Growing Your Own Living Sprouts part 1

"What is planted in each persons soul, will sprout" -Rumi

One of natures superb gifts is the availability of live food, so in the raw food kitchen, we teach that its always best to soak or activate your nuts and seeds before eating them. Soaking your seeds releases their enzyme inhibitors and activates the growing process, which means that they are alive, (actively growing) food, it is essentially a baby plant which is bursting forth with new life; and this also makes them easier for most people to digest. 

Sprouts which are actively growing are at their most nutrient rich stage in the growing process, they are a living super food and their healing potential is phenomenal. Sprouts contain a high level of nutrients and enzymes, which make them easy to assimilate by the body. 

  • "The greatest enzyme activity is from germination up to 7 days and is 100 times greater than the enzyme content of fruits or vegetables which helps to replenish our own body’s reserve of enzymes." -HHI

Additionally, as a sprout the concentration of proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, RNA & DNA is greater than at any other point in that plant’s development, plus

  • Its carbohydrates become easier to assimilate as the starches are changed to simple sugars.
  • Its fats are changed to fatty acids which are an easily digested soluble compound.
  • Its complex protein is converted into simple amino acids, which essentially means that it is “predigested”.
  • Vitamin production is increased three to twelve times more.
  • Minerals are chelated, a natural state where they are chemically bonded to amino acids and easily assimilated by the body.
  • It has delicate cell walls so it can release nourishment easily.
  • It contains photochemical, which are plant compounds that protect against disease.
  • It contains highly active antioxidants that prevent DNA destruction and the effects of aging.
  • It contains both increased fiber (up to 300%) and water.

Believe it or not, growing sprouts is super easy and you can grow them right in your own kitchen. The availability of right temperature, humidity, ventilation and lighting, all close to a water source make it a great location, plus it doesn't require heaps of space. A windowsill, drainer or stackable shelf space can work just fine.  

Ensure that your seeds are from a good source, 100% organic seeds, distributed for the purpose of sprouting. Before starting, you should keep your seeds stored at room temperature in an air tight container until you're ready to sprout them.

Sprouting beans and legumes
The great thing about sprouting grains and legumes means that they don't require soil, making it an even easier process. Sprouted Beans and Legumes will increase in size and weight 2 to 3 times. This means ½ cup dry seeds will yield 1.5 cup of sprouts. It's an easy 5 step process, which you can rotate to ensure you always have one of natures richest foods available in your kitchen. All of these varieties make a great addition to any salad.

Easy beans and legumes to sprout:

  • Adzuki Beans (soak for 12 hours)
  • Whole Red Lentils (soak for 8 hours)
  • Whole Green Lentils (soak for 8 hours)
  • French Lentils (soak for 8 hours)
  • Fenugreek (soak for 6 hours)
  • Mung Beans (soak for 8 hours)
  • Garbanzo Beans/Chick Peas (soak for 12 hours)
  • Green Peas (soak for 8 hours)

Mung, Lentil. & Adzuki sprouts — contain soluble fiber and help lower cholesterol by clearing out dangerous LDL cholesterol in the blood. They also help regulate insulin and thus blood sugar.

Sprouting Supplies and equipment for beans and legumes:
-An 'Easy Sprouter', or other sprouting vessels like glass or plastic jars and sprouting lids
-Drain pan

You can start off with ½ cup of each and adjust quantities as necessary. 

Step 1: Put 1 cup of beans in a soaking vessel. Fill with 3 times the amount of water. Stir to eliminate air bubbles. Leave to stand, away from direct sunlight, for between 6-12 hours depending on which bean or legume you have chosen.

Step 2: Once the 8 to 12 hour mark has been reached, it is time to drain your. Pour out the contents of the soaking vessel into a small hole draining colander and rinse the seed with fresh water and allow water to drain away. Return your seeds to the sprouting vessel and position it in the draining position on the drain pan, this allows any excess water to drain away from the seed.

Step 3: This stage is all about rinsing and draining your seeds, this will be performed two to three times per day. Fill or flood your sprouting vessel with water and carefully stir the seeds. Allow seed to soak for a minute or two, then allow water to drain away. Continue this procedure for two to three days until you see that your seeds have stated to sprout (roots popping out).

Step 4: Time to harvest your seeds. Now that the roots have emerged from the seeds, which should be at least as long as the bean itself, you can now prepare your seeds for storage. If another shoot with a leaf begins to emerge, you have sprouted longer than necessary. Sprouted

Step 5:  Store sprouted beans and legumes in a green bag with the air removed. If moisture is present, placing a paper towel in the bag will extend shelf life. Green Bags are impregnated with a natural mineral called “oya” that will absorb the ethylene gasses that are released. If used as directed these will certainly extend the life of your harvest.
Another great option is to use a Food Saver, which comes with a small pump to remove air and gives the ultimate longevity to your sprouts. Place your sprouts in the refrigerator.

Various methods
There are different methods used for sprouting, from soaking in water and draining in jars for beans and legumes (outlined above), to planting in soil in a tray for wheatgrass, pea, sunflower and buckwheat sprouts and other micro greens.

When it comes to seeds like chia and flax which can also be sprouted, they are not soaked first like other seeds and have a slightly different sprouting process.

These methods will be covered separately.

Image by Evergreen

Image by Evergreen

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