Sprouting. Simple. Resourceful. Revolutionary. This is my new favourite way of adding raw, nutrient dense, and affordable foods to my daily intake. Honestly guys, if you are looking to shift gears in your personal food world then these little guys are more then equipped to take you to the next level. Commencing countdown… engines ON!
When I discovered how simple this kitchen technique is, I knew it was my duty to share it with you. Sprouting is incredibly easy, and one of the best ways to add more plant power into your everyday life. Sprouts are nutrient powerhouses, and in my modest opinion the real superfoods of the plant kingdom.
Once sprouted, seeds and beans have 15–30% more protein, up to 10 times more Vitamin B, as well as higher levels of Vitamin C, E, K, calcium, iron and beta-carotene. Sprouts are packed with amino acids, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and are very easy to digest and assimilate.
If you find it challenging to add delicious, raw, affordable foods to your daily intake sprouts could just be the answer. I love fresh crispy salads, but I often struggle to find high quality organic lettuce leaves. It may sound silly, but individual foods can either light my fire or leave me feeling very uninspired. If I have to resort to limp, sprayed leaves (especially because they are one of the most highly sprayed vegetable on the market), then I am less likely to feel inspired and creative. I have found that having a large supply of crispy homegrown sprouts to be the best and most encouraging solution to this. Either using them as a base to salads or adding them to some juicy, salty spinach is a really good way to get my greens in, and to get my raw on.
Spouting is so affordable especially if you are working with smaller economies of scale, i.e. sprouting for yourself and your family. When you compare the price of home sprouting to the price of sprouts at your supermarket you realise the high markup wholesalers add onto foods. If you compare the amount of seeds you can buy for the same price and the amount of sprouts those seeds produce, then it makes sense to do it yourself.
Practical ways to work with sprouts:
I like sprouts in salads, on sandwiches, on sweet potatoes, in lunchboxes, straight up for munching, and in wraps. Basically on everything, anywhere any time…
I would eat them in a boat.
I would eat them with a goat.
I will eat them in the rain, and in the dark, and on a train.
And in a car, and in a tree.
They are so good, so good, you see!
So I will eat them in a box, and I will eat them with a fox, and I will eat them in a house, and I will eat them with a mouse.
I will eat them here and there.
Say! I will eat them anywhere!
What are the best seeds for sprouting:
My favourite seeds to sprout are alfalfa, fenugreek, mungbean, chickpea, lentil, and sunflower seeds. But you can sprout almost anything really, including quinoa, wheat, and buckwheat. The best way to figure out what you like sprouting is by experimenting with different seeds and seeing what works for you. Seeds can be bought at organic nurseries, online through organic seed companies and from your local health shop. Buy organic, non-GMO seeds for the best results.
How much to sprout and for how long:
For smaller seeds like alfalfa and fenugreek I will use 3–4 tablespoons/1L jar, and for larger seeds like mungbeans and chickpeas I will start with ½ cup/1L jar. Check out www.sproutpeople.org if you are looking for sprouting directions on a particular seed.
What you will need:
Sprouting rack (optional)
I like using a sprouting rack because I can produce plenty of sprouts to last me a whole week, with less effort. It makes me feel extra abundant and indulgent when I can generously lather my sandwiches and salads with as many sprouts as I want to. In this case, it pays to have a heavy hand.
How to sprout:
- Measure out your desired amount of seeds. Remember that the volume of your sprouts will grow quite extensively, especially with your smaller seeds.
- Soak your seeds overnight in filtered water. Place a screen over the mouth of the jar and secure with a rubber band.
- In the morning, drain and rinse the seeds and place the jar upside down at a 45 degree angle in a bowl or a dish rack. Make sure that the seeds are lying evenly across the glass, covering a large surface area of the glass jar and not blocking the mouth of the jar. The reason for this is that you want as much airflow as possible to prevent mould from forming. Also, make sure that excess water can drain out, and the mouth of the jar does not sit in the water.
- Rinse your sprouts 2-3 times per day for 3–4 days. Length of sprouting time depends on what sprouts you are using.
- Keep your sprouting jar/rack covered with a dishcloth – think about mimicking the earthy conditions that your sprout would typically grow in.
- Make sure that your sprouts have 8 hours to dry before sealing them with an airtight lid and storing them in the fridge to prevent mould from forming. You will know they are ready to eat once a tail has grown.
So give them a try, won’t you!?
They are safe for your dogs, they are safe for your hogs. So give them a go, if you feel in the flow. And give them a try, if you feel so inspired. The next thing you know you’ll be sprout queen or king, ready to nourish your close friends and kin. They are especially good combined with some kraut, and can transform any uninspired lout. If you need a fresh perspective or some more energy, they’ll leave you smiling and singing a new melody.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.