By Cat Wilson
Sprouts have 20 to 30 times the nutrients of other vegetables and 100 times those of meat. Sprouting packs in vitamins, micronutrients, phytonutrients, minerals, flavonoids, polyphenols, antioxidants, prebiotics, probiotics and live enzymes. Follow the yellow brick road and let’s go sprouting.
Sprouts are very young plants harvested a few days after germination and renowned for their health benefits. They improve digestive health, plus the insoluble fiber acts as a prebiotic to feed the good bacteria in your gut. Remember, 80% of your immune system is in the gut, so we want to feed it properly.
I’ve learned a lot from “The Sprout Book” by Doug Evans. You can deep dive into sprouting and learn which seeds have which minerals or micronutrients or you can skim the surface so you can get to growing sprouts; which is what I did. I purchased two wide-mouth quart jars that invert at maybe a 45-degree angle on a tray and have a microscreen cover for air, rinsing and draining.
Following the information in the book, I purchased organic seeds designed for sprouting. I chose a variety of 10 different vegetables/beans plus two that were mixed, one a salad mix and the other a bean mix.
Starting with the salad mix in one jar and the bean mix in the other jar, I soaked them for eight hours and then rinsed them three times a day the following day with filtered water. Rinse the salad mix three times a day for about four days and the beans once a day for about six days. After that, you refrigerate them to stop the growth and eat them in the next four days.
Easy, delicious, nutritious and mine were gone in less than four days. I enjoyed them on a salad for that perfect crunch and on a sandwich instead of lettuce. The freshness is simply unbelievable, and you are getting the entire plant and no pesticides.
Sprouts are inexpensive, can be made at home and can add the benefits of green superfoods to your diet. We already know cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, celery, cauliflower, kale, radishes and so many others are disease-fighting foods, so imagine the health benefits in the sprouts of these powerhouses. Broccoli sprouts are 30-50% more potent than mature broccoli. Amazing. And they are grown right in your home and not trucked across the country and then stored in the back room before hitting the produce section.
For me, I will continue to experiment with all my varieties and gain more knowledge about sprouting and consume them on a regular basis for both taste and health. While tending to the sprouts is minimal work, you do need to be vigilant with the rinsing and storage to avoid spoiling. When in doubt, throw them out, which is why in the past I only purchased them from the farmer’s market and inquired when they were harvested. Happy sprouting.
Cat Wilson lives in South Bend and transitioned from a vegetarian diet to eating a plant-based diet more than two years ago. She may be contacted at [email protected]