What are sprouts?
Crunch of the Mom is here to tell you about the most delicious, healthy, and easy-to-make-in-your-kitchen food, SPROUTS! Well, how to grow sprouts! Typically seen in a gourmet sandwich shop or the produce aisle, they look like loose pale threads with tiny peas at the top. Sprouts have a super-fresh taste, with almost a crisp and lively texture. They can make a basic sandwich, salad, or breakfast quiche even better!
What are sprouts exactly? There are many different types, including bean sprouts, sunflower sprouts, and rye sprouts. Every plant-based food started with a sprout and grew from there. Grains, seeds, and legumes can all be sprouted, such as wheat and barley, coriander seeds, and groundnuts.
Why you need sprouts in your diet
The main reason I eat sprouts is because they are tasty, and they are awesome for nutrition and digestion. It’s essentially about getting the most benefit out of a plant in the most biologically concentrated form.
“When you sprout foods, you increase proteolytic enzymes that make both carbohydrates and proteins digestible. While your body produces proteolytic enzymes when you eat foods that don’t contain digestive enzymes, your body is forced to manufacture them (instead of making enzymes it should be making). After a while, your body’s ability to produce the right enzymes wanes along with its ability to fight off disease. The good news: enzymes from sprouted foods can replace those your body no longer produces.”https://foodfacts.mercola.com/sprouts.html
What you need for sprouting
What do you need to make sprouts? Here is what I use:
- A wide-mouthed ball jar; you can use canning jars or reuse jars you have, making sure they have been cleaned and sanitized.
- A Sprouting Jar Lid, like this one:
- Sprouting seeds. Usually, these are a mix of different types of seeds like alfalfa, radish, broccoli, arugula, etc.
Selecting the seeds
There are the usual suspects – alfalfa and mung beans (from which common bean sprouts come) – but there are many other options. Try radish, lentils, mustard, soy beans, beets, peas, broccoli, sunflower and wheat berries to name just a few. The important thing here is that you buy seeds that are labeled specifically for sprouting. These chemical-free seeds have been cleaned and are pathogen-free. Commercially grown sprouts have been the cause of illness outbreaks in the past (primarily salmonella and e. Coli) generally because of contaminated seeds. Because of this it’s important to make sure yours are intended for sprouting.
How to grow sprouts
- Sanitize your jars and prepare the seeds.
- Wash the seeds (or beans).
- Place 1-2 T of seeds in the jar and cover with a few inches of water.
- If you use the Sprouting Jar Lid, just screw it on. Using a cheesecloth instead, secure it with a rubber band on the top of the jar.
- Let the seeds soak in the water for about 12 hours at room temp.
- Drain the seeds, rinse them, then drain again.
- Place the jar upside down (out of direct sunlight), at an angle to allow drainage and air circulation through the jar lid.
- Rinse and drain the seeds between 2-3 times a day, making sure they never dry out completely.
- Sprouts are ready to harvest within about 4-6 days. Lentils and mung beans may take less time. Give them a final rinse and let them drain in a strainer, removing any unsprouted seeds.
- Store in a covered container in the fridge and use within a week.
How to use your sprouts
On top of Paleo Quiche Muffins.
On a stir-fry.
In a sandwich.
On top of eggs or scrambles.