Sprouting organic seeds at home is an easy and economical way to obtain FRESH, NUTRIENT-DENSE goodness on a regular basis (especially during the thick of winter)! Sprouts are a hearty addition to your soups, salads, wraps, smoothies and ANY dish, for that matter!
Sprouting requires just a few basic items for the following method of choice!
The method I'm illustrating below involves:
A fine-mesh, nut and seed milk/sprouting bag (likely available at your local health food store for a nominal cost)
A mason jar
One package (organic) seeds of choice
After sprouting Alfalfa a number of times, I decided to try broccoli this time, knowing the nutritional power of cruciferous vegetables.
Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable, is rich in sulforaphane, a potent, plant-based compound. Research shows that cruciferous vegetables possess cancer-protective compounds.[i] The sulforaphane compound supports the ability of the liver to detoxify toxin compounds, or carcinogens.[ii] In sprout form, broccoli is shown to possess anywhere from 10-100 times as much sulforaphane than the amount found in the mature plant (the form of broccoli we typically eat).[iii]
How do I sprout, once I have my supplies?
*I typically start this process on an evening, so that the initial soaking may occur overnight. This allows me to start counting the days of sprouting on the morning of the next day!
Step 1: Measure 1-2 tbsp. of seeds and place them in the sprouting bag. Then, place the bag in a mason jar and submerge the seeds with room-temperature, filtered water. like so:
Step 2: The next morning (Day 1), remove the bag from the mason jar and rinse out the jar.
Keeping the seeds in the bag, gently and thoroughly rinse the seeds with warm water. What I have found works well, is placing the bag in a smaller soup bowl or mixing bowl, and stretching the elastic over the rim of the bowl to hold the bag open. This allows you to more effectively rinse the seeds without trying to hold the bag open at the same time (see final image in this blog post)!
The consistent rinsing that will occur each day will assist in preventing any mould from developing (no thanks)!
Gently squeeze the bag to wring out any excess water, before placing the nut/seed milk bag back in the mason jar. The mason jar will no longer be filled with any water for the sprouting days to come!
*Rinse the seeds, in the same manner later this same day in the evening. If I am home during the day, I also tend to rinse the seeds mid-afternoon. Morning and evening are just fine, though!
By the end of this first 24-hour period you should notice small tails sprouting. Exciting!
Step 3: Continue this daily rinsing process for Days 2, 3, 4 and 5. By Day 5, the seeds should be sprouted, but if they could use a bit more time (dependent on the temperature in your home/the growing conditions), allow the sprouting to continue into Day 6.
Step 4: When the sprouts appear to be finished, rinse the seeds and wring the bag of any water one final time.
Then, lay the sprouts out on a cookie sheet or cutting board (any flat surface) lined with paper towel, so as to air dry throughout the day. Replace the paper towel as needed, to ensure proper drying occurs.
Step 5: Once the sprouts have had an opportunity to dry, place a fresh paper towel in the base of an airtight, glass storage container and place the sprouts in the container, on top of the paper towel. Seal and place in the refrigerator and aim to enjoy with your various meals and snacks within 3-5 days! Enjoy!
[i] The World's Healthiest Foods: Broccoli Sprouts, Packed with Cancer-Protective Compounds. Retrieved February 1, 2018 from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=news&dbid=38
[ii] The World's Healthiest Foods: Broccoli Sprouts, Packed with Cancer-Protective Compounds. Retrieved February 1, 2018 from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=news&dbid=38
[iii] The World's Healthiest Foods: Broccoli Sprouts, Packed with Cancer-Protective Compounds. Retrieved February 1, 2018 from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=news&dbid=38