If you are looking for an easy and affordable way to improve the nutritional value of your diet, sprouted seeds is the answer. Edible green sprouts are loaded with vitamins, proteins, minerals, and enzymes, and they taste great!
If you decide to grow edible sprouts at home, be careful to purchase only those that are specifically labeled for sprouting. Many garden seeds are pre-treated with fungicides which may be harmful to eat, so read the packaging closely and choose only those that are designated for sprouting. Garden centers, health food stores and produce departments at good grocery stores should all offer a wide variety of sprouting seeds and sprouters to get the job done.
Soaking Your Seeds
This is an important practice that must not be ignored as you begin your sprouting seeds journey. The dry seeds you purchase for sprouting are dormant. Soaking Seeds is the first step in bringing them back to life. No matter what variety of seed you are soaking, you can never use too much water…a good rule of thumb is to use three parts water to one part seed.
The soaking time however varies greatly with the type of seed. Some require as little as 20 minutes, while others need many hours. For some seeds, soaking too long will destroy them, so be careful. Read the guide on the package to determine the right amount of soaking time for your particular sprouts.
Proper soaking is what really brings the seed to life and allows for full development of all those beneficial nutrients that we are going to enjoy once the sprouts emerge.
Here are some of the most popular types of sprouts:
1- Alfalfa Green Sprouts
Super healthy with good amounts of vitamins A, D, E and K. Excellent on sandwiches and as an addition to salads. Fresh sweet flavor when yellow, but equally good if allowed to mature to green.
2- Broccoli Sprouts
Great flavor that adds a touch of red color to dishes…very mild spicy taste and a good source of antioxidants.
3- Clover Sprouts
Similar to Alfalfa, the Clover Green Sprouts are excellent sweet and crisp additions to sandwiches and salads. Loaded with calcium, potassium, proteins and iron.
4- Mung Bean Sprouts
High fiber, low calorie Mung Bean sprouts originated in Asia and have become very popular. They have a nutty flavor and do well in stir-fried dishes as well as earthen raw in salads.
5- Wheat Sprouts
For a different type of sprout, Wheat sprouts are good for juicing. Very sweet when left to sprout for three days, or can be left untouched for a week and they become more of a healthy one inch grass that adds super nutrition to your juicer.
6- Radish Sprouts
Ultra high in vitamin C and vitamin A. A spicy addition to sandwiches and salads.
7- Soybean Sprouts
For a sprout that is great for cooking, the Soybean is also high in fiber and protein. It is a nice addition to stews and casseroles.
8- Mustard Sprouts
The tiny leaves of the Mustard sprout look similar to the delicate alfalfa sprouts, but watch out! The leaves are very hot and spicy and go well in egg dishes as well as salads.
9- Green Lentil Sprouts
Another good sprout for cooking or an addition to soups, the Lentil sprouts are about 25% protein, but can also be eaten raw.
10- Onion Sprout
One bite and you will know where the Onion sprout comes from. The distinct onion flavor is high in vitamin A, C and D and is good in sandwiches and salads.
11- Sunflower Sprout
This is another good sprout for the juicer machine. Sunflower sprouts are loaded with vitamin D and have a nice nutty flavor. Eaten raws they have a crispy texture.
12- Pea Shoots
Just about any Pea variety will produce “shoots” which are the tiny plants above the soil. They will emerge about 10 days after planting, depending on climate, but are good for stir-fry or a nice raw additive to cold dishes.
Growing sprouts is SO much fun! It is a year round activity and when we can’t get outside, it is like managing a garden right in your own kitchen. Experiment with different varieties. Make sprouts and edible seeds a part of your overall cuisine and learn about the amazing health benefits that sprouting seeds can offer. And let’s not forget what may be the most important thing of all…sprouts taste great!