Health Tip No 6 – Start Sprouting at Home!

Freshly sprouted  pulses, grains and seeds are highly nutritious. They are literally germinated seeds that are bursting with energy and flavour. In fact pound for pound they are more nutritious than any other food. They are also really economical and a brilliant way of incorporating fresh living food into your diet on a daily basis.  Eat them as a snack or appetiser, add to soups, stir-fries or anything else you want.

Here is a list of the most common spouting seeds and some of their benefits but there are so many types please experiment:

Seeds Benefits
Aduki Mildly spicy, nutty flavour.   Contains vitamin C, iron and amino acids.
Alfalfa Superior in nutritional value   with 35% protein and plenty of carotene. Also contains vitamins A, B, C and E
Broccoli Rich in magnesium and calcium
Buckwheat Rich source of rutin,   lecithin, calcium and vitamins A and C.    Can also be juiced
Chick Peas Crunchy roots best eaten when   the spouts are small and sweet. Enjoy raw of lightly stir-fried. Sweet nutty   flavour with vitamins A and C
Cress – all forms Rich in potassium, magnesium   -, add a spiy flavour to salads
Fenugreek Spicy flavour, contains 30%   protein plus iron, vitamins A and C, and choline which is supports fat   metabolism
Green Lentils Mild, sweet and earthy flavoured.   Rich in vitamin, iron and amino acids
Pea Shoots/Spouts Add to salads – delicious
Mustard Fairly hot and excellent to   add to egg dishes, salads and soups
Red Clover Similar in appearance to alfalfa,   rich in vitamins A % C and trace minerals
Radish Crisp with hot tangy flavour
Sunflower Good source of amino acids,   essential fatty acids, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E and B   complex
Wheatgrass When juiced wheatgrass is considered almost nutritionally perfect and one of the best sources of chlorophyll.  Grow in seed trays.  Can be harvested for juicing when it is   15-25cm tall after 9-12 days. Soak seeds for 12 hours, rinse and drain and  leave to sprout for 1-2 days rinsing regularly.

If you are really not ready to grow your own then freshly sprouting seeds can be bought bagged from most supermarkets, health foods shops and organic delivery companies. The brand Aconbury have a very good selection.

How to sprout.

The easiest way is to buy a salad sprouter – brand names include Gaia, Biosnacky, and Beingfare but you can use a glass jar. You will need a glass jar, rubber band, water, seeds, muslin for a lid.  Use the muslin as a protective cover and also to drain the seeds when rinsing.

Rule of thumb is 1.5  tablespoons of seeds per batch.

  1. Place seeds in a container  and cover with about 250ml water. Soak seeds overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours – they will swell considerably
  2. Drain water and rinse with fresh water.  Repeat the process and drain well
  3. The seeds can then be grown in the jam jar or transferred to the sprouter.
  4. Leave in a warm place – place out of direct sunlight for green sprouts or an airing cupboard or warm dark place for white spouts – each approach gives a different taste and texture
  5. Remember – rinse and drain the seeds at least twice a day – this is essential to avoid fermentation and mouldy seedlings.
  6. When ready to eat, rinse once more and use straight from the jar or sprouter – they will be ready in 2-5 days. You  can store the when sprouted in an unsealed bag in the fridge for 3-4 days.

I recommend 2 sprouting books:

Sprouts and Sprouting by Valèrie Cuppillard  and Sprouters Handbook by Edward Cairney for recipes and information.