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:
|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.
- 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
- Drain water and rinse with fresh water. Repeat the process and drain well
- The seeds can then be grown in the jam jar or transferred to the sprouter.
- 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
- Remember – rinse and drain the seeds at least twice a day – this is essential to avoid fermentation and mouldy seedlings.
- 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.