A lady at my church taught a class on sprouting awhile back. I had read about sprouting before and kind of knew what to do, but hadn’t taken the steps to start sprouting seeds on my own. We all left the class with our own “sprouting jar,” and a bag of seed mix. Three days later I had my first sprouts!
Why sprouts? First, sprouts are a truly live food. They contain enzymes that are destroyed when food is cooked. The enzymes in sprouts aid in digestion and help convert starches into sugars, protein into amino acids, and fats into fatty acids. When enzymes are available in our bodies, our bodies don’t unnecessarily hoard vitamins and minerals. Second, I love the fact that you can grow a live food in 2-4 days, versus 60-90 days when growing food in a garden. If fresh vegetables weren’t available, you could grow them quickly and easily at home. They are a great option to have in your food storage.
What to sprout? You want to make sure you are sprouting a whole seed (hulls haven’t been removed). It is recommended that you purchase organic seeds to sprout. Pretty much any seed or bean can be sprouted and you get increased vitamins and minerals over a non-sprouted seed. Common sprouted seeds and beans are alfalfa, broccoli, buckwheat, clover, garbanzo, lentil, mung, mustard, radish, soybeans, wheat, rye and oats. I like to do a mix of clover and alfalfa.
What to sprout in? Common containers to sprout in include glass jars with a mesh, muslin or plastic sprouting cover, sprouting bags, or sprouting trays. The jars are the most inexpensive type of container – most of us have quart-sized jars lying around the house. You just need a screw-on lid and a mesh cover. The mesh can be purchased at a hardware store, or for a few dollars you can purchase a plastic spouting cover.
How to grow sprouts? There is a lot of information online on how to sprout, but the steps are really simple: 1. Soak the seeds/beans, 2. Drain – rinse twice a day & keep moist but not wet (I store mine in a jar tipped upside down at an angle so they can drain but not sit in water), 3. Store in a cool, dark place or a place with a little bit of light depending on the type of seed, 4. Enjoy!
I take about 1 tablespoon each of clover and alfalfa seeds, cover them with water, and let them sit overnight. In the morning, I drain the water and rinse the seeds, then store them tipped at an angle. 2 times a day for the next 4 days I rinse the sprouts – it is so simple and takes about 10 minutes total over the course of 4 days. These sprouts are so much healthier than store bought because they have only been sitting in my kitchen for 4 days, versus days or even weeks in the grocery store.
How do I use spouts? The possibilities are really endless. You can add them to fresh salads and sandwiches, or add them to breads and soups. The thing to remember is that by cooking them you will deplete the spouts of some nutrients. Our favorite way to use sprouts is a BLT wrap (see recipe below). My neighbor keeps sprouts next to her sink and grabs a few when she gets a drink of water. She likes that the sprouts are filling and keep her from snacking on something unhealthy.
Where can I buy sprouting seeds? You can get sprouting seeds online at many health food stores or co-ops. I have purchased clover and alfalfa sprout seeds from Azure Standard. If you live in Utah, you can try Mountain Valley Seeds (firstname.lastname@example.org), Good Earth Natural Foods (many stores in Utah),
Kitchen Kneads (7579 S. Redwood Road Murray), Life Sprouts (Hyrum: email@example.com).
How do you enjoy eating sprouts? Which sprouts are your favorites? Sounds easy enough – are you ready to try growing them yourself?
Easy BLT Wraps – serves 6
6 Whole Wheat Wraps (Flat Out Brand makes a good one, or you could use ww tortillas)
6 T. light cream cheese (vegetable flavored is really good)
12 slices turkey bacon, cooked and drained on paper towels
Fresh baby spinach
Broccoli or alfalfa sprouts
Spread cream cheese onto the middle of your wrap. Add 2 slices turkey bacon, avocado, tomato, spinach and sprouts. Wrap and enjoy with a side salad and fresh fruit!