Sprouts are the new shoots of plant seeds and are therefore a powerhouse of nutrients. Sprouts are a good source of vitamin A, Bs, C, K, silica and amino acids essential to health. Sprouted seeds are also very alkalising in the body – helping to reduce acidity and inflammation.
You can make sprouts out of almost anything – from wheat and buckwheat grain to lentils and beans, anything that can be planted to grow can also be sprouted and consumed for health benefits. Did we mention that they taste good too?
Just like cooking legumes, different seeds have different preparation methods. Below are some of the more commonly available things that you can sprout in your own home.
Wheat grass is a great way to get a daily vitamin and mineral boost from nature. You can grow wheat grass in trays and cut off some to juice daily. You do need a juicer that will express to do this at home, but it is well worth the investment!
- To grow your own wheatgrass, use a seedling tray filled with organic soil (available from a nursery or hardware store).
- Cover the soil with organic whole wheat grains (around $4 a kilo from your health food shop) and put a piece of newspaper on top.
- Soak thoroughly with water daily.
- When the grains have sprouted (2-4 days) remove the newspaper and leave in a sunny position. Water daily.
- Once you cut your wheatgrass you can also use the second growth.
- If is is ready for harvest and you don’t want to use it it will last around 5 days in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Alfalfa seeds can be easliy grown using any large jar. They are a great source of vitamin C and chlorophyll.
- Soak alfalfa seeds overnight in around three times as much water as seeds
- Pour the water out and rinse. Try and space the seeds out in the jar by making them stick to the sides of the jar. Avoid clumps and make sure they are moist.
- Rinse the seeds every 24 hours with fresh water – more often if you are in a warm climate. Ensure that the seeds are spaced out after each rinse
- After a day or so you should see small white sprouts. At this stage you can transfer half to another jar to give them enough room to grow if needed. Keep the sprouts in a place without too much light
- Keep rinsing every 24 hours until they have grown around 5cm (usually around 5 – 6 days). Rinse and transfer onto a plate and spread out
- Place the sprouts in sunlight for at least 15 minutes to help activate enzymes and green the leaves
- Store in the fridge in a container and enjoy in salads and on sandwiches!
Lentil sprouts are a good source of protein, iron and vitamin C. These instructions are for green lentils but you can sprout any lentil using the same method.
- Rinse lentils to remove any debris
- Place in a bowl with 3 times as much room temperature water and soak for 10 – 12 hours
- Drain lentils and rinse well under running water. Drain thoroughly
- Spread out in a shallow container out of direct sunlight. Place a tea towel over the top of the container
- Rinse and drain every 12 hours approximately 3 times. Taste each time to see how they are going
- Once the lentil have small sprouts coming out of them they are done. Do not leave them for too long or they will become starchy
- Use in salads, stir frys, soups etc. Enjoy!
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