Easy Healthy Guide to Sprouting

No space for a veggie garden? Winter months setting in? Think your green thumb has gone gray? Sprouting seeds may be just the antioxidant-rich, fresh fix you’ve been looking for.

Here you’ll find info on the health benefits of sprouts, simple sprouting directions and one of my favorite sprouted lentil salads!

Sprouts are incredibly simple and fast to grow.

They will grow:

- in any climate, at any time of year
- without soil and in low sunlight
- without weeding
-  indoors with a minimum amount of space
- to 400% their size or more in 5 days
- to maturity in 3-5 days!

Not convinced yet?

Next: Health benefits of sprouts and simple growing instructions.

Health Benefits of Sprouts:

Sprouts are…
- A potent source of antioxidants and alkalizing to the body. Both of these effects are essential for protecting against disease and strengthening the immune system.

- A good source of essential fatty acids, which many diets are lacking in.

- An excellent source of fiber.

- Rich in chlorophyll (if you allow them to reach their green leaf stage). [Chlorophyll is a powerful blood cleanser and blood builder.]

- A good source of vitamins. [The vitamin density of some seeds can increase from 100% to 2000% after several days of sprouting.]

- Filled with an array of essential minerals. [During sprouting, the minerals develop into a chelated form (making them easier for the body to utilize). ]

- A good source of protein. [One cup of mung bean sprouts has 3.16 grams of protein!]*

—————–

Sprouts are low in calories and low on the glycemic index, making the high return for your investment worth the initial time and money spent. Only a few dollars and a few easy days will provide you with a number of fresh, nutrient-rich meals or snacks.

So start the New Year right and sprout some delicious seeds, legumes and grains today!

*From the USDA Nutritional Database.

Next: Simple directions to grow your own sprouts and a yummy sprouted lentil salad recipe!


Here is what you’ll need to get going:

Sprouts
hydroponic jar, bag or basket method

SUPPLIES
1. Wide mouth glass jars
2. Screens or cheesecloth to cover the opening of the jar
(cut the screen to fit well over the jar’s mouth – usually about a 6’’ square)
3. Strong rubber bands to secure screen
4. Organic seeds, legumes and grains are sold at most health food stores.*

UNHULLED SEEDS
Alfalfa – 1 1/2 Tbsp.
Clover – 1 1/2 Tbsp.
Radish – 1 1/2 Tbsp.
Fenugreek – 1 1/2 Tbsp.

LEGUMES
Lentils – 3/4 cup
Adzuki Beans – 3/4 cup
Mung Beans – 3/4 cup
Green Peas – 1 cup
Garbanzo Beans – 1 cup

GRAINS
Wheat Berries, soft – 1 cup
Millet – 1 1/2 cups
Rye – 1 cup
Barley – 1 cup
Quinoa – 1 cup

*You can find organic legumes and grains at most stores (as long as they are not split they will sprout.)

Next: Soaking directions.

Sprouting directions continued:

SOAKING
Inspect seeds and remove any that are broken. Place them in a jar, rinse and drain.
Fill with spring or filtered water, about 2–3 inches above seeds or legumes. Soak
overnight, approximately eight hours. After eight hours, drain water.

RINSING & DRAINING
Rinse soaked seeds. Place jars on a rack or in a bowl (mouth down) at a 45 degree angle so air can circulate. Make sure seeds are not totally covering the mouth of the jar. Cover with a towel to keep dark for the first couple of days. This will ensure germination. Rinse and drain 2–3 times a day. Legumes and grains do not need sunlight and will be ready in 1–2 days when the sprout tail is 1/8 inch long. For unhulled seeds, such as alfalfa, clover and radish, continue rinsing and draining for 2–3 more days and place in indirect sunlight until the leaves are deep green.

HARVEST
To harvest grains and legumes, just rinse and serve. For unhulled seeds and some legumes (such as mung beans), place in a container and submerge the sprouts until the hulls rise to the surface. Skim them off and place sprouts back in the jar to drain. Refrigerate all sprouts after they are fully sprouted to maintain freshness. They will
last 5–7 days in refrigeration. Once wheat berries are sprouted, they can be used to
make uncooked Essene breads and other healthy treats. [You have a post about living bread I can link to right?]

Next: Directions for growing planted sprouts (wheatgrass, sunflower seeds etc.)

Sprouts
planted

SUPPLIES
1. Organic seeds (sold at most health food stores)
2. Healthy soil
3. Garden flats or cafeteria trays with holes
4. Box or basket with holes to drain, or gutters around the side
5. Strainer or screening material for rinsing seeds before planting

1 3/4 cups Sunflower Seeds (whole, unhulled) for one flat of sprouts
1 2/3 cups Buckwheat Seeds for one flat of sprouts

SOAKING, RINSING & DRAINING
Inspect seeds and remove any that are broken. Place them in a jar, rinse and drain.
Fill with spring or filtered water, about 2–3 inches above seeds. Soak for 12 hours.
Rinse and drain 2–3 times a day for 1–2 days until the sprout shoot is growing.

SOIL PREPARATION
A good mix is 75% topsoil & 25% peat moss or 50% top soil, 25% peat moss and 25% compost. A prepared vegan-organic potting soil can also be used. A small amount of fresh sand, rock dust, kelp/seaweed or other veganic fertilizer adds to the potency of the sprouts. Mix soil in a bucket or box, and fill trays at least one inch thick with soil.

PLANTING & GROWING
Sow seeds onto soil and spread out. Seeds should touch, but not be bunched on top of each other. Water them daily and cover with shade cloth or towel. After three days, uncover and put in indirect sunlight. More sun = larger leaves.

HARVESTING
Harvest 5–8 days from planting when sprout is just over 2 inches tall with deep green leaves. Harvest with a serrated knife or scissors, trying not to pull plants up by the roots. Remove hulls with fingers. Brushing the tops of the sprouts with your hands before harvesting helps to remove the hulls.

SOLVING POSSIBLE PROBLEMS
Mold may grow if the seeds are too damp, planted too closely or have poor ventilation. Use a shade cloth to cover instead of towels or newspaper and water less. A sparse crop can happen if the seeds were soaked too long or not watered properly. Pale sprouts may be caused by insufficient sunlight.

Next: Sprouted Lentil Salad. Yum!

I love this salad from Incredibly Delicious: Recipes for a New Paradigm. It’s hearty, but not heavy, and is great on its own or in a wrap!

Sprouted Lentil Salad
serves 4–5

4 cups sprouted lentils
2 carrots, grated
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1–2 Tbsp. olive or cold-pressed oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 dates, pitted, soaked in 1/4 cup water
sea salt or substitute, to taste
3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

1. In a bowl, combine the sprouted lentils, grated carrots, diced onion and fresh
parsley.
2. In a blender, blend the remaining ingredients (including date soak water). Pour over
the vegetables and mix. Chill and serve.

Enjoy!


Related Stories:

8 Great Vegan Cake Recipes

Cabbage: Salads, Slaws and Stirfries. Oh My!

Incredibly Delicious: Recipes for a New Paradigm contains an extensive chapter on raw food preparation as well as many more tips to make the transition to veganism easy and delicious! Visit www.GentleWorld.org for more information.

70 comments

Jennifer C.
Past Member 2 years ago

Thanks.

Elisa F.
Elisa F.3 years ago

Grew these as a young girl for a class assignment. Had forgotten about growing them...thanks for sharing. Very easy. Fun for kids.

Lynde T.
Lynde T.4 years ago

Sounds like fun!

Sarah M.
Sarah M.4 years ago

cool

Ritva J.
Ritva J.4 years ago

This looks easier than I thought!

Chandra K.
Paula P.4 years ago

Thanks for this!

Carla Sousa
Carla Sousa4 years ago

I'm amazed... Seems to easy. I already turned into making my own bread, I have to try this, since I just love vegetables and similar... Thank you so much for sharing.

Maija Shelley
Maija S4 years ago

Okay. I have a jar of orange lentils I'm heading to sprout right now! Thanks for poking me to remember to sprout.

Robin R.
Robin R.4 years ago

This seems very complicated for those of us without a green thumb. I would love it if someone would sell the pre-prepped version (and not just the mung beans) as I would absolutely eat them if I could buy them!

wo e.
wo o.4 years ago

i guess that is why i will never be one of the skinny ones out there in life. i was given a a sprout salad for lunch once. and try as i might i could not get it down my throat. there are certain greens i just did not like the taste of. and another time it had a mold taste to it. i have to go with less sprouts but i am glad there those out there who think it is the great!