If you ask me which sprouts are my favorite, leek is definitely in my top 3. The incredible aroma, the color and the nutrient-benefits make the sprout a true superfood. During the leek sprouting process, which takes quite some days for the green veggie, your kitchen will taste like a green, herbal garden. You will see when you try, it's really incredible.
So what makes leek sprouts so special from a nutritional point of view: Leek sprouts contain an amazing amount of 4.8g protein per 100g which is more than twice the amount grown leek contains. They are loaded with minerals such as zinc, potassium, selenium, iron, as well as various nourishing vitamins. Plus (my favorite part), leek sprouts are a rich source of inulin - a prebiotic which supports the maintenance of a healthy intestinal flora.
Ready to learn how to become an apartment-farmgirl yourself and grow your own little "mini greens" in just a few days? Then, read on.
I personally love to sprout leek seeds in a sprouting jar. First, it's a perfect way to closely observe the process and second, the jar is super easy to handle at home and may even look pretty in your kitchen. My Go-To equipment is the following:
- Draining Wrack (optional equipment: I often use a standard oat bowl)
- Sprouting Seeds: Feel free to go with any brand you like. I currently purchase most of my seeds from a small German company called Eschenfelder (unpaid advertisement) as I am very happy with their organic seed quality. If you use other brands, keep in mind to purchase organic quality as you do not want to eat raw polluted greens.
While Leek Sprouts overall are super easy to grow at home, they take quite some time until they are ready. In the following, you find an easy "step by step manual" on how to grow Leek sprouts in a sprouting jar at home.
1. Use 1-2 Tbsp Leek Seeds, place them in your sprouting glass and let the seeds soak in water overnight or (for at least 8h).
2. Rinse off your seeds the next morning and place the jar diagonal in a bowl or draining wrack (open side/lid facing down so that extra water can drain off.
3. Wash seeds 2-3 times per day to ensure proper hydration of the sprouts.
4. Continue process for 10-15 days (sprouted seeds). Then, harvest and enjoy!
Note: If you want to grow "microgreens" from Leek seeds, it will take between 14-21 days. In this case, other tools/ equipment is advisable. I personally recommend to grow leek microgreens in soil. (DIY not covered in this article).
Leek sprouts smell and taste like grown leek, even more intensive sometimes I feel. Their wonderful spicy, deliciously nutty and aromatic flavor makes a wonderful addition to all kinds of savory dishes. One of my favorite is to top them onto marinated mushrooms. The aromatic leek sprouts create a wonderful balance to the umami-mushroom flavor.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, pretty much all savory dishes harmonize with leek sprouts. My go-to combos are leek sprouts with mushrooms, leek sprouts as a taco topping or in combination with hummus. Tahini, chickpeas and sprouts are also a combo made in heaven!
I recommend 1-2 Tbsp of Leek seeds to kickstart the process in a 490ml mason jar. With sprouts it's always better to sprout several small batches instead of storing them. There is always a spoilage risk and the sprouts also loose valuable nutrients the longer they are stored in the fridge.
Soak your sprouts for at least 8hours (ideally 12 / overnight) before you rinse them off to start the sprouting process.
I recommend you to wash them at least twice a day. I normally rinse them off with cold water when I get up in the morning and before I go to sleep at night. If you wish, you can also wash them a third or fourth time but it's no must.
4. How long does it take to sprout Leek Seeds and when can I harvest my Leek Sprouts?
Unlike other sprouts, leek takes quite some time to sprout. The regular sprouting process takes 10-15 days.
5. Which equipment do I recommend for Leek Seed sprouting?
I personally love to grow Leek seeds in a sprouting glass because it is super easy to handle.
6. Do I need to cook Leek Sprouts before eating them?
No. Leek seeds can and should be enjoyed raw. This way you ensure to provide your body with all the valuable nutrients the "raw leek seed" contains.
No it isn't necessary to grow leek in the dark. However, make sure to not expose your leek sprouts to direct sunlight. Leek sprouts prefer cooler temperatures during the growth process of 10-20 degrees celsius.
Sprouted Leek Seed spoil quickly (just like any other sprouted seed). Therefore, I highly recommend you eat them right after harvesting. If however, you can't finish them all, keep them in your airy sprouting jar and store it in your fridge. Use them up within 2-4 days. The longer sprouts are stored, the less nutrients they contain.
If you try to sprout your first own leek sprouts, tag me on social Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook so I can see your incredible sprouting results and feature them. As always, feel free to get in touch with me through the comment section below, especially if you have any questions with regards to the sprouting process or similar.
Love to hear from you & HAPPY SPROUTING. xx, Karo
1. Book: Angelika Fürstler (4. Auflage 2019): Sprossen & Mikrogrün
2. Book: Barbara Rias-Bucher (2. Auflage 2019): Keimlinge und Sprossen - Vitamine und Mineralstoffe von der Fensterbank
3. Germline (2020): Sprouted Leek (September, 4th 2020)
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