Sprouts are popping up on the side of vegan burgers and kale salads at all the trendy restaurants. Turns out they're super easy to grow yourself and, besides being adorable, boast a long list of nutritional benefits. Below are two techniques to grow your very own sprouts or microgreens; in 5 to 10 days you'll have an impressive harvest of nutrient-dense snacks.

Mason Jar Technique

The mason jar technique is the easiest way to grow your own little forest of sprouts. TreeHugger.com has a foolproof tutorial on how to tend to your windowsill garden. As someone who struggles to keep any plant alive, I found the three seeds below have the most robust and tasty flavour for this sprouting method.

Chia seeds

vegetable, broccoli, stir-fry, salad, chicken
Erin Voss

Yes, just like your childhood Chia Pet, chia seed sprouts are tasty and dead easy to grow yourself. High in phosphorous and manganese, chia sprouts are great for your bones and teeth. These guys make a great addition to any Buddha bowl and make even the plainest salad Insta-worthy.

Dry lentils (unsplit)      

cereal, buckwheat, legume, lentil, vegetable
Christin Urso

Lentil sprouts are great to eat either raw on salad, or cooked up in a stir fry or chili. High in protein and the ever-important enzymes that most sprouts carry, lentils are a hearty and fool-proof legume to grow in your dorm.

#SpoonTip: I recommend munching on these crunchy sprouts after just a few days of sprouting instead of popcorn at the movies.

Buckwheat Groats

cereal, vegetable, wheat, corn
Rachel Dickey

Buckwheat groats are higher in starch than other sprouting seeds and generally need less soaking time (but more frequent daily rinsing). Using the sprouted buckwheat in rawnola and groat-nola bars are a great way to increase the enzyme and amino acid count in your favourite snacks.

Soil Technique 

If you're looking for a more traditional seed-in-dirt planting experience West Coast Seeds' soil method is for you. You'll need a bit more space to grow these microgreens as they tend to be taller than the sprouts that live happily in glass jars. I'm still perfecting the art of micro-gardening, but the following 3 seeds have been my favourite as of yet. 

Broccoli seeds

sandwich, bread, lettuce, tomato, meat, vegetable, wheat, salad, toast
Rebecca Sather Jenkins

Broccoli sprouts are tasty and relatively easy to grow. Boasting an impressive lineup of nutritional benefits including high levels of enzymes, powerful antioxidants, and 20-50 times the amount of chemoprotective compounds than what is present in mature broccoli, these little guys pack a punch. Sprinkle them on any salad or soup to feel just a little more gourmet.

Beet seeds

Not only beautiful, beet sprouts taste phenomenal and are incredibly nutritionally dense. These red/pink sprouts have all the benefits of a regular beet, of which there are many, and are super cute to boot. Antioxidants, vitamin C, and enzymes are just some of the elements that make beet sprouts a super food.

Sunflower seeds 

Sunflower sprouts have become increasingly popular as a bougie garnish at hip restaurants. With a thicker stalk than the other sprouts these guys are great for some crunch in a sandwich or on a burger. A 1/4-cup serving of sunflower sprouts meets 8 percent of the daily value for iron and 2 percent of the daily value for calcium.

So, push the empty wine bottles off your window sill, clean the leftover Vodka Cran out of your mason jar, and you'll have tasty little salad toppers in no time. Sprouts are nutritious, tasty, easy to grow, and add a hip vibe to any drab dorm windowsill.