What is Sprouting?
This is when any kind of beans (legumes) nuts or seeds are soaked and rinsed until they form a stem or sprout.
Why Do IT?
Because seeds and beans have enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid which are not ideal for health when eaten regularly. These natural toxins prevent complete absorption of the nutrients. Sprouting them, eliminates these toxins and opens the door to more nutrient packed and digestible protein.
If you are choosing to go Gluten free, this is a technique you should be implementing, especially if you are now consuming a lot of quinoa. Everything has it's pros & cons. . .just like Gluten can cause issues when eating too much, so can seeds and legumes also if eaten the wrong way.
Here is a fantastic article to explains the right way to approach consuming these "pseudo-grains" the healthiest way. It is a must read!
How to Sprout
Use dry bulk beans.
- SPROUTING BEANS: This method is for growing green raw sprouts out of your beans. . .by simply soaking in a jar of water overnight, then draining, then leaving out on the counter, covered, for another night to two. That's it. They will begin to sprout that fast. See the video below for full instructions. After they sprout you put in a jar in fridge then eat over salads, as a snack, or blend into hummus or smoothies. They will only last a week before they get mushy. There are some great storage tips on youtube for keeping them fresh in fridge for as long as possible.
- SOAKING BEANS: For a quick soak before cooking beans you can soak them in a little salt water. It is most beneficial to at least sprout a small "nub" on them, but if you don't have time to wait, then soak them overnight, rinse then re-soak again in sea salt water for another full night before using. If this still is not fast enough for an occasional quick need, at least try to soak them in salt water overnight before consuming.
A nice gluten free option. Use only brown rice with the hull still attached (since the hull is where most of the nutrients come from). Sprouting the rice will make it easier for your body to absorb all the nutrients. It will cut down on the water and cooking time needed than normal. Put rice in jar with fine mesh sprouting lid. Rinse rice well then cover rice with water. Leave on counter for 12hrs. Drain, rinse, then cover with more water. Drain and refill it 2-3 times a day until you see a tiny sprout within 2-3 days. Cook the rice before it sprouts a long tail so the taste will not be effected.
There are two types of seeds; Dry ones like sunflower or alfalfa & there are mucus coated seeds like flax and chia.
- SOAKING SEEDS: Flax and chia get a slimy coating when soaked. Put them in a bowl, add a little water to them (only enough to barely cover them) to get a ready-to-eat/flavor "gel-like" custard within 10min (see my desert recipes using soaked seeds) You can also use this quick seed gel in smoothies & juices. Soaked flax seeds can also mimic an egg-white's sticky coating to hold seasonings onto veggie crackers before you bake them. . . or veggie chips made from sliced sweet potato, kale or zucchini
- SPROUTING "Grain-like" SEED: This will cause a tall green sprout to grow over a period of 3-7 days. Dry seeds like quinoa & amaranth will be covered in water, drained then sprouted in a jar. Mucus seeds, like flax & chia, need to be spread onto a wet non-chlorine paper towel or a sprouting sheet and misted regularly. They grow very easily on the counter without need of much sun. You can eat these sprouts on salad for a protein rich meal. Be sure you buy your seeds from a commercial source that disinfects their seeds specifically for counter-top sprouting. If you use seeds meant for garden planting they can grow E Coli under moist conditions. Use clean containers, clean work surface and seeds from a trusted source. If you want to clean your seeds before sprouting just buy "food grade" Hydrogen Peroxide (not the household kind in the brown bottle) and pt a few drops into a jar of water and soak your seeds and legumes in that for 30min. Then rinse & strain them. Then begin the sprouting process using the video tutorial below.
Use only raw nuts (non-roasted/unflavored), soak in a jar overnight, rinse then refill with fresh water until you see a more plump "stem" (see pic) You can use salt in the last round of soaking. To store them wet, keep in a jar of water in fridge changing water daily or dehydrate them and store in fridge.
*The only seeds that do not need to be soaked are pine-nuts. All seeds do not necessarily get a plump stem after soaking, like cashews which are not usually whole, but instead are broken in pieces or halves.
Here are some ridiculously easy video tutorials:
I recommend soaking the rice overnight before beginning the daily rinsing process.
We've covered some very important essentials to cleaning your gut and unlocking the most nutrients out of your food. The next tab will cover our common food choices, how to choose the best ingredients, the best exercises for busy lifestyles. Time to read our food labels, clean out the pantry and apply what we've learn!