Why sprouting is good for you and how to sprout seeds at home

So you have seen sprouts in your local supermarket, you have eaten them in your deli sandwich – but have you ever sprouted seeds yourself? 

Most likely, you actually have! You might have soaked almonds, flax or chia seeds before – which is exactly the first step of sprouting! There are many more seeds that can be sprouted though and it is very easy and inexpensive to do. Give it a go! 

WHY SPROUT?

Sprouting is an inexpensive way to add freshness and nutrients to your foods even in the deepest of winter. Did you know that sprouts apparently contain the highest amount of vitamins, minerals and enzymes of any food per unit of calorie? It is not that surprising if you think about it. After all, a tiny seed needs to have a lot of power to grow into a whole plant – with the help of water, sunlight and soil only. Sprouts are also a gourmet food in the sense that they have a very delicate taste of the plant they will grow to be. Onion sprouts taste of – surprise! – onion, but not overwhelmingly, only in a subtle way – beautiful!

FOODS TO USE SPROUTS WITH:

  • Salads
  • Soups
  • Wraps
  • Sushi Rolls
  • Hummus
  • Spreads and dips
  • Use your imagination!

WHAT SEEDS CAN I SPROUT?

You can sprout pretty much any nut, seed or grain. Only kidney beans need to be cooked to be edible – just five of them are actually already poisonous when ingested raw (or sprouted). Some examples:

nuts & seeds: alfalfa, wheatgrass, chia, sesame, flax, hemp, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, 

grains: wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, kamut, quinoa, sesame, millet, amaranth, brown rice, red rice, buckwheat, corn, 

micro greens: arugula, broccoli sprouts, kale, turnip, cress, mustard, lettuce, clover, dill, fenugreek, garlic, green cabbage, 

beans: adzuki beans, chickpeas, lentils, green peas, yellow peas, mung beans, soy beans, 

THE EASIEST WAY TO SPROUT: 

Rinse seeds, soak overnight  in water.

Rinse seeds again, place them in a sieve, a mesh bag or a jar covered with a fine mesh turned upside down at an angle so excessive water won’t drown the seeds.

Place your container of choice in a shaded yet well ventilated spot.

Rinse the seeds every 12 hours, e.g. in the morning and in the evening.

Depending on the seed and climate, it will take some hours or several days until you will see a tiny tail emerging. Warm climates will let them grow faster.

! Too warm climates will let them become mouldy – if you live in the tropics, place your seeds at a lower shelf where the air is cooler than higher up.

Final day: move the container to a sunny spot so the young leaves turn bright green (this is actually chlorophyll).

Soaking and sprouting times of most common seeds:

Which one How  much per jar Soaking time Sprouting time
Alfalfa 1 – 2 TBSP 3 – 5 hours 4 – 6 days
Broccoli 2 TBSP 6 – 12 hours 3 – 5 days
Buckwheat 1 C 4 – 6 hours 3 – 5 days
Chickpeas 1 C 10 – 12 hours 5 days
Lentils 3/4 C 8 – 8 hours 2 – 4 days
Mung bean 1/3 C 8 – 10 hours 3 – 5 days
Quinoa 1/3 C 2 – 4 hours 1 – 4 days
Pumpkin Seeds 1.5 C 6 hours 1 – 2 days
Radish 3 TBSP 4 – 8 hours 4 -5 days
Red Clover 2 TBSP 8 – 12 hours 3 – 6 days
Sesame 2 C 6 – 8 hours 2 – 3 days
Sunflower Seeds 1 C 4 – 6 hours 1 – 3 days

 

COMMON ISSUES WITH SPROUTS

  • Seeds are not sprouting: Are your seeds organic? Are you using too many seeds for the size of the container?
    Try organic seeds, use only a table spoon in a dinner plate sized dish and make sure to rinse your seeds twice a day.
  • Sprouts are mouldy –  Your seeds might be sitting in water. Remove mouldy parts, rinse several times profoundly. Drain properly.

 

TELL ME: What have you sprouted so far and what are your favourite sprouts?

THESE RECIPES ARE GREAT WITH SPROUTS:

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