Sprouting can fall under several of our BabySteps since you can sprout many grains, legumes, and other foods. However, the biggest benefit of sprouts is that they can act as a fresh “vegetable” in your diet so we are covering it under the Fruits and Vegetables step. If this feels overwhelming to you, don’t worry, it was to us too. Just follow Step 8 and come back to this topic when you feel you can handle a challenge.
Common Types of Sprouts:
- Soy Beans, Garbanzo, Mung beans
- Dried Beans (black, pinto, navy, kidney)
- Nuts + Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds, Sesame seeds, Alfalfa
- Vegetable Seeds esp. pumpkin
Health Benefits of Sprouts:
- Sprouting a seed enhances its already high nutritional value (i.e. Oats when sprouted contain 600% more vitamin C)
- Sprouts are high in antioxidants that prevent DNA destruction and protect from the effects of aging
- Sprouts contain concentrated amounts of phytochemicals which help protect against diseases
- Alfalfa sprouts contain saponins which:
- Lower bad cholesterol and fat but keep the good hdl fats
- Stimulate immune system
- Help prevent cardiovascular disease
- Sprouts are a nutritious, low-fat filler for meats or addition to soups, etc.
How to Grow Sprouts:
- Prepare the seeds
- Remove broken and discolored seeds
- Wash seeds
- Soak overnight (if necessary)
- Place seeds in sprouting container and rinse thoroughly.
- Drain off all excess water.
- Place in a warm area where temperature will remain even.
- Rinse 2-3 times per day.
- Once they reach the desired length, place near sunlight until leaves become green.
For a full tutorial with pictures on how Jodi experimented with growing Lentil sprouts visit her post on How to Grow Sprouts.
The Complete Sprouting Cookbook – This book is from the 70’s but it has everything you could want to know and more. Jodi’s mom had it hidden in a cupboard and we just raved over it when we found it.
Sprouts: The Miracle Food – More recent book on sprouting.
Sprout Master Sprouter – The kit that Julie uses to grow her sprouts.
Have you had successes or failures with sprouting? Share your experiences in the comments below!
-Jodi Weiss Schroeder