Tuesday, March 8, 2011

DIY Sprouts at Home

Bean sprouts are a healthy, wholesome, Clean addition to your salads, sandwiches, or just about anything else you'd care to mix them into. Sprouting a seed is said to increase its nutritional value tremendously - especially their natural B vitamin values. Adding sprouts to your foods is healthy and Clean - now have them at home anytime you want them.

Now, you can't just sprout a can of garbanzo beans. These have been heated and the bean rendered inactive. You need to look for "sprouting seeds" at a local health food store or garden center. Anything that will ultimately grow into a plant can be sprouted. Seeds are easily found this time of year as Spring is almost here in most areas of the Nation.

Making them yourself at home is super easy. Wash, rinse, repeat - that is it!

5 Easy Steps

The basic steps for sprouting are as follows:
  1. Soak. (Generally, seeds are soaked overnight for around 8-14 hours. Lentils fit into that category; however, quinoa only needs 2-4 hours to soak.)
  2. Drain and rinse. (After soaking, the seeds have absorbed water and can be left under a moist towel to rest.)
  3. Sit. (After about a day, you should start to see small sprouts. )
  4. Rinse and repeat steps 2-3. (To get bigger sprouts, rinse your sprouts once a day until they are the desired size.)
  5. Refrigerate. (This halts the sprouting process and keeps sprouts fresh for a few days to a week.)

What Else Can I Sprout?

Some other sproutable possibilities include the following:
  • Grains: Amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, rice, wheat/rye.
  • Other seeds: Almonds, cabbage, kale, fenugreek, mustard, pumpkin, radish, sesame, sunflower.
  • Legumes: Alfalfa, clover, garbanzo, lentils, mung beans, peanuts, blackeyed peas, field peas.

Don't Sprout...
  • Toxic/unhealthy: anasazi, black, fava, kidney, lima, navy, pinto, and soy. Don’t use these! The raw beans can be toxic or cause digestion problems. Please cook your large beans.
  • Soak/don’t sprout: herb seeds, filberts, pecans, walnuts, brazil nuts, macademia nuts. These seeds and nuts don’t sprout well, but soaking may improve the flavor or create a more desirable texture.

Here's a great page with some typical times it takes to germinate a lot of different sprouts: http://www.living-foods.com/articles/sprouting.html