Sprouts are the first shoots of a plant and are tender, delicate, tasty, and highly nutritious. They are new life awakening. Once sprouted, our bodies can better absorb essential nutrients like iron, calcium, amino acids, B vitamins, and vitamin C. When plants are sprouted they are also easier to digest, in their simple sugar and amino acid form. Sprouts are delicious any time of the year but make for a great source of nutrients and freshness during the early Spring months. Early Spring gardening is about hardy greens and delicate sprouts, providing the bare essential nutrients needed for keeping our bodies ad minds healthy when fresh food, sunlight, and movement are in shorter supply.
You can purchase sprouted grains at various food stores but you can just as easily do it yourself! It’s an easy process, offers you fresh and healthy food, and can be a fun project to try. Sprouts are so good because the biochemical changes that occur during the sprouting process allow them to be more digestible and increase their vitamin content. For example, the sprouted mung bean has the simple carbohydrate content of a melon, the vitamin A of a lemon, the thiamin of an avocado, and the list goes on.
You can sprout many things! Try grains, seeds, or beans. For grains, first, find the whole grain you’d like to try sprouting. You can choose any that still has the germ and bran and has not been altered yet. For example, amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn, einkorn, farro, kumut, millet, quinoa, rice, rye berry, sorghum, spelt, or wheatberry all will do the trick. Try these simple steps:
What to gather:
1-quart mason jar
Cheese cloth or screen (to allow water and air through)
Metal band or rubber band to secure cover
½ cup of grain
1. Rinse and drain the grains
2. Place the grains in a bowl of water, covered a couple of inches, and soak overnight to release enzyme inhibitors
3. Drain the grains and rinse again with cool water
4. Place the grains in the jar and cover
5. Turn the jar upside down and angled so that air can circulate in and water can drain out
6. Every 12 hours or so rinse the grains with water, drain, and return to the upside-down position
7. Continue step 6 until your grains have sprouted, rinse again, store in the refrigerator, and enjoy!
You can also try sprouting seeds and beans with a similar process! To calculate your bean-to-sprout ratio follow these simple guidelines:
1 lb of small seeds = 20 liters
1/4 cup of beans = 1 liter
TIP: Use 1 TB of seeds OR 1/8 cup of beans to make 2 cups of sprouts
Now, you can sprout pretty much anything- try one of the following: alfalfa, broccoli, sunflower, radish, lentils, mung beans, peas, arugula, beets, adukzi beans, clover, mustard, garlic chive, garbanzo, cabbage, quinoa, pumpkin, hemp, chia, garlic, or leeks.
1. Fill a mason jar or bowl with cool water and soak your beans or seeds for 4-12 hours, covered with a cloth
2.Rise and drain with cool water, cover with a cloth, set in a dark place for 2-5 days, rinsing and draining every 12 hours
3. After 3-5 day when sprouts are desired height, set in the sunlight for a day to increase the chlorophyll content
4. Harvest when sprouts are 1-2 inches long with delicate green leave; enjoy within 4 days
Any of these sprouts can be added to salads, soups, stir-fry’s for a yummy taste, texture, and health boost. Think outside the box and try your newly sprouted grains at all meals of the day, even dessert! You can also bake with them, dry them, or make them into flour.
|FOOD||SOAKING TIME||SPROUTING TIME (days)|
|Almonds||8-12||No Sprouting (if pasteurized) 3 Days (raw)|
|Brazil Nuts||3||No Sprouting|
Try out some of these recipes, great ways to enjoy these gorgeous little sprouts!
- 1 cup Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 TB Srirachi sauce
- 2 TB Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 TB Bragg's Aminos
- 2 TB Dijon mustard
- 1 block Tempeh, crumbled
- 1 cup Broccoli Sprouts
- 1 TB Coconut Oil
- 1/2 cup Shredded Carrots
- 1/2 cup Onions, sliced
- 1 TB Sesame Oil
- 1 head Boston Lettuce
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- In a large frying pan, heat palm oil and sauté tempeh, mushrooms, onions, srirachi sauce & garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, covered. In a mason jar or small bowl, mix dressing using tamari, mustard, vinegar & sesame oil. Place tempeh mixture into each lettuce cup, then drizzle dressing and top with carrots & broccoli sprouts. To finish, drizzle more srirachi sauce. Serves two for dinner or four for an appetizer.
- 8 spring roll rice papers
- 16 shrimp, sautéed in red palm oil
- 1 cup pea greens or any greens
- 1 cup chinese rose radish sprouts or any sprouts
- 1 cup carrots, shredded
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup asparagus, chopped
- 1/2 cup water chestnuts, sliced
- 12 fresh mint leaves
- Fill a large mixing bowl with warm water, then submerge one paper into water until it feels extremely flexible. Remove from water and let drip over bowl, then place onto cutting board. Lay mint leaves in a row horizontally across. Top with all other ingredients, accept shrimp. Lay shrimp in a row horizontally across. Pull inwards both sides, then lift side closest to you, folding it over in the opposite direction until it creates a roll shown in picture.
Or just a simple Sprouted Sandwich:
1 cup of sprouts
1 TB Avocado
2 TB hummus
1 fried or poached egg
2 slices of homemade Sourdough or a Sprouted Grain Bread