Alfalfa and clover should be sprouted for 5-6 days, and when you do that you'll only need to use 2 tablespoons for a quart mason jar - you end up with about 4 cups (half a pound) of sprouts. Immature alfalfa sprouts shouldn't be eaten, and only sprouting alfalfa and clover for 1 to 3 days means you won't get the maximum nutrition out of them.
You only need to soak alfalfa and clover for 4 hours, but there's no harm done if you soak them overnight unless they start to rot on you (very unlikely). Another very important thing to do is to rinse your sprouts every 8-12 hours (depends on the seed, and some need to be rinsed even more or even less) to keep them moist, prevent bacterial growth, and cool them down.
When you grow green sprouts, leave them in the dark until the last 2 days of sprouting, then put them in indirect sunlight so they will green up and you can get the benefit of more nutrition + chlorophyll. Other sprouts should be grown in the dark until the last day. Sunlight draws the moisture away from sprouts and causes them to be tough and fibrous.
There's a very large variety of sprouts you can grow, this is just a partial list:
Alfalfa, clover, fenugreek, radish, and broccoli are the most common, but you can eat the sprout of ANY plant which has edible leaves.
These are sprouts you grow on soil until the cotyledon (seed leave) stage. These are the most nutritious sprouts there are, and include the amazing cereal grasses.
Wheatgrass, barleygrass, ryegrass, oatgrass, speltgrass, kamutgrass, sunflower greens, pea shoot greens, fenugreek greens, chia grass/greens, buckwheat greens (in moderation). ANY green sprout can be grown as a microgreen, but these are the most common.
Lentil, mung bean, adzuki bean, chickpea.
Rice, millet, oats. Most other grain sprouts shouldn't be eaten in my opinion.
I've been considering trying teff sprouts if I can find a source for them, but the seeds are so tiny it would definitely be a pain.
Sesame, poppy, hemp, sunflower, chia, flax, pumpkin (in moderation).
Nuts are tricky to sprout, and walnuts are even more so. I haven't sprouted walnuts myself, but I would if I could find a good source for them (amazing brain food).
Chestnut, walnut, almonds, hazelnuts. Any edible nut can be sprouted but it's difficult to find a good supplier for most of them.
Some of the benefits of specific sprouts:
*Alfalfa: Very high in minerals and very alkalizing, high in chlorophyll.
*Clover: Very good for cleansing the blood and supporting the liver.
*Fenugreek: Great for improving digestion + good for detoxing the liver, and stabilizes blood sugar. Contains some vitamin D3.
*Broccoli: One of the best anti-cancer foods ever discovered; John Hopkins University found that broccoli sprouts contain 20-50 times the amount of the very powerful anti-cancer nutrient sulforaphane as mature broccoli; that means that a tablespoon of broccoli sprouts contains the same amount of that nutrient as a pound of broccoli!!!
*Cereal grasses: Can pick up nearly every element from the soil if they are present (either 95 or 96 I think), great source of chlorophyll, contain the elusive "grass juice factor", best source of phytonutrients ever discovered, and kill EVERY cancer and bad bacteria they were tested against. Great liver detoxifiers and very alkalizing. There are so many other amazing things I could say about grass juice, everyone should drink 6-8 oz of it every day, minimum.
*Sunflower greens: Most balanced source of land protein there is, amazing source of mood-enhancing chemicals, one of the few vegan sources of vitamin D3, a great source of photons (life energy). Everyone should be drinking 6-8 oz of sunflower green juice everyday as well.
*Pea shoot greens: Great source of alkalizing minerals and other nutrients (vitamins, hormones, enzymes, other phytonutrients).
*Buckwheat greens: Amazing liver detoxifier and also a great source of other nutrients, but it does contain a natural toxin called fagopyrin, which causes your skin to become very sensitive to sunlight; best used in moderation.
*Chia greens: Somewhat tricky to grow but absolutely amazing, drinking a glass of chia green juice everyday will make you immune to the cold and send your mood through the roof and make you feel like your in paradise. An very good source of omega-3 fatty acids (36 times more absorbable then from the seed or oil).
*Mung beans: Contain very high levels of extremely potent anti-aging enzymes called "auxinons". Capable of reversing gray hair + hair lose in most people and counteracting most effects of aging.
*Oats: One of the best sources of choline and good for increasing testosterone in men.
*Sesame: Very high levels of many minerals, loads of B vitamins, high levels of vitamin E. 5 tablespoons will almost give you the RDA for iron + calcium (not that the RDAs are accurate, but that's a lot of calcium + iron).
*Poppy: These sprouts blow sesame seed sprouts out of the water. One of the most amazing sprouts there is, it's a huge disappointment that it's illegal to grow in the US.
*Hemp: One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and the vitamin + mineral content blows both sesame AND poppy seeds out of the water. Also a huge disappointment that it's illegal to grow in the US.
*Walnut: One of the best brain foods there is.
All sprouts have loads of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, hormones, oxygen + other phytonutrients, so I focused on the most unique characteristics of the above sprouts.
^ I'm sure I forgot to mention lots of things too (doing 4 things at once here), but that list is a good start anyway.
Not only does sprouting drastically increase the amount of vitamins, enzymes, hormones, and other phytonutrients in the food, it also drastically increases the availability of many minerals. But the biggest mystery is that sprouts grown in controlled environments (no minerals) will actually have higher levels of minerals then the unsprouted seed which should be impossible according to modern science. I know how it happens, and I'll post the studies that show it soon.
Wow, I guess I got a little carried away. There's loads of other things I'd like to mention about sprouts but I'll have to refrain from saying them all at once.
P.S - changed my mind about the "short post"