Sprouts are living food. You can sprout just about anything as all plants start from seeds but the sprouts that I will be talking about in this article are the ones derived from grains, nuts and tiny seeds read this.
Sprouts are super food regardless of your dietary preference but they are especially valuable to vegans and vegetarians for their exceptional nutritional properties.
Here are some of their beneficial qualities:
Good source of essential fatty acids
Good source of protein
Good source of fibre
Rich in antioxidants
Rich in living enzymes
Rich in minerals
Rich in vitamins
High chlorophyll content
Low glycaemic index
Low in calories
One of the easiest ways to start your own sprout is to use a large 1-liter glass jar with a wide mouth, some gauze like materials and elastic bands – the gauze to go over the mouth of the jar and the elastic bands are to hold the gauze in place.
Decide on what you want to sprout, and soak them in cold water over night. Mung beans, fenugreek, alfalfa, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are all suitable for home sprouting.
Drain the grains, seeds, nuts or whatever you have decided to sprout and place them in the jar, cover the mouth with the gauze like materials and secure with the elastic bands, place the jar in a warm sunny spot in the kitchen at 45° angle with the mouth of the jar pointing down to drain away any seepage.
Sprouting seeds will need to be rinsed twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening and seeds agitated by turning the bottle a few times, each time you rinse the seeds. In about three to four days, you will see roots of about 1-cm long developing with most grains and seeds. Continue the process but keep the jar in the fridge. This will prolong the growth period, and helps to keep the sprout fresh and crunchy. You can start eating them at this stage. Sprouts will keep for about 3-5 days in the fridge.
If making your own glass sprouter sounds complicated and too much work, you can get special sprouting jars or multi-tiered sprouting domes or trays. They come in various shapes and sizes depending on the brand and are available from most health stores.
You can also use woven basket made of untreated bamboo or other natural materials. These basket make great sprouters as the seeds and grains sprout their roots will naturally attach to the bottom of the baskets, however, they need to be moistened more regularly to avoid complete dehydration. These baskets also require a bit more work when it comes to cleaning in between sprouting.
Certain seeds and grains do better when sprouted in dirt like buckwheat, although I have spouted them in a dome but the result is not as desirable as in dirt. Buckwheat, like chia, flaxseed and psyllium are mucilaginous in nature and are better off sprouting in dirt.