The Benefits Sprouted Seeds And Microgreens
Sprouted seeds and micro greens can be grown on your kitchen counter in less than a square foot of space and a few ball mason jars (or even on a plate at that.) With sprouted seeds anyone can take advantage of the benefits of freshly grown garden like microgreens all year around even in the winter time if you live up north!
Plus you can easily reap the nutritional benefits of freshly grown food without just relying completely on the farmers market every week, or purchasing all of your produce from the grocery store which imports most of its produce from far away lands.
Sprouts Are Cost Effective
When you grow sprouts at home you can instantly reap the economical benefits of extremely cheap, nutritious food. For every 1 pound of seed that you buy and sprout in your home, will easily yield aroune 5 pounds of fresh sprouts and microgreens.
It requires very minimal time and energy input which in turn results in a massive output of fresh garden produce in your kitchen.
You Can Constantly Harvest
Harvest fresh sprouts and microgreens every single day of the week. With a little bit of planning and forethought anyone can have a steady supply of sprouts and microgreens every single day of the week. All that it requires is to soak a fresh new batch of seeds every.
Keep in mind that caring for your sprouted family only requires a few minutes per day every day. Once set up, it simply becomes like clockwork and easily morphs into your morning routine.
Sprouts Purify Your Environment
Plants are therapeutic and extremely relaxing to be around. Their presents will lower your blood pressure and bring a sense of ease and harmony into your life. Remember, plants are living, breathing photosynthesis creatures and will naturally clean and purify the air inside your home.
Humans and plants have evolved to form an exquisitely symbiotic relationship where the plant takes in your carbon dioxide and exhales fresh oxygen. You also take in oxygen and release the fresh carbon dioxide for the plants in return.
The difference between sprouts and microgreens
Sprouts are typically just germinated inside a jar with just water. Within a couple days, sprouts are mature and ready to harvest and eat. Microgreens are typically spread out and grown with a soil medium on a tray (just like when you grow seedling for your garden). Microgreens should be grown for around two weeks, this allows them to mature and develop much more nutrients than their sprouted cousins.
I’ve ate sprouted seeds and microgreens for many years now. Whenever I stay consistent and integrate sprouts into my salads my body drastically feels the difference compared to when I’m not eating fresh raw, living sprouts. Not to mention that it’s extremely easy and quick to do!
Sprouts Become Apart of You
One of my favorite benefits about growing sprouts is that they literally start to grow on you. Similar to house plants or if you have a green thumb in the garden, whenever I watchover and observe the different stages of my sprouts growing from germination to sprouting and graduating into mature microgreens I begin to feel like they're a vital part of the household like one in the family, literally.
One of my favorite components about growing sprouts is the complete satisfaction that you naturally reap as a result of growing microgreens. The simple thought of knowing that you were actively involved in cultivating your own food is a very powerful act and is extremely empowering.
Growing Microgreens Can Change Your Life (literally)
What I usually see is that when people start to grow sprouts and microgreens in their kitchen it usually sparks an urge and slowly evolves into a lifelong passion of growing food and even more food. Years ago this is what happened to me and I eventually came across Wwoofing, which is an organization that was founded back in the 1970’s to help college kids get back to the farm and learn basic homesteading skills growing food and raising livestock. When you go you usually help out with various tasks for 4-5 hours per day in exchange for room and board. Today Wwoof has evolved into so much more. Even whole families (the kids included) are going to stay and volunteer.
My experiences wwoofing are nothing short of transformational. For me it fills a deep biological urge of learning age old skills and reconnecting with the cycles of nature, it nourishes the soul!
Sprouting seeds is a very simple and extremely easy to do, almost intuitive. You soak the seed, nut or legume in pure water (not tap water as the fluoride can inhibit growth) until it begins to germinate.
First the seed, nut or legume is dormant and basically sleeping. Most seeds can be stored (sometimes for thousands of years). Once the conditions are just right with the correct amount of moisture and temperature the seed will move from dormancy to germination.
It will begin to swell up as it takes in and absorbs water. Then usually within a couple of hours the seed becomes activated and has started to germinate and become alive which is the beginning of its life cycle. This is the miracle of life happening right before your very eyes!
The Germination Process
Here is a very informative tutorial about how to sprout broccoli seeds which is very similar to sprouting other seeds.
Eat Most Sprouts Raw Not Cooked
Depending on the type of seed, nut or legume that you grow and your preferences, sprouts can either be eaten fresh and put into salads or they can be incorporated into stir frys and cooked dishes. For me, as a general rule I typically eat all my seed sprouts like broccoli, alfalfa and radish sprouts fresh and put them into my salads.
It's Best To Dehydrate Your Nuts
With nuts, I usually add a little sea salt to the water that I use to soak them in. Once they are fully germinated (which takes at least 8 hours soaking in water), I usually dehydrate them in a basic food dehydrator which also takes another 8 hours or so. The results are crispy, salty, delicious and savory nuts in your mouth.
Now, this may seem like a long drawn out process however, the actual time it takes for you to put the nuts in the mason jar and add water is only a minute or two. Even loading your nuts onto the food dehydrator trays only takes a minute or two also.
When the nuts are sprouting they do all the work, all you have to do is just be patient and let life do it’s thing. And as far as the dehydrator once you load the trays up you can set the timer and just walk away, done!
Cooked Legumes Make Your Belly Feel Better
Now, as far as legume sprouts go, some people choose to eat them raw, however I find that they don’t agree with my stomach. So, for that reason once my legumes have fully sprouted I usually simmer and cook them down and make chilly or bean soup.
Plus as you will see, sprouted legumes take less time to cook than their raw, dormant counterparts which means less time inside the kitchen.
Oldest known viable seed
Check this out. The oldest known seeds that were able to be grown into a viable plant were the (narrow leafed campon). It’s a flower from the Arctic that is native to Siberia. The age of the seeds was confirmed to be around (31,800 yrs old). The seeds were originally buried in squirrel hibernation burrows 125 ft below the permafrost, pretty cool, right?
Sprouting seeds activates and increases the beneficial enzymes that are present inside the seeds. These enzymes are activated by the living life force that is present within each growing seed.
These seeds have the potential to blow the lid off of the jar that the seeds are sprouting in. This happened to me when I forgot about my little sprouts on the counter with an air tight lid on them (which by the way is a mistake, sprouts need to breathe). When I opened the jar the sprouts kind of just popped out of the jar. That’s when I realized just how alive and active these sprouts are, they’re just bursting with lifeforce begging to be eaten.
Sprouting Multiplies The Vitamins And Minerals
One of the most fascinating aspects of the sprouting process is the increase and multiplies the vitamin, mineral and nutritional content embedded inside the seeds.(2) Just think of an acorn nut, that tiny little seed that can fit in the palm of your hand has the potential to grow into a massively gigantic, several hundred feet tall tree. That’s the power that lies dormant inside seeds that you can take advantage of right now in your kitchen. “If you want superhero powers then eat sprouts”.
Sprouting Neutralizes Seeds
And breaks down enzyme inhibitors and neutralizes the anti-nutrients like phytic Acid. You may have experienced phytic acids negative effects in the stomach resulting in grumbling and general pain and discomfort even sometimes gas and excessive bloating. Many times I feel this when I eat canned beans. So, completely soaking and sprouting legumes will make them much more easy to digest and extract and absorb the nutrition in the legumes.
See, in nature these ant-nutrients and enzyme inhibitors have two known important functions. One is to simply preserve the genes of each seed so that it can continue to live on and thrive.The second is so that animals like birds, bears and rabbits eat and ingest seeds and the seeds make it all the way through the animal’s digestive tract which is destined to be poop out. Once on the ground, seed is encapsulated inside this ball of poop which serves the purpose of giving the seed nutrients and is the perfect conditions to sprout, very moist! This is also how life disperses its genetic diversity and why animals play such a vital role in the continuation of life.
This is why it’s of vital importance to sprout all seeds. As humans, we cannot digest unsprouted seeds.
Sprouts Protect the Body
Absolutely, sprouts contain massive amounts of enzymes and antioxidants. Beyond all the benefits of eating sprouts and far superior is that they simply nourish the body all the way down to a cellular level. Sprouts are one of the only foods that goes straight into the mouth while it’s still alive and exploding with living lifeforce. This is translated into instantaneous and immediate energy. Sprouts have the potential to raise your energy levels, your vibrational frequency and the radiance all throughout your body. Sprouts will raise your consciousness!
Best Seeds To Sprout
As described in the infamous book Cornucopia, there are over 3,000 different species and some 7,000 varieties of food plants (many of these not all though can indeed be sprouted). It also lists more than 1,300 sources of seeds and plants (many of which are seeds that can be sprouted). Now, even though this book was wrote back in 1999 it is still very relevant to the current age and many of the seed sources now have websites and are much more up to date.
Two of my most favorite places to source the most commonly sprouted seeds are the Sprout house and sprout people. Both are genuine and authentic sources for seeds, nuts and legumes. They offer organic and non-gmo seeds.
Those are good places for seeds and legumes however my favorite place to get nuts for sprouting Wilderness Family Naturals. They offer both raw (you can sprout yourself) and already sprouted nuts and seeds that they sprouted, soaked and dehydrated for your convenience. But the reason I love Wilderness Family so much is because they make sprouted nut butters which are by far the most nutritious and delicious nut butters in the world! Check them out here.
At these three sources listed above, you can purchase (100% non irradiated seeds)
Common Problems With Sprouts
There have been cases with commercially grown sprouts that were contaminated with certain bad bacteria. This is the result of large growers storing massive quantities of seeds in nearby fields next to where cattle farms are located. This results in the seeds being contaminated. This is what happened many years ago with raw almonds. They were stockpiled in large quantities close to animals and feedlots. The result was severe outbreaks E. Coli and Salmonella. Since then, the USDA has started to mandate and require all nuts to be irradiated (which is basically zapped and microwaved) which is not good.
Hydrogen Peroxide Method
Sure, buying your seeds from the sources listed above is one way to prevent buying contaminated seeds vs the bulk bins at the health food stores however in the book Sprouts: the miracle food the best way to prevent any of this nonsense and contamination is to utilize 35% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide. When you initially soak your seeds/nuts. It’s best to soak them in water with a little 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide. As a general rule of thumb you want to mix (1 tablespoon) of hydrogen peroxide to 1 gallon of clean purified water, just a cap full.
This alone will safely clean and sanitize your seeds and render them 100% safe to consume. (Keep in mind that you only add this to the water when you first soak your seeds). Then, when you rinse your seeds you can just use regular water
This does a lot more than just clean the seeds though. Since Hydrogen peroxide is made up of hydrogen and oxygen it not only cleans the seeds but it supercharges the sprouting process. I have found that when I sprout seeds and add hydrogen peroxide to the soaking water the seeds will sprout in half the time.
Hydrogen peroxide will both clean your seeds and make them sprout nearly twice as quick.
Mist Your microgreens
However if I’m growing microgreens I will occasionally spray and mist them just for the simple fact that when growing sprouts inside it’s actually the perfect environment for a little bit of white mildew to sometimes grow on your sprouts. If this happens to you know that it’s completely normal and that you may need to decrease the moisture on your sprouts and a increase the fresh air around your sprouts (like maybe setting them outside for a bit) Nevertheless, a little bit of hydrogen peroxide will indeed correct the issue
A Word About Sunlight
When growing sprouts or microgreens, it’s extremely important to expose them to direct sunlight (like a south facing window). Even know sprouts and microgreens have a relatively short lifecycle they still require sunlight to survive, thrive and activate the photosynthesis process. A general rule of thumb is, if your greens are light green, whitish or pale in color and have long stringy stems they need more sunlight.
It’s easy to tell if your greens are vibrant and healthy because the stems have more girth and they usually take on a much darker green color overall. Healthy plants usually stand up proud and tall and dance towards the sunlight. They are very perky in nature!
Storing Your Sprouts
Once your sprouts and microgreens are done growing they must be transferred to the refrigerator in order to preserve their lifespan. They can survive and thrive inside your refrigerator for around 1 to 2 weeks. This shouldn’t be a problem unless you leave and go on vacation or something.
Have you ever experimented with growing sprouts or microgreens?