Sprouting is economical, extremely simple, and a wonderful hearty addition to granola, salads, soups, and grains. Eating sprouts will help rid your body of unhealthy fats and chemicals, giving you a daily detox that increases your energy and lowers your appetite.
Learning to sprout your food is a simple “do it yourself” venture that most people don’t often consider. Take one pound of seeds or beans and you’ll get eight pounds of sprouts. Eat some of those sprouts instead of other produce and you’ll receive three to four times the nutritional benefits than other whole foods. There’s no need for jars and extra space in the kitchen. Sprouting can be done using:
1. a bowl
2. a mesh bag, or a cheese cloth, or even old nylons
3. either mung beans, lentils, buckwheat, chickpeas, oats, black beans, quinoa, or a myriad of other seeds and beans.
Soak the seeds or beans of your choice for as long as required (ie: mung beans & lentils = 12 hours of soaking, buckwheat = 15 to 20 min of soaking). Dump the waterlogged seeds or beans into the mesh bag. Rinse, and hang the bag from a drawer, or from a place where the sprouts have contact with air. Once they start to grow tails, they’re ready to eat! You can put them in the fridge and they’ll last for up to two weeks.
It’s important to remember not to close a lid on sprouts, as mold might grow. Also check for rocks and any other debris that may have ended up in your seeds or beans.
Essential Story: In 2011 I hitchhiked around New Zealand after the devastating earthquakes in Christchurch. Due to the cold season and the allocation of resources, I found myself with little fresh food I could afford. With my sprouting knowledge, I paid for a bag of mung beans, and soaked them in a plastic container overnight in the hostel. I drained the beans in the morning, then kept the lid cracked while I traveled the next day. My sprouts were ready to eat that night and gave me about eight meals, increasing my overall energy for hikes, caving, and even waiting on the road for another ride. I saved money and felt more present in all the experiences I had.
Basic Breakfast Recipe with Buckwheat Sprouts
Mix your buckwheat sprouts with cooked quinoa, chia seeds, almonds (or almond butter), cinnamon, honey, a dash of sea salt, a milk of your choice, and possibly a scoop of açai sorbet. You’ll have a power breakfast that will increase your mood and energy for the day.
There are endless resources online to help you sprout, but if you’d like to adventure further into growing sunflower and buckwheat sprouts in trays, or wish to learn what else you can do with your sprouts, the book to read is: The Hippocrates Diet and Health Program by Ann Wigmore.