How To Sprout Radish Seeds

Radish sprouts on a wooden table.

My mother called them mermaid's hair… and we never had a shortage of mermaid's hair in the fridge growing up. My mom fed me sprouts (specifically alfalfa sprouts) all the time. If I wanted a salad, a sandwich, or something crunchy and yummy to eat, I always went for the sprouts. It wasn’t until I reached adulthood that I found out I could sprout more than just alfalfa: broccoli, radish, mung beans, clover, lentils, and more.

What Are “Sprouts?”

Sprouts—essentially a micro-green—are incredibly nutritious. They are the babies of the big plants we all know and love. They pack a lot of punch into a few tendrils of greenery. During the sprouting stage, seeds release the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients the plant needs to survive and grow into a strong, healthy adult plant. Eating sprouts during this stage gives us the benefit of consuming all of these wonderful nutrients.

Sprouts are a powerful source of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, but just how do they taste? I’m happy to tell you that sprouts are just as jam-packed with flavor as they are with nutritive goodness. Imagine the flavor of a particular plant like radish or daikon densely concentrated into a small sprout. Radish sprouts are very green tasting, but they also pack a slightly spicy punch. They add a robust flavor to just about anything, like salads, sandwiches, or even as a garnish on soup.

All About Sprouting Radish Seeds

It’s fairly easy to grow radish seeds in your own kitchen so you have them on hand anytime you’re ready to eat them. Here's what you need:

  • A flat, open container
  • Paper towels or cheesecloth
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Radish seeds

Here's how to grow your radish sprouts:

  1. Put 2 tablespoons of radish seeds into a flat open container and cover with water.
  2. Set a timer for 15 minutes and let the seeds soak.
  3. Strain the water from the seeds.
  4. Place folded paper towels or cheesecloth into the bottom of the flat, open container.
  5. Spread the soaked radish seeds evenly across the paper towels and pour another 1/4 cup of water over them.
  6. Place the container in a well-lit window.
  7. Water the seeds daily so the paper towels or cheesecloth remains moist. Don’t overwater and allow the seeds to sit in puddles of water, however.
  8. The seeds should begin to sprout within 48 hours.
  9. Keep the seeds moist until they reach approximately 3 inches long. You can let the seeds grow longer if you like. Depending on the conditions of your home, this may take 6 to 7 days.
  10. Before you eat your radish sprouts, they need a thorough wash. Add 4 tablespoons of vinegar to 2 cups of water and swish the radish sprouts around in this solution.
  11. Snip off the roots before you eat your sprouts if they have grown on a paper towel because the paper towel has a tendency to stick to the roots. If you grow them on cheesecloth, you don't need to snip off the roots.
  12. Store your radish sprouts in a plastic container with a dry paper towel in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

What is your favorite sprout other than radish? Have you ever tried a daikon sprout before?

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