What’s Inside: Dehydrating sprouts is a great way to preserve sprouts when you don’t have time to eat them before they go bad. In this article I show you how to dehydrate sprouts and make sprout powder.
Dehydrating sprouts is something you don’t often hear about, for good reason. Sprouts are best eaten fresh. Also sprouts grow quickly, so with just a bit of planning, you can easily have fresh sprouts every day if you’d like.
But sometimes life happens. I know, because it happened to me. Due to a family emergency, I had fresh sprouts, and wasn’t able to use them right away. Dehydrating the sprouts was the best way for me preserve them so I could use them at a later time.
Also, if you want to have sprout powder on hand, and don’t want to pay the ridiculously high prices for them, growing sprouts, dehydrating them, and powdering them is the best way to go.
Dehydrated sprouts are a great way to sneak in a big boost of nutrition that even the pickiest eaters won’t notice. Sprout powder also takes up a minuscule fraction of the space as fresh sprouts, so dehydrating sprouts is a great way to pack a lot of nutrition into a small space.
Without further ado, let’s get into the process of dehydrating sprouts.
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- Dehydrating sprouts is a great way to make them shelf stable.
- Before dehydrating, rinse sprouts to remove the hulls.
- After rinsing, drain them and pat them dry
- Dehydrate sprouts at 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The lower temperature helps prevent nutrient loss.
- It takes about 6 hours to dehydrate sprouts
- Process dehydrated sprouts in a blender to make sprout powder.
Step 1: Green Up the Sprouts
It’s not absolutely necessary to allow your sprouts to green before dehydrating them. However, when you expose them to light, they’ll green up, and your sprouts will get a big boost of chlorophyll, so why not?
In my case, I had one tray of sprouts that was already green, and another one that wasn’t green. I stuck the tray of sprouts that wasn’t green under a grow light for a few hours, while I did other things, so it could green up at least some.
Step 2: Before Dehydrating Sprouts, Rinse and Remove the Hulls
This is something else that I’ll say isn’t absolutely necessary, but I love giving my sprouts a good rinse and getting rid of as many hulls as possible before using them fresh, so why not do the same before dehydrating them?
There are two simple ways to get rid of the hulls. You can use a salad spinner, such as this one found on Amazon. You can also just put them in a bowl of water and swish them around. You’ll see the seeds off to the side and on the bottom of the bowl or sink.
Do the best you can to separate the hulls from the sprouts but trust me; you’ll never get them all. You’ll also end up dumping some of the sprouts. Don’t stress over this because no matter how hard you try, you’ll have some hulls in your sprouts, and some sprouts will go down the drain. It’s okay!
Step 3: Drain the Sprouts and Pat them Dry before Dehydrating Them
Once you’ve rinsed your sprouts and removed the hulls, drain the sprouts and pat them dry. Not only will sopping wet sprouts take longer to dehydrate, you don’t want to steam them while they’re dehydrating.
I like this colander that I picked up on Amazon because it fits across most any sink. That’s ideal, because I prefer that the water from the sprouts drips into the sink instead of onto a counter. But really, any colander works.
After I’ve let them drain for a few minutes, I give them a little shake to remove excess water. I then put the sprouts onto a few layers of flour sack towels (Amazon) and patted them dry. If you don’t have flour sack towels, you can use some other type of lint-free towel, or paper towels.
Step 4: Evenly Distribute Your Sprouts on Dehydrator Trays
The fourth step with dehydrating sprouts is to spread them onto dehydrator trays. Since sprouts are so tiny and shrink up so much in the dehydration process, be sure to line your dehydrator trays with mesh liners.
Here are the mesh liners I use, all available on Amazon:
Pro Tip: If you have a different dehydrator model than the two that I have, or you simply want less expensive mesh liners for your dehydrator, silicone dehydrator sheets like these can be cut to fit any style or brand of dehydrator.
When you put your sprouts on the dehydrator trays, be sure not to heap them up too much. It is true that sprouts will eventually dehydrate even if you pile them high. However, as you’ll see in the next point, you’ll use a low temperature when dehydrating sprouts, and you don’t want it to take forever!
In my case, I started off with about 14 ounces of fresh sprouts. I used three dehydrator trays, so I put a little less than five ounces of sprouts on each tray.
Step 5: Dehydrate Sprouts at 95 Degrees Fahrenheit
Sprouts are very fragile, and you don’t want to “fry” them. Also, sprouts are very nutritious, and you’ll retain so much more of their nutrients if you dehydrate them at a low setting.
While you could use a higher setting and dehydrate them faster, I recommend using the same setting you’d use for dehydrating herbs, which is 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sprouts after 2 Hours in the Dehydrator
In the image above, you can see what the sprouts looked like after two hours in the dehydrator.
At this point, the sprouts were just barely starting to dehydrate. This is the challenge of dehydrating sprouts at such a low temperature; you won’t see much change at the beginning.
I rotated the trays. This is generally a good practice when using a stackable dehydrator, since the food closest to the fan and heat source dries fastest.
Sprouts after 4 Hours in the Dehydrator
After four hours in the dehydrator, the sprouts were noticeably drier. Some parts were completely dry, but there were also significant patches of moisture.
I had a small percentage of radish sprouts mixed in with the clover and alfalfa sprouts, and since they are thicker, they took longer to dehydrate.
I again rotated the dehydrator trays.
Sprouts after 6 Hours in the Dehydrator
After 6 hours in the dehydrator, the sprouts were completely dry.
Even though I used the lowest possible temperature, you can see that they turned brown and look almost like dead grass. Dehydrated sprouts definitely won’t win any prizes when it comes to looking pretty in a jar!
The good news is, they are still nutrient rich and I’m glad they won’t go to waste.
Making Sprout Powder After Dehydrating Sprouts
This was my first time dehydrating sprouts, but it just made sense to me to powder them. Dehydrated sprouts aren’t something that you’d want to rehydrate and put on a burger or in a salad. So, powdering them is the best way to go.
I used my Ninja blender (Amazon) to powder them. I just pulsed them in the blender until they started to blend up a bit. Once they started to powder up a bit, I used a medium setting on my blender and ran it for about 10 seconds at a time. After each “blending session,” I shook the blender to more evenly distribute the dehydrated sprouts.
It took me less than a minute to blend the sprouts into powder. I could have gone super fine, but I felt that they were powdered up well enough to use.
If you want a super fine sprout powder, I recommend blending them longer. When making powders, I also find it helpful to strain the powder through a mesh strainer like this one (Amazon) and putting the bits that don’t go through the strainer back into the blender. This takes a bit of time, but it is worth it if you want a very fine sprout powder.
Is Dehydrating Sprouts Worth It?
Now that’ I’ve dehydrated sprouts, I want to share with you my thoughts on whether or not it’s worth it.
I personally probably won’ t do it again unless I end up in a similar situation where I need to “do something before they go bad” with sprouts that I’ve grown. I may also do it if I saw sprouts or microgreens marked down at the grocery store and wanted to take advantage of the sale. But since I literally grow sprouts every day, and have for a very long time, I find it best to use them fresh whenever possible.
I will say that if you are trying to sneak extra nutrition into meals for your family, buying or growing sprouts and then dehydrating them is a worthwhile option.
More Sprouty Goodness
If you enjoyed this article, you’ll likely enjoy these other sprout and microgreens articles:
- How to Store Sprouts | Keep Sprouts Fresh Longer
- Why Every Prepper Should Add Sprouts and Microgreens to Their Prepper Pantry
- The Ultimate Guide to Growing Microgreens in an AeroGarden
- Where to Buy Seeds for Sprouting