Food For Thought

close up of sprouts in a tipped over mason jar

Sprouts: A Powerhouse of Low Calorie Nutrients

Coach Melanie, 08/03/2015

Sprouts may not be the first thing that come to mind when you are thinking of nutrient-dense foods, but don’t let looks deceive you! Sprouts are seeds that have started growing, but haven’t formed into a budding plant. Alfalfa, radish, fenugreek, and cabbage are some of my favorite sprout varieties. They make a tasty, nutritious addition to salads, wraps, and sandwiches.

Growing Sprouts Yourself Has Many Advantages

To start, they are a low calorie source of fresh, living food -- you don’t need to harvest until you are ready to eat them! Here are just a few nutritional benefits sprouts have to offer:

Nutrient-Dense: Sprouts contain 4 times the protein of lettuces, 2 times the protein of spinach, and 39 times more Beta Carotene than lettuce and spinach.

Organic: Growing sprouts yourself allows you to make 100%  organic salads year round, for only pennies a pound. You won’t need to worry about pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, fumigants, or chemicals.

Low Time Commitment: Just set aside 1 minute of watering per day. Sprouts only need normal room light and temperature.

Clean: You don’t even need soil!

Easily Digested: Sprouts are very digestible, even for people with compromised digestion.

Chlorophyll Properties: The chlorophyll in sprouts helps cleanse and oxygenate the blood. The enzymes in sprouts aid in digestion and assimilation of nutrients and contribute to the body's life force. Fiber aids in elimination and their lecithin helps the body get rid of cholesterol.

Ready to try your hand at growing sprouts? Here's how to do it.

First rinse, then soak 2 tablespoons of seeds (I'd suggest starting with alfalfa seeds) in a wide mouth jar with a mesh cover. These items can be purchased at most health food stores. Add 2-3x as much cool water, and mix seeds to assure even water contact for all. Soak 8-12 hours. Thoroughly rinse and drain the seeds. Set your jar anywhere out of direct sunlight and at room temperature. To insure proper drainage and air circulation, I invert my jars. Rinse and drain every 8-12 hours for 3 days.  

On the 4th day, move sprouts to an area where there is light, but not in the sunlight. Your sprouts will then begin to "green up". Continue to rinse and drain every 8-12 hours. Your sprouts will be done in about 6 days. During the 5th or 6th day, you can de-hull them by putting them in a big bowl filled with water. Pull the sprouts apart with your fingers, and the hulls will rise to the top and you can skim them off. Return sprouts to the jar after this process. De-hulling isn't necessary, but the sprouts are more appealing and stay fresher longer. Once the sprouts are green and thoroughly rinsed and drained, transfer to a plastic bag and refrigerate. Enjoy!

Pictured below are radish sprouts, which add a spicy, crisp taste to your dishes.






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