Sprouts are amazing! We all know that when we purchase produce from the grocery store it is in our best interest to eat the produce ASAP as its nutritional value begins to decline shortly after harvest. Sprouts don’t do this. Sprouts are considered LIVE food and they can continue to grow even after being refrigerated.
Sprouts are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, and enzymes. Enzymes are powerful partners in our health and we need them in order to digest our food. Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet adds, “Food enzymes have another wonderful purpose: They allow your pancreas to take a break from secreting digestive enzymes. When this happens, your good old pancreas releases more metabolic enzymes for detoxification, renewal, repair, and general overall maintenance.”
For all of you out there who don’t eat as many veggies as you should, sprouts would be a highly beneficial addition to your diet. According to researchers at John’s Hopkins University, “[T]he active ingredient in the broccoli, sulforaphane, is actually present at levels 20 to 50 times greater in 3-day-old broccoli sprouts. Sulforaphane is present in broccoli relatives, too, but amounts are highest in broccoli. To get the amount of sulphoraphane present in 2 pounds of broccoli, you need to eat only 1/4 ounce of sprouts.” Sprouts are much more nutritionally potent than their full grown counterparts.
There are sooooo many different varieties of sprouts… alfalfa, broccoli, onion, sunflower, wheat berry, clover, radish, etc. You can also sprout beans, nuts, and seeds (which makes them more digestible). For more information about the nutrient power of specific sprouts click here.
It truly is easy to grow your own sprouts. I used to buy sprouts in the store, but I have been growing my own since November of 2010 and I love that I know where they come from and how fresh they are. There are many websites that sell sprouting seeds, but some of my favorites are Sproutman.com, Sproutpeople.org, and Wheatgrasskits.com .
As for sprouting supplies, you really only need the seeds, a wide mouth mason jar, and a lid with a screen. I have used both the metal mesh screens and the plastic ones and I am very partial to the metal ones. Though the metal screens do tend to accumulate a little bit of rust, the plastic screen lids don’t seem to let the same amount of air through and the sprouts don’t end-up as hearty. You can purchase the metal screens by clicking here.
Put enough seeds into the jar to cover the bottom (I use about 3 spoonfuls). Soak the seeds in filtered water for 8-12 hours.
Pour the water out through the mesh screen and rinse the seeds with filtered water a few times until the water pours out clear (make sure you leave the mesh screen and lid on when rinsing so you do not lose any seeds). Once rinsed, tip the jar on its side and leave it in the windowsill. Rinse the seeds with fresh water 3-4 times a day.
If you have children, make sure you get them involved…they will love watching the sprouts grow.
Once the sprouts have filled the jar, put them into a deep bowl and cover them with fresh water. Agitate the sprouts with your hand and the shells of the seeds will float to the top of the bowl. Pour out the water and the seed shells (be careful to keep the sprouts in the bowl). Continue this process until there are no more seed shells remaining.
Once cleaned of the shells, place your sprouts in the refrigerator (I keep the mesh lid on so they can breathe). Make sure you rinse your sprouts on a daily basis to keep them fresh.