Sprouts are good for you. They add to your raw food intake with lots of Vitamins, A, B and C with other benefits as well. What is great is that they only take 3-7 days to grow and require no soil or sun. They only need just a little bit of your time daily otherwise it is as easy as “just add water”.
Growing them at home is a great way to save money. You can pick up some seeds at the local health food market or order them online. Be sure to buy seeds for sprouting, as they are treated to prevent germs or pathogens from being present and growing during the sprouting process. You will also need a clean jar and some cheese cloth- that’s it!
Be sure to use purified water to prevent germs and other unwanted chemicals often present in city tap water to leach into your sprouts.
Be sure to rinse on schedule, lack of water, too much water and not enough rinsing could all result in an ineffective or damaged crop.
Here is a link to the nutritional content of the most common type of sprouts, Alfalfa, Mung Bean, Radish, Soybean and Wheat.
1. Place one to two tablespoons of seeds in your jar, and cover with approximately two inches of warm water. Let this sit overnight.
2. Drain the water, using a fine sieve or cheesecloth.
3. Rinse the seeds by adding water the the jar, swishing the seeds around, and draining.
4. Repeat twice a day, every day until your sprouts are the desired size. This will take anywhere from three to seven days, depending on the variety of sprout you’re growing. Sprouts are best when they’re still fairly small and just starting to turn green.
5. Store your sprouts in a covered bowl or food storage bag with a paper towel inside to absorb excess moisture. Use the sprouts within a week.
Check out this page for additional uses and benefits for specific sprouts. For example did you know that, according to the International Sprout Growers Association, “Alfalfa sprouts contain significant dietary sources of phytoestrogens connected with prevention of menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease”?
Here are a couple of great sprout recipes to get you started integrating them into your daily meals.
Preparation:1 cup bulgur wheat * 1-1/2 cups boiling water 1-1/2 teaspoons salt 1/4 cup fresh lemon and/or lime juice 1/4 cup fresh olive oil 3 scallions, including greens, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped OR 1/2 teaspoon dried (2 ml) 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped 4 ounces mixed munchy sprouts such as lentils, peas, adzuki beans, etc. 1 cucumber, diced (optional) 1 tomato, peeled, seeded and diced (optional)
Combine bulgur, boiling water and salt in a bowl. Cover and let stand 30 minutes. Add all the other ingredients. Mix well. At this point the mixture will be watery. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours but overnight is best.* Bulgur wheat is available at health food stores
Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes Ingredients:4 cups shredded red cabbage 1/2 cup shredded carrot 2 bok choy stalks with leaves 1 1/2 – 2 cups mung bean sprouts 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup rice vinegar 3/4 teaspoon sesame seed oil Garnish (optional):2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, or as desired 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Wash the vegetables and drain thoroughly. Shred the cabbage and carrots. Separate the bok choy stalks and leaves. Cut the stalks diagonally and cut the leaves straight across. Toss the shredded cabbage, carrots, bok choy and mung bean sprouts in a large bowl. Set aside. Stir the olive oil into the rice vinegar. Stir in the sesame seed oil.
Place the dressing in the bottom of a bowl, add the vegetables and toss again. Add the cilantro, if using, and sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds on top.