Here you’ll find info on the health benefits of sprouts, simple sprouting directions and one of our favorite sprouted lentil salads!
Sprouts are incredibly simple and fast to grow. In fact, sprouts will grow:
– in any climate, at any time of year
– without soil and in low sunlight
– without weeding
– indoors with a minimum amount of space
– to 400% their size or more in 5 days
– to maturity in 3-5 days!
Not convinced yet?
Health Benefits of Sprouts.
– A potent source of antioxidants and alkalizing to the body. Both of these effects are essential for protecting against disease and strengthening the immune system.
– A good source of essential fatty acids, which many diets are lacking in.
– An excellent source of fiber.
– Rich in chlorophyll, if you allow them to reach their green leaf stage. (Chlorophyll is a powerful blood cleanser and blood builder.)
– A good source of vitamins. (The vitamin density of some seeds can increase from 100% to 2000% after several days of sprouting.)
– Filled with an array of essential minerals. (During sprouting, the minerals develop into a chelated form, making them easier for the body to utilize).
– A good source of protein. (One cup of mung bean sprouts has 3.16 grams of protein!)*
*From the USDA Nutritional Database.
Sprouts are low in calories and low on the glycemic index, making the high return for your investment worth the initial time and money spent. Only a few dollars and a few easy days will provide you with a number of fresh, nutrient-rich meals or snacks.
How to Grow Sprouts
hydroponic jar, bag or basket method
1. Wide mouth glass jars
2. Screens or cheesecloth to cover the opening of the jar
(cut the screen to fit well over the jar’s mouth – usually about a 6’’ square)
3. Strong rubber bands to secure screen
4. Organic seeds, legumes and grains are sold at most health food stores.*
Alfalfa – 1 1/2 Tbsp.
Clover – 1 1/2 Tbsp.
Radish – 1 1/2 Tbsp.
Fenugreek – 1 1/2 Tbsp.
Lentils – 3/4 cup
Adzuki Beans – 3/4 cup
Mung Beans – 3/4 cup
Green Peas – 1 cup
Garbanzo Beans – 1 cup
Wheat Berries, soft – 1 cup
Millet – 1 1/2 cups
Rye – 1 cup
Barley – 1 cup
Quinoa – 1 cup
*You can find organic legumes and grains at most stores (as long as they are not split they will sprout.)
Sprouting directions continued:
- Inspect seeds and remove any that are broken. Place them in a jar, rinse and drain.
- Fill with spring or filtered water, about 2–3 inches above seeds or legumes.
- Soak overnight, approximately eight hours.
- After eight hours, drain water.
RINSING & DRAINING
Rinse soaked seeds. Place jars, with the screen/cheese cloth securely fashioned on top, on a rack or in a bowl (mouth down) at a 45 degree angle so it can continue to drain and allow air to circulate. Make sure the seeds are not totally covering the mouth of the jar as this will block the air flow and cause the seeds to spoil.
Cover with a towel to keep dark for the first couple of days. This will ensure germination. Rinse and drain 2–3 times a day. Legumes and grains do not need sunlight and will be ready in 1–2 days when the sprout tail is 1/8 inch long. For unhulled seeds, such as alfalfa, clover and radish, continue rinsing and draining for 2–3 more days and place in indirect sunlight until the leaves are deep green.
To harvest grains and legumes, just rinse and serve. For unhulled seeds and some legumes (such as mung beans), place in a container and submerge the sprouts until the hulls rise to the surface. Skim them off and place sprouts back in the jar to drain. Refrigerate all sprouts after they are fully sprouted to maintain freshness. They will last 5–7 days when refrigerated. Once wheat berries are sprouted, they can be used to make uncooked Essene breads and other healthy snacks.
How to grow planted sprouts
1. Organic seeds (sold at most health food stores)
2. Healthy soil
3. Garden flats or cafeteria trays with holes
4. Box or basket with holes to drain, or gutters around the side
5. Strainer or screening material for rinsing seeds before planting
1 3/4 cups Sunflower Seeds (whole, unhulled) for one flat of sprouts
1 2/3 cups Buckwheat Seeds for one flat of sprouts
SOAKING, RINSING & DRAINING
Inspect seeds and remove any that are broken. Place them in a jar, rinse and drain.
Fill with spring or filtered water, about 2–3 inches above seeds. Soak for 12 hours.
Rinse and drain 2–3 times a day for 1–2 days until the sprout shoot is growing.
A good mix is 75% topsoil & 25% peat moss or 50% top soil, 25% peat moss and 25% compost. A prepared vegan-organic potting soil can also be used. A small amount of fresh sand, rock dust, kelp/seaweed or other veganic fertilizer adds to the potency of the sprouts. Mix soil in a bucket or box, and fill trays at least one inch thick with soil.
PLANTING & GROWING
Sow seeds onto soil and spread out. Seeds should touch, but not be bunched on top of each other. Water them daily and cover with shade cloth or towel. After three days, uncover and put in indirect sunlight. More sun = larger leaves.
Harvest 5–8 days from planting when sprout is just over 2 inches tall with deep green leaves. Harvest with a serrated knife or scissors, trying not to pull plants up by the roots. Remove hulls with fingers. Brushing the tops of the sprouts with your hands before harvesting helps to remove the hulls.
SOLVING POSSIBLE PROBLEMS
Mold may grow if the seeds are too damp, planted too closely or have poor ventilation. Use a shade cloth to cover instead of towels or newspaper and water less. A sparse crop can happen if the seeds were soaked too long or not watered properly. Pale sprouts may be caused by insufficient sunlight.
We love this salad from Incredibly Delicious: Recipes for a New Paradigm. It’s hearty, but not heavy, and is great on its own or in a wrap!
Sprouted Lentil Salad
4 cups sprouted lentils
2 carrots, grated
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1–2 Tbsp. olive or cold-pressed oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 dates, pitted, soaked in 1/4 cup water
sea salt or substitute, to taste
3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1. In a bowl, combine the sprouted lentils, grated carrots, diced onion and fresh
2. In a blender, blend the remaining ingredients (including date soak water). Pour over
the vegetables and mix. Chill and serve.
Incredibly Delicious: Recipes for a New Paradigm contains an extensive chapter on raw food preparation as well as many more tips to make the transition to veganism easy and delicious!