This week I decided to teach my children about sprouting seeds. I thought it would be fun to have them water the seeds, over the course of 1-2 days, and watch them grow.
Many of our friends asked why we were sprouting beans. Well, there are several reasons to sprout, one of which was to have my children grow food in the middle of winter, from the comfort of our kitchen. With their involvement, I was also hoping they would be more inclined to try sprouts, and they were. By sprouting, we are turning dried seeds into a living food, that is higher in nutrients and easier for our body to digest.
Sprouts are a living, growing food that comes packed with nutrients. According to Natural News, sprouted foods are five to ten times higher in B vitamins, and have double the vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, calcium and iron content of its’ pre-soaked and sprouted counterpart.
Not only are sprouts more nutritious, they are easier to digest and the nutrients are more bioavailable. Legumes, seeds and grains contain natural enzyme inhibitors and phytic acids, found on the outer part of the seed. These acids decrease and sometimes block the absorption of vital nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc. Processes such as soaking, fermenting, roasting and sprouting help remove most of the phytic acid, which increases digestibility and availability of nutrients.
Soaking and sprouting legumes also helps break down the complex sugars, or oligosaccharides, that most people have trouble digesting. It is these sugars that cause unwanted bloating and gas.
The process of sprouting is quite simple and takes about 1-2 days following a period of soaking. Having said that, ensure proper airflow around the seeds while they sprout, to prevent mold from developing. Discoloured gray, white or green spots can be an indication of mold, so discard any with that appearance. Also ensure that you purchase “sprouting seeds”. These seeds differ from planting seeds, in that they are considered a food and have never been in contact with animals or animal waste. This reduces potential bacterial contamination of the seeds and subsequent sprouts. I chose Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds – Crunchy Bean Mix. They are organic, non-GMO and grown in Canada. Follow these simple instructions and you too can grow your own sprouts within a matter of days.
- Buy seeds meant for sprouting, such as Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds
- Rinse seeds, cover with water and soak for up to 12 hours in the fridge. (Soaking time will vary with type of seeds used)
- Drain water and place in a sieve. Cover with a dish towel or paper towel and allow for some airflow.
- Rinse the legumes with fresh water every 12 hours and allow to air dry between each rinse.
- Within 1-2 days, sprouts will begin to grow. Larger legumes will take a little longer to sprout, 2-3 days.
- After 2 days of sprouting, gently pat the sprouts dry and place in the refrigerator, in an airtight container. Remove and discard any discoloured or moldy sprouts. Eat within 2-3 days.
- Enjoy on salads, in soups or add to your favourite stir fry.
Linda @ The Wholesome Kitchen