to plant the beans as seeds and grow sprouts in the soil. The beans used for sprouts should be clean and free of chemicals for best results.
Lentils and mung beans produce easy-to-digest sprouts. Other small dried beans, such as chickpeas and adzuki beans, also work well for bean sprouts. Dried beans that won't work as well include black beans and pinto beans, because the sprouts of these beans shouldn't be eaten raw.
A person should use only whole beans for sprouting. Broken or split beans won't sprout. For safety, the beans should be untreated. Dried beans that are sold in grocery stores are suitable for sprouting, while beans sold as seeds in a garden center may not be.
One way to grow bean sprouts is to cover the seeds in water inside a glass jar. Two tablespoons (28 grams) of bean seeds for every 3 cups (750 mL) of water is recommended. Using the jar method, the beans need to soak for about 12 hours. The top of the jar should be covered with mesh such as cheesecloth so that the water can be drained easily.
Once the beans are drained, they should be left to sit for several hours. More water should be added to the beans and then poured out again at least twice daily to keep the beans wet. The wet beans will grow sprouts within a few days. A person can keep adding and draining water until the sprouts are the desired length.
This method of sprouting doesn't require any sunlight. There is the risk of mold or bacteria forming on the bean sprouts, so it's recommended that the sprouts be cooked to kill any bacteria. A person who wants to eat sprouts raw should try the soil method.
In the soil method, a shallow plastic container is filled with potting soil. Bean seeds are soaked overnight to soften them and then placed on the soil and covered with a thin layer. After the seeds are planted, the soil needs water. It should stay moist throughout the growing process.
Like sprouts grown in a jar, soil-grown bean sprouts do not need sunlight at first. Once the seeds begin sprouting, sunlight will encourage some greenery. To harvest the sprouts, a person should clip them just above the soil line.