Sprouts are one of the best locally-grown foods, yet few people eat them, let alone grow them. They’re a powerhouse of nutrition, and research has found that there can be as many as 100 times more enzymes in sprouts than uncooked fruits and vegetables.
Enzymes are certain types of proteins that are essential for all bodily functions. Eating sprouts is also a good way to get more essential fatty acids into your diet since the sprouting process increases these significantly. In addition, they provide chlorophyll, freshness and a host of nutrients that standard winter fare can’t supply.
Of course, if you’re like most people and don’t eat sprouts, you may not even be sure what they are. Sprouts are simply the early growth of a seed, similar to what you see when seeds in your garden begin to grow. When seeds are kept moist, they begin to sprout, creating tiny plants that become an especially nourishing food.
You may be surprised to find how easy and inexpensive it is to grow your own sprouts. Fancy equipment isn’t necessary, in fact, all you need is a quart-sized canning jar, a wide-mouth canning ring, a spouting screen and sprouting seeds. You can find sprouting seeds online, but buying them locally is optimal if you can find them.
Once you have everything you need, just follow these steps:
Soak your sprouting seeds overnight. Pour 3 tablespoons of sprouting seeds into the bottom of the quart-sized jar. Put the sprouting screen on and screw on the canning ring. Now pour 2 cups of filtered, non-chlorinated water through the sprout screen. Swirl the seeds around, drain and then cover again with 2 to 4 cups of water. Leave the jar on your counter overnight.
Drain and rinse the seeds. In the morning, pour the water out and repeat the process of rinsing, swirling, and draining. Once well-drained, place in a bowl that will allow the jar to lay upside down at a slight angle. A soup bowl with a 1 ½” trim works well. (You are placing the jar inside the bowl so it tilts slightly downward.)
Continue the rinse and drain process. Two to three times each day, pour water through the screen, swirl, drain well and place it back into the bowl. Every day your sprouts will grow a little more until they’ve filled the entire quart jar and started to turn green, which takes 3 to 5 days.
When you’re ready to use them, try the following ideas:
- Add your sprouts to a tossed salad.
- Stir-fry them in coconut oil with other vegetables like radish, alfalfa and clover.
- Blend them into a healthy juice or smoothie.
- Top your free-range, scrambled eggs or an omelet with sprouts.
- Roast sprouts with a drizzle of extra-virgin, organic olive oil and then add a little sea salt as they cool for a great salad topper with a nutty crunch.
- Once you start growing and using sprouts, you’ll probably wonder why you hadn’t done so long ago! They’re a great way to add powerful nutrition to any diet.
-The Alternative Daily