Many grains and seeds can be sprouted, e.g. aduki beans, alfalfa, buckwheat, flax, clover, fenugreek, garbanzo, lentil, mung, radish, soybean, sunflower, wheat, barley, oat seed, green peas and lima beans, broccoli seeds.
Medicinally and nutritionally sprouts have a long history. Ancient Chinese physicians recognised and prescribed sprouts for curing many disorders over 5,000 years ago. Sprouts have continued to be a main staple in the diets of Americans of Oriental descent. Although accounts of sprouting appear in the Bible, it took centuries for the West to fully realise its nutrition merits.
Sprouts are one of the most bountiful nutrient rich foods you can eat. They contain protein and carbohydrates, carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, sodium, sulphur, silica, cobalt, zinc, B vitamins (particularly riboflavin and niacin), vitamins C, E, K and P (bioflavonoids), beta-carotene and abundant in chlorophyll.
These magic little plants aid digestion, benefit the urinary system and intestines, detoxify the body, cleanse the blood, are a very rich source of nutrients, reduce heat in the body, are alkalising, help to reduce cholesterol, and are hormonally balancing.
If you do not have a sprouter (available at health shops) then you can follow these directions to make your own sprouts:
- Use 1 part seed to at least 3 parts water, soak in a wide mouth jar for about half an hour.
- Cover the mouth of the jar with plastic or stainless steal sprouting screen/cheesecloth, secured with a rubber band. After soaking seeds drain well and keep in a dark place. (Sprouting time increases with more light and cooler conditions).
- Rinse twice a day, morning and evening, (except soy which can go mouldy if not rinsed 4 times daily). Keep jar tilted down for better drainage.
- After 3 days place alfalfa, red clover, radish and mustard seeds in a cool place with indirect sunlight to induce chlorophyll. Continue rinsing twice daily until sprouts are ready.
- It is important to remove hulls from alfalfa and radish sprouts since they easily rot. Hulls from mung, aduki and fenugreek are often removed for taste improvement although they can be eaten and provide fibre.
- Drain sprouts well.
- If refrigerated can last up to one week.