Sprouts are the premature growth of a plant from a germinated seed. Every vegetable becomes a sprout in its journey from seed to bloom. Only some seeds, however, form sprouts that are edible and palatable. Sprouts are called “complete foods” because they contain all essential dietary nutrients and enzymes to help assimilate them. Eating this enzyme-rich induces a heightened enzyme activity in our metabolism, which is highly stimulating to our bloodstream and digestive system.
Importance of Sprouts
The seed has everything in it to become a full-grown plant. It contains the condensed germinating energy, the pattern of life itself. Tremendous forces that even scientists do not fully understand lie sleeping, almost inert until they are awakened by warmth (the fire principle) and moisture (the water element). Then the seed's potential bursts from its shell, and life begins. Seeds contain a hidden life principle and a moderate amount of vitamins, enzymes, and minerals. But in the process of sprouting, these moderate amounts of vitamins, enzymes, and minerals increase tremendously by the unique germinating process, which opens up Nature’s hidden values of the secret caves of living energies in all seeds. Electromagnetic light waves are attracted by the cosmic elements, which bring the other elements needed for growth.
The life force in sprouts is energy capable of regenerating the cells of our body, slowing the aging process, and supplying us with new vigor and life. Their proteins are called "complete proteins" because they contain all the essential amino acids in correct combinations. In addition, sprouts are live foods because they are living plants. So getting the latent life elements plus the protein in the food, included in the live sprouts and tender greens, is very important for health. And for malnourished children or always hungry and pale, use some sprouted grains or seeds with honey over them or a little oil with garlic and honey.
Types of Sprouts
Some common seeds and grains used for sprouting are Alfalfa, Fenugreek, Wheatgrass, Barley, Mung Beans, Beans, Green Peas, Lentils, Chickpeas, Millet, Wheat, Oats, Barley, Rye, Buckwheat, Corn, and Sunflower seeds. Alfalfa and Fenugreek are the most important because of their eliminative quality, high mineral content, and ease of handling. Alfalfa is known as the "King of Sprouts," and Fenugreek is soothing healing and, at the same time, dissolving the gummy substance from the mucous membranes and intestinal lining and enabling the system to absorb the nutrients from food. They (Alfalfa and Fenugreek) are excellent for all kinds of diseases and accommodating for ill persons.
Instructions for Growing Sprouts
The technique for growing sprouts at home is simple. There is no cultivation, spraying, or weeding, and the sprouts are ready to eat in a few days. Some seeds sprout on soil (like wheat grass), but most sprout in jars or bowls.
Soak the seeds (from 2 tablespoons to 1 cupful) depending on the family and the type of seed and container available. e.g., two tablespoons of Alfalfa seeds in a quart jar.
Next day, pour off the water. Drink or make soup with it, but do not throw it away as it is rich in water-soluble nutrients and enzymes, which are suitable for digestion.
Allow the jar to drain upside down or at an angle in the sink for a few minutes to remove the excess water. If the jar’s cap does not have holes, use a cheesecloth (double or triple-folded) on top of it.
Rinse thrice a day during hot weather; otherwise, once a day in cool weather. This is important so that no mold is present.
Jars could be placed in sunlight but fully covered as sprouting needs: warmth, moisture, darkness, and to be kept clean by rinsing.
Within 3-8 days, fine sprouts will be ready for use or storage, refrigerated for up to a week, or even longer, in an airtight container. A glass container is better than a plastic one. The best option is to eat them fresh instead of storing them.
Tray Method with Soil (for Wheat Grass)
Soak the seeds overnight – 12 hours, and then sow them.
Spread the seeds thickly on the soil. Use good or 50/50 soil and compost in a small tray or flower pots. Four to six inches of good earth is sufficient.
Cover the eight layers of wet newspaper and a sheet of black plastic. Place in a warm place for three days (not direct sunlight) or until sprouts start to push the layer cover.
Remove the cover and place it in indirect sunlight. Sprinkle with water as needed.
Keep the earth moist; one can harvest the greens in 7 days. It can be cut three times and then replanted.
Cut with scissors when husks start falling off or when the grass is 4 to 7 inches tall.
They can be chewed like gum, and the benefit absorbed, and the residue, if any, can be split out.
Never sprout the nightshade family's seeds, including potato, tomato, and petunia, as they produce poisonous greens.
Never sprout seeds, beans, grains, etc., that have been chemically treated (like seeds for planting). Instead, sprout only those that have been explicitly certified as edible.
Always use Glass Jars for sprouting.
It is best not to cook the sprouts, as we lose the enzymes of life and vitamins. But sprouts can be added to cooked vegetables or other food when served.
It is best if done in warm and dark spaces. Seeds should neither be dry, nor there be in standing water seeds.
Follow these six rules:
Keep them moist, not wet.
Keep them at room temperature.
Give them plenty of room to breathe.
Don’t put too many in any one container.
Keep them covered – no light.
Sprouts: The Miracle Food: The Complete Guide to Sprouting By Steve Meyerowitz
The Sprout Book: Tap into the Power of the Planet's Most Nutritious Food By Doug Evans