Let’s Talk About Sprouts!

Yesterday I found myself in a conversation about sprouts and the amazing nutrition they pack and I realized how little sprouts are talked about, thought about, and even worse, eaten. Sprouts are amazing and everyone should be eating them. Want to know why? Keep reading!

Alfalfa-sprouts

Sprouts…there’s so many different kinds: alfalfa, broccoli, radish, mung bean, watercress, pea, the list could go on and on. Basically, every kind of plant, including veggies have sprouts. A sprout is a baby plant and we typically don’t think about eating the vegetable at this point, but we should and for many reasons. The top reason being the amount of concentrated nutrition packed into these tiny plants.

Sprouts of all kinds are full of concentrated potent levels of vitamins, including A, B, C, D, E, and K, minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, and potassium, fiber, antioxidants, enzymes and protein.

Many of these nutrients are more bio-available to the body when eaten as sprouts vs seeds or full grown vegetables. When the seed starts to sprout, the minerals bind to the proteins, which makes both the minerals and the protein more readily available and usable in our bodies.

 

In addition, the proteins are altered in beneficial ways during the process of sprouting, so you get more, and higher quality, protein from sprouts compared to eating the seeds.

Eating whole plant foods is the best thing you can do for your health. Feeding your body the necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes is key to disease prevention, including cancer.  As a matter of fact, sprouts have been prescribed in Chinese Medicine for thousands of years!

Eating spouts makes getting these nutrients easy! They’re small, easy to add to any dish and easy to grow, even in the winter or in small spaces; no garden necessary! It is not necessary to purchase the expensive tiny packages of sprouts at the health food store!

We constantly have sprouts growing in our house, in mason jars, right on our kitchen counter! There’s only a few things you need to get started growing your own sprouts.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Wide mouth mason jars (1-3). Purchase these at Walmart, Target, or farm supply stores.
  • Sprouting lids for your jars. I prefer these because they are dishwasher safe, won’t rust and are made from recycled material. Did I mention how cheap they are?!
  • Sprouting seeds. There’s a large variety to choose from, so I’ll tell you what I do. I buy a mix, that way I’m getting a large variety of nutrients. I have one jar of salad mix seeds and one jar of a bean mix. I prefer this salad mix because it’s organic, non-gmo and contains a variety of seeds including alfalfa and broccoli (two of the most nutritious sprouts). And I prefer this bean mix for the same reasons; it’s organic, non-gmo and a great variety.

Sprouts-in-a-jar

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Add 1-2 tbsp of seeds to your jar.
  • Choose which lid you’ll use and screw it on the jar. The lids have different size holes. You’ll want to be sure your seeds cannot fit through the holes in the lid.
  • Rinse the seeds. You’ll do this by adding water to the jar, then draining the water through the lid. You can do this a few times to ensure they are rinsed well.
  • Add water to the jar again, this time leaving it there. You’ll want 1-2 inches of water over the top of the seeds.
  • Soak your seeds for 8-12 hours.
  • Drain, rinse, and drain your seeds. You’ll do this 2-3 times per day now. You want to keep the seeds moist and be sure they do not dry out.
  • Store the jars at an angle to allow the water to drain and allow proper ventilation. You can do this in a bowl or a dish rack. Your jars should look like this…

sprouting5

Continue rinsing and draining your seeds 2-3 times each day. In 3-5 days you’ll have sprouts ready to eat! It’s that quick and that simple!

To store your sprouts simply remove them from the jar, pat them dry with a towel, and store them in a covered container in the fridge.

You can enjoy your sprouts by adding them to salads, sandwiches, pad thai, in a wrap, or in your fresh morning juice or smoothie.

Your body will thank you for adding these amazing super foods to your diet and before long sprouts will become a staple in your house! Comment below with your favorite way to eat sprouts!

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