Thursday, 23 June 2011

Sprouting: Let Them Eat Sprouts!

Think of how many nutrients an expectant mother needs to be growing that little bundle inside of her.  Plant seeds are similar in that when they germinate, they have a different nutritional makeup compared to when they are an inert seed, and also different from when they are a full fledged plant.  It is for this nutrition that people have embraced sprouting.  Eating sprouted seeds has a LIST of great health benefits varying from having increased antioxidants (which help bind up free radicals in your body), increased vitamin content (the amount can increase up to 20 times the amount before being sprouted), all in a format that is easier for the body to utilize because it is in a living format.  This site is such an AMAZING source of information about sprouts, I was fascinated!

What is sprouting?  It's taking seeds and causing them to germinate.  This can take anywhere from 3-6 days depending on the type of seed, and you would be AMAZED to see how many different types of seeds can be sprouted and enjoyed.  Sprouting is GREAT for anyone who is vegan, vegetarian, raw, or just anyone who wants to include more nutrient packed greens into their diet.  Did I mention you can do it at home for pennies a "crop"?  Read on!

I was wandering up and down the aisles of my local eco-focused store (Earth's General Store, for all those in the Edmonton Area) when I came upon a section devoted to sprouting.  I passed by it quickly and moved on, but the seed of interest had been planted.  As I continued around the store I found myself being more and more intrigued about sprouting, and what it was all about, so I ventured back to the sprouting section.  Here,  my new experiment was born.

The bag of sprout seeds I purchased (Spicy Lentil Crunch) contained seeds of: lentils, red clover, alfalfa, radish, non-GMO canola, and mustard.  Quite a tasty sounding mix!  I also purchased the green sieve lid to help with the rinsing.  The jar, you can see, is an old pickle jar I rinsed out.  Total cost?  Around $8 for all the goods.

The process of sprouting is quite simple:

1.  Take 2 tbsp of seeds (this amount varies depending on the type of seed you are using) and soak in   about 1 cup of water for 2-6 hours, and then drain.

2.  Leave the jar in a bowl at a 45 degree angle with the lid facing down to continue to drain the seeds.

3.  Every day, fill the jar (about halfway) with water, swirl, and then drain.  Do this 2-3 times, always inverting the jar at 45 degrees afterwards.

4.  Watch your seeds germinate and sprout!  Depending on the seed, you may or may not need to subject them to sun.  Personally I just left the jar on my kitchen counter, and 4 days later, I had myself a jar full of sprouts!

5.  Once your sprouts are a good size, remove them from the jar and give them a good pat down with a cloth or paper towel to remove and residual moisture.  You can then use them immediately, or store them in the fridge!  Just keep your eyes peeled for any sliminess or rot, because then it's time to toss them in your compost and start again!

So far in 1 week I've had 2 "crops" of sprouts which have made their way into salad, sandwiches, and once I just took a bag on a walk with me to munch on.  I am in LOVE!  I hope this opens your eyes to the world of sprouting, and I REALLY hope you give it a try, I would LOVE to hear from you below!


  1. That is pretty cool! How interesting! And looks yummy. I might just have to give this a try sometime. Thanks!

  2. Crazy!! I had no idea you could do this--who knew!

  3. Growing sprouts at home is a great first step towards becoming food-self-sufficient, especially because it's possibly the least expensive method that requires the fewest special tools! I must admit I don't care for sprouts at this time of year when salad greens abound in my CSA share, but they're great over the winter when nothing leafy is available locally!

  4. I must try this! I love me some sprouts! :)