Sprouting

Growing your own food is so rewarding, but it can take a while for your crops to grow. This is where sprouting comes in. Tiny seeds germinate and grow to harvesting size in just days!

A sprout possesses all of the energy, vitamins, nutrients and power that enables it to transform from a small seed into a strong plant. At this stage its nutritional value is at its highest. For instance, sprouted seeds can contain 400% more protein than lettuce and over 3900% more beta
-carotene. Also, due to their size and taste you are able to eat hundreds of sprouted seeds at a time. Therefore, you are eating the equivalent of hundreds of fully grown plants, all at once – where else would you be able to get the goodness of one hundred mature plants in one meal?! Studies have also shown that broccoli and other types of sprouting seeds contain exceptionally high levels of a natural cancer fighting compound called sulforaphane (20 – 50 times more than in mature broccoli) which helps support antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E.

Sprouted Seeds: Raw, Crisp and Delicious

Sprouts are an alkalizing, living food which continue to grow and gain vitamins after being harvested, which when compared to food bought at the supermarket which begins to lose their nutrient content as soon as they are picked (and are not then consumed for weeks on end) become very attractive – especially if you are trying to add more raw food to your diet. They are great to be eaten on their own, used in salads and stir-fry's or juiced into your green drink.

Sprouts: Packed With Nutrients

The nutritional value of sprouts is remarkable with sprouts containing a greater concentration of vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes, phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, nitrosamines, trace minerals, bioflavonoids and chemo-protectants (such as sulphoraphane and isoflavone) which work against toxins, resist cell mutation and invigorate the body’s immune system than at any other point in the plant’s life – even when the plant is fully matured. The abundant enzymes in sprouts also makes them easily digestible as their delicate cell walls easily release elemental nutrients. Many different types of sprout are available including alfalfa, broccoli, little radish, mung bean.

There are many types of containers that you can use for sprouting but I find the type in the photograph at the top of the page the easiest. You can buy them from health food shops or on-line. My one is by 'Being Fare'.

I would recommend buying organic seeds - Goodness Direct sells them very cheaply.

Broccoli seeds are my favourite and take around a week, depending on the time of year, to grow. Lentils, mung beans, chickpeas, alfalfa and radish are all excellent. Some seeds, such as lentils and mung beans are ready in 3 or 4 days.

How To Sprout

Soak any seeds that are larger than broccoli seeds overnight in lukewarm water. The really tiny seeds I find sprout better if just rinsed under the tap, rather than soaking them. I find about a tablespoon per tray is the right quantity.

Tip the seeds and water through the plastic tray to drain them and then rinse well in running water.

Do this twice a day.

That's it!

You must rinse them twice a day or they will start to smell musty. If they do start to smell you can try and rinse them for a minute or two, but if the smell is strong throw them away.