This is what Practical Halacha says regarding the bracha for sprouts.

Say the fore-blessing of she'hakol if the sprouts were grown only in water. Say borei pri ha'adama if the grains were sprouted in the ground (such as sunflower sprouts or wheat grass).

Wikipedia describes a common method for home sprouting:

For home sprouting, the seeds are soaked (big seeds) or moistened (small), then left at room temperature (13 to 21 °C or 55 to 70 °F) in a sprouting vessel. Many different types of vessels can be used. One type is a simple glass jar with a piece of cloth or nylon window screen secured over its rim. "Tiered" clear plastic sprouters are commercially available, allowing a number of "crops" to be grown simultaneously. By staggering sowings, a constant supply of young sprouts can be ensured. Any vessel used for sprouting must allow water to drain from it, because sprouts that sit in water will rot quickly. The seeds swell, may stick to the sides of the jar, and begin germinating within a day or two.

So, I'm a bit confused by what the bracha really is in this typical scenario, that I know may school kids try as a science project:

They extract the peas from a fresh pea pod. They wrap it in a damp paper towel, keeping it moist. After a few days to about a week, it begins to sprout.

So, is the bracha based on its original status (i.e., as a plain pea, it was "adamah".) Now that someone sprouted it in water, it becomes shehakol?

I really have trouble understanding why the bracha status changes, and, in a sense, is "downgraded" (Adamah is more "specific" than shehakol.)

  • An apple is Haetz. But if you plant an apple and it grows a tree that produces a not ripe fruit, that'd be Shehakol, right? Why is this different that it's unclear to you? – Double AA Oct 24 '17 at 15:33
  • Where I come from a sprout looks like this: thelaughingfish.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/… and I often eat them and make the b'racha Ha-adama – CashCow Oct 24 '17 at 15:39
  • @DoubleAA "that produces a not ripe fruit" - I don't see the analogy. Shehakol would be said if you ate a "normally" non-edible fruit. The sprouts are edible. – DanF Oct 24 '17 at 15:44
  • You're correct. A better analogy would be eating the trunk or leaves of the apple tree. – Double AA Oct 24 '17 at 15:45
  • @CashCow The term brussel "sprouts" may be a misnomer. These are not sprouts like bean sprouts are. – DanF Oct 24 '17 at 15:45

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