What Can We Sprout?
It would be easier to tell you what you can't sprout. Basically anything that is a seed, grain, or bean can be sprouted.
There are various ways to sprout trays, bags, but the most popular and inexpensive way to sprout is using a wide mouth mason jar with a sprouting lid. You can also use a tight woven cloth on the jar as well. The important thing is that the seeds get oxygen and can be easily drained of water. I have read about using cheese cloth, but I tried it once and the seeds got stuck in it, I'll stick with a sprouting lid.
The basics of sprouting are to add so many seeds to a mason jar. The amount varies depending on how much you want to grow and what you are sprouting. Once the seeds are in fill the jar with filtered water so all the seeds are covered nicely and let sit out of direct sunlight for at least 12 hours. I will do this at night and tend to it in the morning where I drain the water. I add more water swish it around to make sure all the seeds are off the sides, drain the water, and prop the jar on an angel for any access water to drain. This should be done 2 - 3 times a day.
The amount of time it takes for sprouts to be done depends on 2 things, you and what you are sprouting. Depending on the taste you want will determine how many days you let the sprouts grow. Some rules to follow if you are just starting, when the sprout is a big as the seed, when leaves start to grow, or to taste. Personally I don't see the taste part an issue for me as I always add them to something else and never really taste them. I have found that most sprouts are ready within the most 5 days.
Storing & Using Sprouts
There are some sprouts that leave hulls behind which need to be removed before storing. To do this pour the sprouts in a bowl of filtered water and gently swirl them around, the hulls will float to the surface. Use a slotted spoon to scoop them out and add to a composting pile, toss them outside, or onto your garden. I know some people do not remove the hulls, so I'm thinking this is a personal preference. Once the hulls are removed, drain the sprouts and place them between two towels, gently pat any access water out. I uncover mine and spread them out to dry, if there is to much moisture the sprouts will mold. Sprouts can be stored in a container in the fridge for a week or more depending on the sprout and if they last that long. There are some that will last outside of the fridge and for a longer amount of time, do your homework.
Sprouts can be added to a variety of foods, juices, or smoothies. If you have one you really like the taste feel free to snack them. Personally I have never been
brave curious enough to try them on their own. I like to add them to a tomato and cucumber sandwich, soups, salads, and more. Some add them into their foods while cooking, I feel it takes away from the medicinal properties of these super nutritional foods.
The term super food has been popping up all over these days. If you do a search on what makes a food super you will find different view points on the topic. However, I like the way that David Wolfe described superfoods in his book "Superfoods - The Food and Medicine of the Future." (The link is to a free PDF version of the book, good stuff.) He put it like this....
"Superfoods: These include foods that have a dozen or more unique properties, not just one or two. For example, the goji berry is a source of complete protein, immune-stimulating polysaccharides, liver-cleansing betaine, anti-aging sesquiterpenes, antioxidants, over twenty trace minerals, and much, much more."
sprouts are also considered a superfood.
Why Eat Sprouts?
There are multiple reasons to consume sprouts.
- Increase in vitamins
- Increase in minerals
- Increase protein availability
- Increase sodium availability
- Increase potassium
- Decrease in calories
- Decrease in carbohydrates
Depending on the sprout depends on what vitamins or minerals are increased. They can also aid with preventing or healing a whooollllleeee lot of health issues. We don't have to be sick or take pharmaceutical drugs we have been given everything we need to prevent illness and actually heal rather than just putting a band aid on the issue. This includes both mental and physical health.
The Animals Know
I want to share a story with you. We planted a garden last fall a variety of greens which included kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and more. I went out one morning to see how our small sprouts where doing as things were just looking good. To my horror all of our broccoli sprouts were eaten. Upon further investigation I noticed some paw prints which I knew were rabbit tracks. The rabbits did not eat anything else in the garden just the broccoli sprouts. Broccoli sprouts are one of the most nutritious sprouts jammed packed with total awesomeness obviously the rabbits know this.
Update February 23, 2016
Well I ended up writing two posts on broccoli sprouts and here they are.
If this post was helpful to you please share so others can learn about sprouting.
Has this post encouraged you to sprout? Did it make you realize how easy it is?