One of the best things that have come to me recently must be the growing of sprouts for food. Sure, my flatmates have been sprouting alfalfa and I never really showed much interest, but they didn’t tell me there’s a whole world of sprouting, covering not only alfalfa but really all kinds of seeds, legumes and grains. So now I know I am all enthusiastic! I found that sprouts are easy to grow, nutricious and just really nice.
The art of sprouting
Well, I was Finland recently and there I found some friends doing some sprouting and I got to love it. One used a glass jar and the other had a special sprouting device. Apparently you don’t need the latter… So a glass jar it is! But how? I didn’t ask for proper instructions back then, but luckily some eightteen people were so kind to put them just up here on WikiHow. In short: You want to sprout organic seeds, legumes or grains, to make sure there’s no bad stuff on it. You soak them, you drain them, you rinse them a lot of times spread over a couple of days, and then they’re ready! Please consult complete instructions for good information. Sprouting seeds, legumes and grains require different strategies, which are all being explained on the WikiHow. There’s also something about sprouting nuts (under ‘sprouting seeds’). And not all sprouts are good to be eaten raw, so you might want to check beforehand.
It is really nice that sprouts aren’t only tasty, but good for you as well! Are they? Dried seeds are inactive, waiting for the right conditions to grow into a plant. When you provide those conditions, they become active so they can start growing. I believe the ‘theory’ is that active nutrients are more nutricious and/or easier to take up than the inactive nutrients of the dried seeds, but that there isn’t so much true scientific information on it. Or maybe there is? At least Wikipedia seems to have some words about it here.
What I did take from Finland is a picture of the packaging of the sprouting device! It gives some information on the healthiness of several popular sprouts. Though, I’ve already found a slightly different version here, so I’m not at all sure. But there must be some truth in there, right? I’m just believing everything. (I’m kidding – or am I?)
Further I want to add that seeds, legumes and grains remain great sources of protein, sprouted or not. For the ones worrying about how to get proteins without consuming animal products, there you go!
So now I have started to practice the art. I started with green lentils, because I had those at my friends’ place, I liked them and they said those were easy to make. And they didn’t disappoint me! They germinated happily, as far as I could tell, which in turn made me really happy. Because how satisfying is it to grow your own food? And you can do this any time of the year, indoors, with the smallest amount of supplies. It’s perfect! My Finnish friend called sprouts lovingly ‘the salad of the winter’. That is just beautiful.
I think green lentil sprouts taste really nice and sweet. And apparently they provide you with vitamin B1, B2, C and iron! I like them on bread, with tahini or so. I also once turned them into an awesome salad with rucola, green and red paprika, sundried tomatoes and roasted sunflower seeds. (I had this together with penne pasta of quinoa and spelt with garlic, onion, avocado and tomato. It was quite a feast!) You can add them to anything really. Well, of course!
Now I hope you have gotten more interested in sprouting! If you weren’t already. And that you’re not bothered by my vagueness. I wouldn’t want to give you false information, you see. Further, I haven’t sprouted much yet, but I just couldn’t wait to share it with you! They’re just so cute! And they taste really fresh, at least the ones I’ve tried so far. Plus I am not a big fan of lettuce, so I like the idea of sprouts as salad of the winter very much. I am currently doing green lentils again, but I’m already having some buckwheat and the popular mung beans lined up to go next!
Good luck sprouting and let me know what you think!