Are you growing and eating sprouts yet? If not, you should start! Sprouts are a miracle food, jam-packed with nutrients! Plus, they are inexpensive and easy to grow indoors at home all year long.
If you’re not familiar with sprouts or sprouting, it is the process of germinating seeds, nuts, or grains to eat them raw or cooked. It’s generally a two-step process involving soaking the seeds and then sprouting them. Soaking washes away the enzyme inhibitors and anti-nutrients allowing them to begin the process of germinating.
Sprouts are the one of the most enzyme-rich foods on the planet! Experts estimate that there can be up to 43 times more enzymes in sprouts than in uncooked fruits and vegetables. Additionally, the vitamin content in nuts, seeds, and grains are increased dramatically within just a few days of sprouting. Vitamins A, B-Complex, C, and E are increased by as much as 20 times more than in the original non-sprouted seed, nut, or grain. Sprouts also help fight cancer by alkalizing the body and have an abundance of bio-available plant protein, anti-oxidants, fatty acids, and fiber.
For those who have trouble digesting seeds, nuts, and grains raw, you’ll likely have little to no trouble digesting sprouts. Sprouting seeds, nuts, and grains eases the impact on the digestive systems and allows for easier absorption of the nutrients.
Packaged sprouts are available at most health foods stores as well as many grocery stores such as Whole Foods Market. However, the healthiest (and tastiest) sprouts are the ones you grow yourself.
How to Sprout Your Own Seeds:
What Should You Sprout
You can sprout almost any seed, nut, or grain that you choose. Below are a few of the more popular choices. It is important to keep in mind that you will want to use only fresh, raw, organic seeds, nuts, grains, and legumes for sprouting.
- Seeds: Broccoli, alfalfa, sunflower seeds, red cabbage, fenugreek, celery, radish, oats, pumpkin and leek.
- Grains: Quinoa, black sesame, flax, rye, barely, wheat, brown rice, corn, and spelt.
- Legumes: Lentils, mung beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, soy beans, and chick peas.
- Nuts: Peanuts and Almonds
What You’ll Need
- Sprouting Vessel (if you don’t have one, a wide mouth mason jar will work fine)
- Sprouting Lid or Cheesecloth (or a breathable cloth)
- Seeds to Sprout
- Pure Water
Soaking and Sprouting Process:
Follow the process below if you are using a mason jar to sprout your seeds. If you are using a store bought sprouting vessel made for sprouting seeds, please follow the direction that came it.
- Step One – Soak The Seeds – Before soaking the seeds you will want to rinse the seeds to remove any dust or residue. Next, place one tablespoon (per quart jar) of your choice of seeds or grains into to the Mason jar. If soaking nuts or legumes, use on-third cup per quart size jar. Now pour pure water in the jar making sure all of your seeds are emerged in water. For seeds, one cup of water will do, but for legumes and nuts double the amount of water. Place the jar in a dark area at room temperature overnight.
- Step Two – Drain and Rinse – After about 6-12 hours of soak time, drain the water and thoroughly rinse the seeds. Making sure the sprouting lid or cheesecloth is secure, place the jar upside down to allow any excess water to drain out. Rinse the seeds two times throughout the day, every day, until the day you eat them, making sure to drain them well after each rinse. Seed sprouts do not need sunlight the first couple of days but during the last few days you can place them in a sunny windowsill to help them green up and grow more quickly.
- Step Three – Harvest the Sprouts Harvest time will vary depending on what you are sprouting. Generally, most sprouts are ready to eat within 5-7 days. To remove the hull place all the sprouts in a bowl with cool water and stir until the hulls are released and float to the top. Removing the hull is not necessary, but it does help prevent spoilage, making the sprouts last longer. Drain sprouts and place in refrigerator for up to 7-10 days.