Everything around us is bursting with energy and color. Are you? If there is hesitation in that answer, I have a healthful hint that will put a little ‘spring’ in your step.
You’ve probably noticed that sprouts aren’t just for granola crunchers from the old days when so called ‘health food’ tasted like cardboard. (I should invite them over to persuade them otherwise, and why is poor granola picked on? That is a staple around here…) ANYway, the process to grow your own sprouts is SO easy, SO healthy and SO economical. It just takes a few minutes and maybe one trip to the health food store.
The benefits of sprouting are numerous. Sprouts are living foods. They are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. They contain numerous vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes – which are often times destroyed by heat. Enzymes are the key to digestion, as they break down the foods we eat for energy. Sprouting also increases our absorption of calcium and other key minerals as it neutralizes phytic acid, and provides a more alkalizing environment in our system.
You can sprout everything from seeds to grains and beans. One of the easiest and most nutrient dense foods to sprout are broccoli seeds. They are packed with vitamin C, fiber, and contain an enzyme which helps reduce inflammation. These and all sprouts are considered a ‘booster food,’ as they provide so many benefits by simply sprinkling them on a variety of dishes.
To get sprouting, first you need a Mason jar (or Bell brand.) Any size will do, as long as it has a wide mouth. Save yourself a few $ by using one you already have on hand vs. buying a specific ‘sprouting jar.’
Second, check at your local market for sprouting jar tops – they are usually plastic and come in a variety of screen sizes. This way you can sprout everything from tiny seeds (broccoli) to large beans (kidney.) If you can’t find them you can make a top using cheesecloth, or you can order them online.
Next, take about 1/4 cup of the seeds, grains, or beans (make sure they’re organic – we don’t want to encourage growth of any more chemicals;-) Put into jar and fill with purified water for 12-24 hours (I usually do this overnight.)
After soaking, drain thoroughly and rinse with fresh water, then drain again. Make sure the jar rests at an angle so no excess water collects on the bottom. Repeat this rinse and drain three times/day for two-three days, depending on what you’re sprouting.
Now your sprouts are ready. You can add them to salads and vegetable dishes, or try this recipe for curried sprouted lentils (it is fabulous.)
>> And just in time for summer, the Veggie Queen is offering a sweet deal through the Sprout House on all orders of seeds for sprouting this month. Just type in the code VEGQUEEN at checkout to receive a 20% discount.
As if you needed more reasons to start sprouting, they can also be an added source of nutrients for pets, too!