The Essential Series - Art of sprouting
written by Caitlin Smit — Nutritionsprout
Sprouts are phenomenal little powerhouses; they symbolise new life and potential for me.
It’s so special to think of a small seed when given the right conditions bursts through into the world with such determination to bring forth new life — ripe with nutrients. Ready to provide.
It is this new life and sprout that offers us an opportunity for ‘living food’ in our kitchens. Sprouting can serve as somewhat of a micro garden, as you do not need to own a garden and you can still grow and enjoy some form of nutritious, living food. Sprouting is also very easy and fairly inexpensive to get going.
Sprouts are another essential that you can keep stocked in your fridge. A great addition to any salad, on top of a curry, inside a delicious sandwich, perched on top of your avocado toast or even eaten straight out of the jar.
Why soak and sprout?
Other than kick-starting the sprouting process, grains, nuts and legumes also contain something known as phytic acid, which is said can hinder certain nutrient absorption in the body. Therefore, by soaking nuts, legumes and grains, you may increase the enzymatic activity necessary to help break down this phytic acid. Sprouted seeds are also said to be densely nutritious as the sprouting process increases vitamin B, vitamin A, Vitamin C and iron, especially in sprouted grains.
All edible grains, seeds and legumes can be sprouted. The only exceptions are tomatoes, aubergine, potato, peppers and kidney beans.
The following seeds and legumes are easy choices to get started with, when sprouting —
Alfalfa, sunflower, broccoli, sunflower, quinoa, onion, mung, lentils, chickpeas
These are two ‘set ups’ of equipment that you can use for sprouting —
Wide mouth jar
Mesh / muslin cloth
a clay sprouter
How to sprout
Set up — One
Place 1 - 4 tablespoons of seeds into the jar and cover generously with filtered or spring water. Cover with mesh or muslin cloth and secure tightly with a rubber band. After soaking 4-8 hours or overnight, drain and rinse. Going forward, rinse twice a day ( morning and afternoon ) with cold water. Drain well each time. Prop up at an angle in a bowl or on a sprouting rack.
It’s important to keep them moist but not wet. Allow them to germinate at room temperature, and always ensuring after each rinse to keep them well drained. After about 3-6 days, you’ll begin to notice a tiny ‘tail’ beginning to emerge from the sprouts. When they have reached the desired length, they are ready.
Once ready, rinse well in a colander. Drain and place in a bowl or container and place in the fridge.
Use within 3- 4 days. Sprouts can go off pretty quickly so be sure to eat them while they are fresh and full of nutrients.
Set up — Two
Place some wet organic cotton rounds on the tray with holes.
Put seeds on the cotton wool. Close the lid. Rinse twice a day with cool water.
Remove the lid after 3 days and allow them to grow in the open tray
In 4-6 days they should be ready, keep monitoring. Rinse the sprouts and store in fridge ( the same as setup one)
If you are interested in the source of your seeds, as well as sourcing organic seeds, here are two websites that are good resources
Your local health store should also stock a selection of seeds.
Caitlin is a qualified INHC health coach with the New York school of Integrative Nutrition and co-founder of Glow alongside Marize Albertyn. Her passion lies in women's wellness and helping women make positive and sustainable changes to their lives in order to 'come home to themselves and their cycle'.
Social Media — @nutritionsprout
1 — Lambert,D ( 2016) Living Food a feast for soil and soul, London,Bell and Bain Ltd p67-68