Tag Archives: sprouts

SPROUTING 101

Sprouts

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.

Broccoli Sprouts

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.

 

The sprouting process is very simple.

Alfalfa Sprouting Seed

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.

Soak 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.

Rinse & Prop on Side (Day 1)

Rinse & Prop on Side (Day 1)

Bottom View of Sprouting Seeds (Day 2)

Bottom View of Sprouting Seeds (Day 2)

Bottom View of Sprouts (Day 3)

Bottom View of Sprouts (Day 3)

Side View of Sprouts (Day 3)

Side View of Sprouts (Day 3)

Sprouts FILLING Entire Jar (Day 4)

Sprouts FILLING Entire Jar (Day 4)

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.

Rinsing Seed Shells

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.

Store in the Fridge

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Filed under Education, Gluten Free, Raw, Recipes, Sprouting, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

WINTER GARDEN

Garden Goodies

Garden Goodies

It really feels good to sink your fingers into dirt and get messy.  Sometimes life gets busy and we can only do it one step at a time, but slowly and surely it gets done…

Last week before the rains came I spent some time taking all of the compost out of my composter and spread it on my bare garden.  A few days later I went to Home Depot and brought home a truckload of nice organically fertilized dirt to spread over my compost and with my husband’s help I was able to spread out all ten bags before another wave of rain came (we literally finished minutes before the onslaught). 

Primed & Ready

Primed & Ready

Today after Yoga I went to one of my favorite nurseries, Plant Depot, and stocked-up on winter greens for the garden.  I came home with two packets of seeds (kale and cucumber), sugar snap peas, bok choy, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.  It only took me about 30 minutes to plan the layout and plant.

All Planted

All Planted

I put some finished compost into my composter as a starter and threw in the pulp from my green drink this morning.  I am all ready to watch the plants grow and keep feeding my composter with scraps which will be ready to prime my planters when the time comes to plant my Spring garden.

New Compost

New Compost

Happy planting!

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Filed under Gardening