You’ve probably heard of sprouting as a magically health-giving practice.
But perhaps you’ve been put off by the thought of endless soaking and waiting around before you can just darn well eat. And maybe the fear of catching some sort of virus from sprouts-gone-wrong has crossed your mind.
Sprouting is easy and so beneficial that it deserves to be a major component of your health arsenal. I was going to say it just takes a little bit of patience, but even that’s not true. I’ve never had to hold myself back from shouting, ‘just frickin hurry up and grow will you!’ at my sprouts. I just soak them, drain them, and let them do their thing while I get on with life, and then, a couple of days later and somehow always at the perfect moment, when I’m in need of a crunchy topping for a dish or a nutritious base for a salad, there are sprouts to behold and I can sprinkle them here, there and everywhere.
Plus there’s something really fun about seeing this:
…turn into this nutrition party, in the space of a few days:
Sprouts are a raw and living food. Since they haven’t been cooked or transformed in any way, their enzymes are still intact, so they are easy to digest, providing maximum energy for zero digestive taxation.
Let me explain…
Digestive enzymes break down the food we eat, turning it into usable energy. We are born with a limited enzyme-creating potential. When we use our digestive enzymes to break down food, we are tapping into our stash of enzymes, which taxes the body of its vitality, hence that energy slump so often felt after eating.
However, since raw food has its own enzymes because it hasn’t been heated above 38 degrees (the temperature at which enzymes die), the food effectively digests itself, without using the body’s own enzymes.
Youth is basically equal to the strength of your body’s enzyme colony. So by eating raw foods and avoiding using up this enzyme store, you’re effectively delaying the aging process.
And sprouts, being both raw and living are the champions of the raw food world.
Why are living foods so great? Well, they are still in the process of growing when you eat them. So they are a vibrant food, filled with fresh, newborn energy. Imagine how you feel when you ingest fresh, newborn energy…
You are what you eat after all!
You can sprout all types of pulses, seeds and some grains, e.g. lentils, chickpeas, adzuki beans, alfalfa seeds, quinoa, broccoli seeds, sunflower seeds etc.
This is the Germline sprouting jar Ann and I use:
And that’s it!
How long do you need to wait? The rule of thumb is two days, but it varies a bit.
So here’s a handy table for reference:
Soaking Time (hours)
|Adzuki Beans||10||4 days|
|Alfalfa Seeds||8||4 days|
|Black Beans||10||3 days|
|Mung Beans||10||4 hours|
|Oat Groats||6||2-3 days|
|Pumpkin Seeds||8||3 days|
|Sesame Seeds||8||2-3 days|
|Sunflower Seeds||8||12-24 hours|
|Wheat Berries||7||3-4 days|
|Wild Rice||9||3-5 days|
Don’t be overwhelmed by the possibilities here. I’ve been sprouting for years and have only ever sprouted lentils, alfalfa and broccoli seeds. So pick the one pulse/seed/grain that appeals to you most, and experiment with that for a while.
And now for a sprout-tastic recipe!
This Alfalfa-Beta-Carotene salad is a veritable nutrition bomb.
Are you a sprouting enthusiast? What are your favourite things to sprout? Let us know in the comments below. Also, feel free to ask any sprouting questions that might ‘crop’ up. 🙂