How to Sprout Seeds in Your Kitchen
You will not believe how simple it is to learn how to sprout seeds in your kitchen or anywhere at home close to a window. Once you start doing this, you will wonder why you have not learned about or tried this sooner. But, as they say, it is never too late to learn.
Sprouting is simply germinating seeds using only water and no soil. The resultant growth is generally eaten raw by adding to salads or other meals as one of your vegetables or as a garnish or they can be lightly cooked. Cooking does reduce the nutritional value of the sprouted seeds but will also destroy any pathogens that may have accumulated in the root system during the sprouting process.
Many different seeds can be used including grasses (like alfalfa), certain vegetables (like broccoli), beans (like mung beans), legumes (like lentils) and grains. However, we do not recommend the use of grains, as all grains, not only wheat, rye and barley, contain the protein gluten, which is a source of inflammation for everybody, according to the latest cutting edge research of Dr Peter Osborne in his book, “No Grain No Pain”, and many other functional medicine specialists and researchers such as Dr. Alessio Fasano.
Benefits of Sprouting
- You can grow nutrient rich food at home, even in an apartment, in a few days.
- Sprouts provide high levels of dietary fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, B complex vitamins, folate, Vitamin K and Protein.
- Sprouts are packed full of minerals such as manganese, copper, zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium (remember that these tiny seeds contain everything that the plant needs to grow when germinated).
- Sprouts contain digestive enzymes and high levels of anti-oxidants.
- Broccoli sprouts contain high levels of sulphoraphanes (anti-oxidants) which have been researched for their cancer prevention properties and also been shown to reduce insulin resistance and help to control blood sugar levels.
- The dietary fibre helps the digestive process and can aid with both constipation and diarrhoea.
- Sprouts are a metabolism booster due to the high levels of enzymes found only in them and not in other foods.
- A source of omega 3 fatty acid, which is the healthier form of fatty acid, and helps to keep a good ratio with omega 6 fatty acids, which are often elevated in many diets due to use of vegetable oils and processed food consumption. Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and very good for heart health.
- Helps with anaemia (iron deficiency) and blood circulation due to levels of iron and copper.
- Immune booster due to high vitamin C and vitamin A, which can increase by 10 times during the period of germination and plant growth.
How to Sprout Seeds in Your Kitchen
1. Buy a simple sprouting tray set from ebay costing about A$44 including postage see also Australian Wheatgrass below for an even better price (we have no affiliation with them).
2. Buy the seeds you want to sprout from either your nearest health food store or the internet. We suggest mung beans, broccoli seeds and alfalfa as a good start and then try any others that take your fancy. We buy some from Australian Wheatgrass and find them good quality and reliable.
3. Sprinkle about a table spoon or so of seeds onto each tray. We generally use different seeds in each tray but if you love one type you can germinate the same seeds in each of the 4 trays if you like.
4. Using pure spring or filtered water (not tap water), fill the top tray to above the height of the little domed valve that lets water through to the next tray.
5. Watch and check that the water is passing from each tray to the next and ending in the bottom container tray. Sometimes it is necessary to give the little valves a slight twist to get the water flowing.
6. Place the stack of trays near a window for light but not in full sun.
7. Water morning and evening until the desired growth has occurred. This will depend on the temperature and time of year, but generally we find full growth has occurred within one week. Mung beans are at the top in the photo on the left. Centre photos is alfalfa and on the right are broccoli sprouts.
8. You can now start to harvest and eat the sprouts. If you start eating early, and it is not too hot, you can probably leave the sprouts in the trays and continue to water twice daily. Sometimes it is necessary to harvest all the sprouts at once and place in a glass container in the fridge. They will keep fine for a few days but for maximum benefit should be eaten quite quickly.
A word of caution about the quality of seeds. It is recommended to only use seeds that are sold for sprouting because they will have been cleaned before packaging to remove any unwanted bacteria. Seeds for planting are not treated in this way and could produce pathogens when sprouted. We have never had a problem from any of the seeds that we have used, even some for planting, but maybe we just have a very strong digestive system able to deal anything we throw at it. However, it is probably best to be cautious especially at the start and just buy seeds for sprouting, preferably organic.
Now you know how to sprout seeds in your kitchen, will you give it a go? You will not regret it, and it is a wonderful reminder of the magic of nature to come down every morning and see what growth has occurred overnight. We still get a huge kick out of seeing this magic happen before our eyes. Please let us know how you get on sprouting seeds in your kitchen.
Marvelling at the wonder of nature, Edith and Tim at CoolWellbeing Foundation
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