Sprouts are very cheap and excellent for one’s health – a combination not often found in our supermarkets. Now the taste and the look – that’s another story. My husband thinks I look like a rabbit when I eat my “grass” but that doesn’t stop me: just more grass for me!
So What’s in a Sprout?
Let me just tell you that sprouts are part of the biogenic foods group – that’s the group you want in your kitchen. It’s the “cool kids cohort” who will save your health, includes also: sprouted cereal grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, almonds, seeds, yoghurt, kefir, miso and seaweeds (see our post on Spirulina). There are other groups, as detailed in our 542 Nutritional Balance course, but we’ll focus on that one for now, the best of the rest.
From our 445 Orthomolecular Approaches, we learn that broccoli sprouts can contain up to one hundred times more sulforphan than broccoli itself. And that’s good because?
Sulforphan is praised by anti-cancer groups for its many health advantages:
- It neutralizes toxins, because it’s an anti-oxydant, so it cancels out free-radicals (bad stuff that damage your healthy cells)
- Reduces inflammation: once the toxins are neutralized, the inflammation in the body can be calmed down, and that helps prevent cancer too.
- It has been show to slow tumor growth and even to block mutation in the DNA leading to cancer.
- Sulforphan is readily available: you just steam veggies like broccolis, kale, bok choy or cabbage.
So basically, you’ll have 100 more of those helpful soldiers if you sprout your broccoli or buy broccoli (or other similar veggies) sprouts. We’ll look more into this now.
Advantages of Sprouting
- Freshness and vibrancy: Traditional wisdom has taught us about the superiority of freshly picked food over food that has been transported, warehoused and manipulated. Once picked, fruits and vegetables already start to lose their nutritional value and flavor.
- Whole and always ready: If you grow sprouts or shoots in your kitchen, it takes no time at all to get your sprouts or shoots from the jar or garden to your table. There is no need to process or cook them. Juicy and crunchy, they burst with freshness next to the other foods on your plate. This is of course logical: no food is more rejuvenating than a “newborn” sprout or young shoot.
- Mysteriously nourishing: During the sprouting process, nutrients (vitamins, mineral, oligoelements, etc.) increase at an incredible rate. And that’s not all: other components, which are not present in the seed at first appear in the sprouted product. Young shoots and sprouts therefore have everything we need to correct deficiencies and prevent many diseases.
- Rehydrating: We all know that water is necessary for life. All kinds of metabolic exchanges and the elimination of waste require water. Our bodies are often thirsty without our knowing it, and sprouts are full of good-quality water.
- Economical and effective: A glass jar, a bit of cloth, some seeds, and water are all you need. There is no need for sophisticated equipment or specialized products. You simply need to make a simple calculation: one bag of wheat will feed a single chicken, which will feed a single person; one bag of flour will make enough bread for seven people; one bag of wheat germ can feed twenty people. Six kilograms of wheat grass contain as much protein and nutrients as one hundred and sixty kilograms of vegetables from the garden. Anyone can sprout: city and country dwellers, children and adults.
- Ecological: Sprouts do not create pollution or greenhouse gases. On the contrary, as we have discussed, sprouts convert the carbon in the atmosphere into oxygen through photosynthesis, which cleanses our environment. Keeping sprouts in the kitchen will enrich the air you breathe.
- Nothing to it: Water, air, light and a little attention—that’s all you need. You can even have a garden on your windowsill. Do you realize the independence you gain by sprouting? There’s really no need to buy expensive supplements. You can get all the nutrients you need from living food that is available all year round. They can follow us anywhere: the city, the country, even the campground; they are also a welcome guest for your picnic basket, and one that won’t complain!
- Rich in nutrient enzymes, sprouts require little energy from the body to be digested. With digestion made easier, the body can dedicate itself to other essential functions at night: repair, immunity, etc.
- A refreshing balm for the soul: They provide true pleasure for people who live in the city; even if you don’t have a garden, you can still partake in the wonder of growing life. Being around living things is an inspiring experience. By adding sprouts and young shoots to your plate, you are adding vitality and intensity to your life.Go ahead and try!
Can I Really Grow My Own Sprouts?
A number of civilizations knew how to sprout and included sprouts in their diets. What’s more, researchers have suggested a correlation between the periods when civilizations have expanded and the use of sprouted foods. In periods of growth, eating living food was a common habit, which is not surprising. Rich in active biological compounds (vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc.), sprouted seeds (and young shoots) possess a high degree of vital energy that tones the physical body and promotes clear-mindedness and creativity (and therefore social renewal).
Considering that sprouting foods is extremely simple and economical, it is astonishing that this practice has not survived in modern times.
Of course, commercial needs have played a role in this. With the food industry’s control over what we eat, relearning to consume living and vibrant food is no longer a luxury but rather a necessity if we are to protect our sense of humanity.
“If we had the courage to rethink the global food problem in terms of what the human body needs, we would quickly realize that sprouting seeds is an extremely smart solution to the food problems of our time.
Anyone, at any age, and in any country can sprout seeds as a way to get the basic nutrients our bodies need to function properly. Sprouting can help us achieve true nutritional independence, which inevitably results in individual and collective health.
Which Sprouts Should I Choose?
Not all sprouts were born equal.
Brussels sprouts can be a great addition to your diet. They’re a good source of protein, fiber and vitamins. A 1-cup (88-gram) serving contains 3 grams of protein and up to 3.3 grams of fiber. Brussels sprouts are also rich in folate, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium and vitamins K, C, A and B6.
However, the most common seeds used to grow sprouts are:
- Broccoli Seeds.
- Red Clover Seeds.
- Mung Beans.
- Pumpkin Seeds.
- Sunflower Seeds.
- Chia Seeds.
Now How Do I Do It?
You can always go to the store and buy ready-to-eat sprouts. However, it’s just as easy and more pleasant to prepare them yourself at home. You can use a number of kitchen items for sprouting purposes, such as mason jars, cookie sheets, platters, commercial sprouters, wicker baskets or cloth bags.
Whatever you use, the most important thing is that the process is simple and fun. We generally don’t succeed at incorporating a good resolution into our lifestyles in the long-term if it ends up being too complicated. As the overall goal is to incorporate living food into your daily routine (and for you to guide other people in these practices, if you are a health practitioner), you need to find the best solution for your own situation.
From our course 542 mentioned before you have the following method:
Step 1: Prepare the jars
A well-known household item, Mason jars, with their two-piece lids, is a simple and easy-to-use tool when starting a small indoor garden. You simply need to replace the circular cover with a screen- type material (window screen, cheese cloth, or clean nylon). The metallic ring of the lid will hold the screen in place. For an even easier solution, you can use a glass jar and a rubber band to attach the screen material to the neck of the jar. Nothing could be simpler! You can use this method to rinse your sprouts without having to remove the screen or the cover each time you rinse.
The only thing missing are the seeds and water; add these, and you are ready to go. Use jars that are large enough to let the sprouts expand. Wash and rinse the jars, rings and screen as well as possible.
Step 2: Rinse the seeds
Spread a generous amount (a few tablespoons) of your preferred seeds (preferably organic) at bottom of the jar. Although you may be enthusiastic in the beginning, be careful not to add too many seeds, as they tend to go moldy if packed too tightly. Attach the screen to the neck and screw on the cover. Rinse the seeds with a lot of water several times. It is best to use spring water or filtered water instead of chlorinated tap water.
Step 3: Soaking
Once you have rinsed the seeds, cover them with a few centimeters of water and let them soak overnight (about 8 hours—some legumes require 12 to 16 hours of soaking). As we have seen, soaking softens the seed hull and triggers the sprouting process.
Step 4: Drain and place in a dark area
After you have soaked the seeds for the required amount of time, drain the water.29 The screen will keep the seeds in the jar and let the water drain out. Rinse the seeds two or three times. Once drained, shake the jar to spread the seeds around the inside of the jar. The seeds will sprout better if they are spaced apart. Then place the top of the jar at an angle on a clean cloth so that as much water as possible drains out. Make sure this is done in low light or complete darkness (a back corner of a cupboard will do nicely here). Covering the jar with thick cloth will also do the trick. The important thing is to not forget about them. (Personally, I put my sprouts in the same place where I keep my dishwashing rack, which I use every morning and evening).
Step 5: Rinse twice a day
The only challenge when preparing sprouts is preventing mold or, the opposite problem, dryness. Nothing can germinate without moisture, but the water must also drain thoroughly and air must circulate (hence the 45-degree angle). You also need to rinse the sprouts twice a day (in the morning and evening) to ensure they are properly hydrated.
Step 6: Complete immersion!
After a few days, just before the sprouts are ready, open the jar and place the sprouts in a large bowl of water while tossing them lightly. The empty hulls along with any unsprouted or damaged seeds will be separated. Drain the sprouts; if they are not ready, put them back in the jar and turn the jar upside down for a few hours up to 1 or 2 days.
Once the sprouts reach 1 cm, place them near a source of light so that photosynthesis can begin. Put the jar on a windowsill or a place that gets a lot of sunlight. The young shoots will turn green very quickly.
Time to eat
Brimming with life, your sprouted seeds are ready to be eaten once they reach between 2 and 4 cm. Depending on the seeds and your personal tastes; you will need between 3 and 6 days to get the desired results. The entire shoot is edible, as even the hull of the seed becomes softened and easy to digest.
Keep your harvest in the fridge in a well-sealed jar. It’s particularly important not to forget about them! Add them to your meals at the very last minute (remember: their enzymes disintegrate at 47.7oC). Put them in your salads, soups, and sandwiches. What better way to add some “life” to your diet?
The AMCC recommend starting a new batch every day so that you always have fresh sprouts on hand.
The time required for sprouting varies from seed to seed. In general, seeds will need between 8 and 12 hours of soaking (overnight). Nuts will sprout in 4 hours, but they also benefit from a longer soaking.
Sprouts and young shoots overflow with nutrient enzymes. By allowing us to “save” our vital capital, these foods promote vitality and longevity.
Eating healthfully is not as hard as you may think!
Here are some golden rules:
- Eat a good quantity of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, which should be raw and organic as much as possible.
- Sprout and/or only slightly cook grains, beans, and legumes.
- Always begin meals with raw foods that are rich in nutrient enzymes.
- Incorporate sprouts and young shoots into your cooking and daily diet; whenever possible, sprout seeds at home.
- Sprouts and young shoots can be easily incorporated into a regular diet and can even increase the vitality of cooked food through the quality of nutrients they provide and their high content in nutrient enzymes. You can put them in your salads and soups (at the last minute – it can never be said enough: sprouts are very sensitive to heat), sandwiches, concentrated juices (smoothies, etc.), and broths. This will help you reach a balance between cooked and raw food. Your daily diet should consist of up to 80% raw foods.
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The Future of Nutrigenetics: Testimony of a Previous Student
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