Sprouting for health

Sprouting your own seeds and grains is an easy and inexpensive way of boosting your intake of protein and essential nutrients.  Known as ‘superfoods’,  they contain live enzymes that aid digestion, and can be added to a variety of dishes such as salads, soups and snacks.

By sprouting a seed or grain, the protein and vitamin C content is also increased considerably, therefore supporting our immune status, energy, stamina and skin elasticity!  The average western diet and lifestyle is mainly acid forming, which is harmful to our health, and due to their alkalising effect should be eaten regularly.

Produce should be bought in its dried form and pre-soaked in order to re-activate and sprout.

Mung beans & adzuki beans are easy and quick to do, by putting a couple of inches of beans in a jam jar and covering with water. Put a chux cloth and elastic band on top and stand overnight. In the morning tip upside down to drain the water off and stand on draining board at about a 45 degree angle.  Once a day splash the beans in water, drain and leave upside down again.  They will sprout within 1-2 days.  Store beans in the fridge to maintain freshness and eat them within 2 days

Millet & quinoa can be sprouted in the same way, needing 4 hours soaking time prior to draining.

Buckwheat needs around 30 minutes soaking before draining, and rinsing at least twice daily (leaving it soaking for longer encourages it to have a slimy texture if you are in a hot climate).  This grain is very easy to sprout, usually taking 1-2 days. I have a bamboo dish that it sits in while sprouting, to allow for easy rinsing, but you can just as easily use a colander. Buckwheat is a delicious alternative to bulgar wheat in tabouli, or instead of rice with a meal.  I also find it works well as a cereal replacement at breakfast.  Add chopped fruit, soy/nut milk, fresh mint or ground cinnamon and ginger and pumpkin/sunflower seeds.  Experiment with different flavours.  Click on Cereal or Salad for buckwheat recipes.

Wheat berries need 12 hours soaking, then drain and rinse twice daily until sprouted before storing in the fridge.  Wheat berries have a slightly sweet taste, and work well with a nice oily salad dressing, stirred into curry or soups, or even blended with banana, yoghurt and cinnamon if you’re feeling adventurous!

By simply soaking all nuts, seeds and dried chickpeas in water overnight changes their taste as they are ‘activated’ and easier to digest, even without waiting for them to sprout.  Enjoy as a healthy snack, or as part of a recipe.