Sprouts… and Living Food

Sprouting is the practice of soaking, draining and then rinsing seeds at regular intervals until they germinate, or sprout.  (Wikipedia)

Mixed vegetable sprouts

Mung bean sprouts are one of the most common , but chickpeas, alfalfa, and lentils are also very easy to do.

Moisture, warmth, and in most cases, indirect sunlight are necessary for sprouting. Some sprouts, such as mung beans, can be grown in the dark. Little time, effort or space is needed to make sprouts.

To sprout seeds, the seeds are moistened, then left at room temperature (between 13 °C (55.4 °F) and 21 °C (69.8 °F)) in a sprouting vessel. We use Mason Jars, and put some panty hose over the tops, with rubber bands to hold them in place.

Sprouting is so simple… just use jars and pantyhose!

(Good thing, because since I’m on teaching sabbatical, I have no use for them :)   We stagger our sowings, so that we always have a constant supply.  Sprouts usually germinate within a day or two, and are prime for eating within the first week.

Each seed has its own ideal sprouting time. Depending on which seed is used, after three to five days they will have grown to two or three inches in length and will be suitable for consumption. If left longer they will begin to develop leaves, and are then known as baby greens. A popular baby green is sunflower after 7-10 days. The growth process of any sprout can be slowed or halted by refrigerating until needed.

Common causes for sprouts to become inedible:

  • Seeds are allowed to dry out
  • Seeds are left in standing water
  • Temperature is high or too low
  • Insufficient rinsing
  • Dirty equipment
  • Insufficient air flow
  • Contaminated source of water
  • Poor rate of germination of seed

“Sprouts are a tremendous source of (plant) digestive enzymes. Enzymes act as biological catalysts needed for the complete digestion of protein, carbohydrates & fats. The physiology of vitamins, minerals and trace elements is also dependent on enzyme activity.”

“Being eaten whilst extremely young, “alive” and rapidly developing, sprouts have been acclaimed as the “most enzyme-rich food on the planet”. Estimates suggest there can be up to 100 times more enzymes in sprouts than in fruit and vegetables, depending on the particular type of enzyme and the variety of seed being sprouted. The period of greatest enzyme activity in sprouts is generally between germination and 7 days of age.”

Thank you Wikipedia for a lot of the information you offered on sprouting!


About the Author

yurtmanI live in a little sustainable minded yurt village in western NC near AshevilleView all posts by yurtman →