Since bean sprouts of all types are typically grown via hydroponic methods rather than conventional ones, they are among the easiest vegetables to pick. Picking them might even be easier than growing them, although both processes are remarkably simple. If you ever did the classroom experiment where you grew a carrot top in a saucer of water as a child, you already have all the skills you need to grow and pick your own bean sprouts.
Measure the bean sprouts you believe are ready for harvesting. Bean sprouts can be harvested at any point in their growth cycle, but are especially crisp and tasty when they are only 3 to 4 inches long.
Remove the bean sprouts you wish to harvest from their container. Most bean sprouts are grown hydroponically, so you will not have to worry about dirt. Simply pull them out of the water with your fingers.
Rinse the bean sprouts you have harvested under cold running water. Place them in a bowl so they are ready for however you wish to prepare them.
Store remaining unharvested bean sprouts in a dark place, away from direct sunlight. Storing them in the dark improves their flavor. Harvest fresh whenever you are ready to use them.
- When growing bean sprouts for harvest, use bean seeds intended to be grown as food. Seeds meant for food growing are handled under strict governmental guidelines to ensure food safety.
- To sterilize your jar prior to use, simply boil it in water for a few minutes on your stovetop. This is the same process used for home canning.
- Harvest an entire jar of freshly grown bean sprouts at once if you need a large amount. Simply tip the jar over a strainer over your sink to drain the water. Rinse with cold water, then prepare as your recipe directs.
- If you plan to grow successive crops of bean sprouts, do not reuse your glass growing jar without sterilizing it first. Bacteria love a moist environment, and sterilization will kill them and keep your sprouts healthy.