We are going to grow greens on your window sill, counter top or a cupboard. From seed to eats in just 72 hours. Crazy weather has put a bit of a kink in the food supply. Not to worry. We have a quick fix. You can grow sprouts anytime, anyplace, rain or shine, hot or cold, night or day. One pound of seeds will get 12-14 pounds of sprouts. Sprouted seeds, grains, and legumes are the most powerful enzyme-rich foods that exist. Enzymes are in every cell of our body. We can’t live without them. Sprouts have enzymes big time.
What are sprouts? Sprouts are germinating seeds that pack a real wallop nutritionally like nothing else on earth.
Sprouts provide the highest amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes of any food per ounce or calorie.
Estimates suggest there can be up to 100 times more enzymes in sprouts than in fruit and vegetables.
Sprouts can help protect you from radiation and toxic chemicals. Sprouts are rich in antioxidants which help the body to cleanse and detox.
Whole dried peas have no Vitamin C, yet when sprouted for 48 hours, provide more Vitamin C (ounce per ounce) than fresh oranges. What can I say? It’s magic.
Sprouts are High in Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Protein, Vitamin A, Thiamin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium and Iron. Those trace minerals are hard to get, especially in cooked foods.
Buy organic seeds. Some other seeds have a coating, could be contaminated and you don’t know exactly where they came from.
Everybody has heard of Alfalfa sprouts. Alfalfa, as the name in Arabic signifies, is the king of all sprouts. it is a vital component of human insulin. Apart from minerals, alfalfa is also a rich source of vitamins A,B,C,E and K and amino acids.
Buy extra seeds put them in jars and freeze them for future use. No telling what is happening with our seed supply. With Monsanto planting 8 million acres of RoundUp ready Terminator alfalfa seeds that will contaminate every living thing down wind it could be that uncontaminated seeds will be the new gold standard. Good for barter and your own food supply.
Sesame seeds are another good source of nourishment. They contain all the essential amino acids in their 20 per cent protein content and higher concentration of calcium than does milk. They are high in lecithin, unsaturated fats, vitamin E and vitamin B complex, besides other live nutrients. But there are others. Sprouts sources: Alfalfa , clover, mung, lentils, peas, broccoli, cabbage, kale, radish, wheat, barley, rye, spelt, rice, oats, almond, buckwheat, peanut, pumpkin, sunflower, quinoa, arugula, kale, cress, flax, buckwheat and lettuce, to name a few.
Are you sold on sprouts yet?
If not here are the numbers and this should convince you. A pound of Alfalfa sprouts costs $9 at our co-op. There are 32 tablespoons per pound. A tablespoon cost .28. You use 2 tablespoons per batch. So each batch of sprouts is going to cost you, out-of-pocket, about .56. A pound of seeds will yield you between 12-14 pounds of sprouts. That works out to about .03 cents per batch. That is a pretty darn good return on your investment. Makes good cents. Also, there is no weeding, fertilizing, pest control involved here. This is lazy man farming at its very best. Ready to grow some energy? Mother Nature has this all down to a real science. All you have to do is give Her a jumping off point.
There are several methods. Jars, bags, and contraptions. We are keeping this simple. I did the bag thing and the jar thing. I liked the jar thing the best. Cheapest, easiest, simplest is a jar. I had a french press sitting around doing nothing so I put it to work. It already had a strainer on it.Any glass jar will do.
A jar. That’s better
Need cheesecloth, screen, even a (clean) nylon sock cut off at the toe and put over the whole jar works great to cover opening so seeds can’t escape and air gets in. (I buy packaged nylons from the Goodwill for $1. They make great strainers, tie ups for plants and in a real pinch you could even use it as an emergency fan belt, Really! They are strong)
- Measure: Before you go to bed one night, measure the correct amount of seeds–in this case, 2 tablespoons of alfalfa sprouts put them in the jar, rinse them good, swish them around, fill jar 1/3 with water and let stand overnight.
- Just a note here about water.
- Note: Water, water everywhere…but it’s not always fit to drink. Or for that matter, grow sprouts with. Many municipal water supplies around the world have been contaminated by industrial and agricultural pollutants. If you soak the seeds in that water, your sprouts may absorb those pollutants and pass them on to you. Eating sprouts made in contaminated water may have an adverse health affect over time, so consider using filtered or spring water for sprouting. I have a Brita filter that I use. Make sure the water is not cold but warm or at least room temp. Not all water is obviously flammable and contaminated (Gasland) but if you are not sure, error on the side of caution. Kind of makes you wonder what kind of water treatment store-bought stuff has been subjected too doesn’t it.
- Next morning Strain
- Note: Some people save this soaking water. It contains valuable nutrients that you can mix into a health shake with other ingredients like fruit and yogurt. Or use it for your houseplants–they’ll be very grateful.
- Shake the jar a few times to remove all of the water from last night’s soak and drain.
- To ensure complete drainage, store the jar at a 45 degree angle so all the water drains out and the seeds are not setting in water. Wet seeds rot. Rest the jar up against the wall or get a tilted holder so any excess water drains out, and you can forget about it. Note: I have to say this is the key to a good crop. Tilting gets all the water out and seeds can breathe. You want the seeds moist but not wet.
- Repeat: On the evening of the same day, you’ll repeat the rinsing process. You’ll continue this morning and evening rinsing for 4 or 5 days (in warm climates, figure a day or two less than that). If you’re feeling particularly keen on sprouting, you can rinse it a third time at noon.
- Watch for the growth: you’ll see green leaves sprouting on seeds, and white shoots on beans, nuts, and grains. Note: Sprouts don’t need light to grow so you can keep them wherever you have the room to store them with good air circulation. To green them up expose them to the sunlight for a day before harvesting.
- Harvest and Eat
- Add to salads and sandwiches, and as a garnish on soups. A sprout sandwich is just delicious
- Puree seeds and beans to make a fantastic sandwich spread or vegetable dip. For flavors, try adding tahini, lemon, and garlic for a middle Eastern flair; or fresh tomato and basil for a Mediterranean touch.
- Cook bean sprouts: lightly stir-fry them with other vegetables, or add to other recipes like vegetable burgers. Also very good when steamed with shredded carrot and cabbage
- Store in the frig, this slows down the growing process, and eat within 4 or 5 days. That should not be hard to do. They go fast.
Sprouts are great for pets too. Major Pup loves Nori seaweed wraps (This is how I get him his vitamin A and phytoplankton.) Wasn’t crazy about the sprouts. So I just wrapped the sprouts up in the Nori.
If you need more info, more detail on growing sprouts here are two great sites.
This is the source of the above outline.
Then if you want a visual aide here’s a YouTube. This one tells you about all the different types of seeds and how to use them.
This is a video of the process step by step.
I went a little crazy with the sprouting. That’s normal for me. I had some hulled sunflower seeds I was using to make protein bars. I didn’t know if they were viable but what the heck, soaked them and this is them after 3 days. So cool. They were good even without the hulls. Who knew?
And then I had some sesame seeds and a bag of clover sitting around and didn’t know if any of this would sprout. It did. The sesame really surprised me.
So , all I can say is try it and have some fun with it. Experiment a little. For sure it is going to be healthy and a darn site cheaper. I would really like to hear from some manly men out there that are doing this. Come on Guys.
This sprouting thing got me interested in spring tonics. So next week will do a little thing about collecting nettle, dandelions, sassafras and make a spring tonic out of it. You can only do this in the spring when the leaves are all fresh and new and loaded with vim and vigor.