Sprouts are one of the easiest ways to add in some nutrients to your daily diet. As the seed begins to grow into a new plant, it's literally busting at the seems with vitamins and minerals! Depending on the plant you sprout, they are an excellent source of Vitamin A, B Complex, C, D, E, K, as well as phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, pantothenic acid, trace minerals, folate, they are high in antioxidants and even contains cancer preventing sulforaphane! Although you can buy sprouts now at the store, when you grow the at home you can be in control over the seed source, the sprout blend and the safety of your sprouts.
First you will need to decide what kind of sprouts you want. Some of the more popular ones are alfalfa, broccoli, red clover, mung bean, and radish. You can find bags of blended seeds but I prefer to buy mine separately so I can create my own custom salads based on what I'm feeling in the mood for! You will want to choose a brand that has a non GMO, organic seed; this is a non-negotiable for me. I want my seeds to be at their purest, most natural form. Whatever is in that seed will go inside your body. We want to avoid genetically modified foods and pesticide sprayed plants.
You will need containers to grow your sprouts in and lids for your containers. I like to use mason jars for mine, partly because I have fancy little lids that fit on my wide-mouth jars! If you don't have sprout lids you can use cheesecloth and a rubber band!
Use 1-3 TBS of seeds. If you are new to sprouting, start small to see how quickly you go through them. I usually use a quart jar so I can make a big batch! They grow pretty quickly too so if you find you are going through your supply, just start another round!
Add your seeds to the jar and cover with cool, distilled (or Reverse Osmosis) water. Swirl jar around to make sure all the seeds are soaking in the water. Add your lid, and let jar sit in a dark, warm spot to soak for about 12 hours. I usually start this process before heading to bed and then move to the next step in the morning.
After you soak your seeds, strain out the water, rinse them, and strain out the water again. Wait another 12 hours, this time place your jar at a 45-degree angle, allowing for air to flow through.
Now we just rinse and drain twice a day for about 5-6 days while our little seeds work their magic and start to sprout! Once they are done, give them one last rinse and then remove them from the jar and let dry for 12 hours on a paper towel. What I like about my little lids, I can just leave the sprouts in my jar and flip it over and they can dry in my jar. Now your sprouts are ready to use! You can store them for 3-4 weeks (some push it a bit longer) in the fridge.
Your sprouts can be used in salads with lettuce as a base, on sandwiches, in homemade eggrolls or mixed with other sprouts for a sprout salad!
Here are two of my go-to recipes for sprouts:
Bean Sprout Salad
3 Cups Mung Bean Sprouts
2 Cups Napa Cabbage (or green cabbage) Shredded
1 carrot, shredded or julienned
2 TBS Cilantro
1 Green Onion finely sliced
2 TBS crushed peanuts (properly prepared) for garnish
Combine in a large bowl (not the cilantro or peanuts)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 TBS coconut aminos
1 TBS local, raw honey
1 1/2 TBS rice vinegar
Whisk together in small bowl
Add dressing to sprout mix and stir. Chill for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Top with cilantro and peanuts when you're ready to serve! Leftovers can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Apple Sprout Salad
1 shredded apple
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup real maple syrup or raw honey
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
Sprouts of your choice (I like alfalfa, red clover and mung bean): about a quart total of sprouts
Combine your sprouts in a big bowl. Add in the apple and sunflower seeds and mix. Then top with melted coconut oil and maple syrup/honey.
This recipe was shared with me by my neighbor about 10 years ago. A variation of this recipe is to use the coconut oil and a citrus essential oil! If you're using an EO, please make sure it's a pure oil. Not all oils are equal. Source your oils. It doesn't have to be one of the "name brands" but please make sure you know the the ethics behind the company had how they process their oils.