Grow nutritious superfoods in your very own kitchen!
To get a head start on the gardening season, sprouting in your kitchen is like having a mini garden in the house year round. Any nuts, seeds, grains, and beans can actually be sprouted.
Check out our segment on sprouting on CTV Morning Live today!
Benefits of Sprouting
- Sprouting denatures “anti-nutrients” which can wreak havoc on our digestive system. Plant proteins contain anti-nutrients or enzyme inhibitors such as phytates and lignans which trap nutrients from being absorbed in the body. They also make many foods hard to digest; neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and increases bioavailability
- Experts estimate that there can be up to 100 times more enzymes in sprouts than uncooked fruits and vegetables.
- The quality of the protein in the beans, nuts, seeds, or grains improves when it is sprouted.The fiber content of the beans, nuts, seeds, or grains increases substantially.
- The Vitamin content increases dramatically. This is especially true of vitamins A, B-complex, C, and E. The vitamin content of some seeds, grains, beans, or nuts increases by up to 20 times the original value.
- Sprouts are the ultimate locally-grown food.
- Sprouts are alkalizing to your body. Many illnesses including cancer have been linked to excess acidity in the body.
- Sprouts are inexpensive and so fun for kids to get involved.
– Jar method (see instructions for the jar method below!)
– Tray method
– Soil method
How can you use sprouts?
In almost anything!! Smoothies, salads, wraps, sandwiches, snacks and more!
How to Grow Sprouts – Jar Method
Good sprouting technique doesn’t take a “green thumb”, just paying attention to four factors: the right amount of moisture, the correct temperature, the free circulation of air, and minimal light. By rinsing them a couple of times daily, you keep them moist. You also wash away carbon dioxide and other metabolic wastes that could cause souring or spoiling. Using cool water when rinsing ventilates and cools the sprouts to prevent overheating. Proper draining prevents excessive moisture that can cause mold and rot. The ideal sprouting temperature depends on the seed, but generally lies between 70 and 85 degrees. To protect the tiny growing things, keep sprouting containers away from cold drafts, direct heat, or any light. For free air circulation, at least one-third of the container must be empty. Sprouts expand 6 to 10 times over a few days, so give them plenty of room to grow. Sprouts are very light sensitive and need to be covered during the early stages of the growing cycle.
THE SIX RULES OF SPROUTING
1. Rinse Often.
2. Keep them moist, not wet.
3. Keep them at room temperature.
4. Give them plenty of room to breathe.
5. Don’t put too many in any one container.
6. Keep them covered – no light.
Step One: Soaking
For a quart-sized jar, start with 1 ½ tablespoons seeds inside the jar, screw on the fine mesh lid & partially fill the jar with warm water, not hot. Swirl it around to clean the seeds, then pour out. Refill with warm water to cover at about 3 times their depth. & let soak overnight, away from light.
Step Two: Draining & Starting
Pour off the soak water. Find a location that is not exposed to direct sunlight. Place drained jar propped at an angle to allow any extra water to drain out. Turn the jar to spread out the seed. Cover the jar with a dishtowel and leave for 3 to 4 hours.
Step Three: Rinsing
Rinse sprouts with cool, fresh water 2 or 3 times each day until they are ready to eat or refrigerate. When they begin to throw off the seed hulls, let the jar overflow with water and the hulls will float out the top through the screen. Turn the jar to spread out the seed each time you rinse.
Step Four: Harvesting
Pour the sprouts into a pan or sink of clean water. Skim off any remaining hulls that float to the surface. Other hulls will fall to the bottom of the container. Pull out the sprouts, gently shake off excess moisture & drain in a colander.
Step Five: Greening
Clean the jar and lid. Place sprouts for greening back into the jar. Place in indirect sunlight. Near a kitchen window is fine. After the sprouts have greened with chlorophyll and carotene’s for a day or so, rinse, drain & eat or refrigerated.
Step Six: Refrigerating
Sprouts will stay fresh & hearty for a week or more when refrigerated, if you rinse them every day or two. You can even give the green sprouts an extra hour of sunlight after rinsing to keep them at their nutritional peak.
Caution: Since sprouts are frost sensitive, don’t place sprouts near the freezer compartment.
Try this delicious recipe once you’ve sprouted some lentils!
3 Cups green lentil sprouts
1 Bunch green scallions, tops included
2 Bunches parsley, chopped
1 Small bunch celery, chopped very fine
1 Cucumber, finely chopped
3-4 Medium tomatoes finely chopped
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Sea salt & Pepper to taste
- In large bowl, mix all ingredients.
- Toss with salt, fresh cracked pepper, lemon juice and olive oil to taste.
- Chill for 1 hour before serving.
- Garnish will fresh parsley and lemon.
Special thank you to A.Vogel for providing us with their amazing sprouting kits!! Check out their website here for more information: BioSnacky Sprouting Kits and Seeds