DIY: Sprouting Seeds

Author: Ali Fifer

 

While it’s barely Spring, you can still grow all sorts of greens in the comfort of your own kitchen window sill. It’s super easy, fun, cheap, nutritious, and only takes about 30 seconds a day for a week or so!

Here are instructions for sprouting your own micro green sprouts!

Step 1: Gather your materials. You’ll need a glass jar (mine is quart-sized), a lid that allows breathing (this can be as simple as nailing holes in a metal screw-on top), and your seeds or beans! I used broccoli seeds from Natural Grocers.

 

Step 2: Add just enough seeds to cover the bottom of your jar, about 2 tbsp for a quart jar. Add a couple inches of room-temp water to cover the seeds. Put the lid on, and store out of sunlight overnight (~12 hrs).

Step 3: In the morning, drain the water from the jar. Rinse with fresh, room-temp water and drain again. I try to roll the seeds around the side of the jar so they don’t pile up too much and receive equal amounts of sunlight. Place the jar in a window sill where it will receive the best sunlight.

 

Step 4: Repeat this rinsing and draining of water each morning and evening. If you’re afraid you’re not draining it enough, you can leave it propped upside down so it breaths and mold doesn’t form.

Step 5: When the sprouts turn green, you can start to enjoy them on salads, omelettes, soups, sandwiches, in smoothies… any way you’d like! When you want them to stop growing, simply store in your fridge up to a week in a breathable container and use the jar to start your next batch.

Day 7 – Ready to eat!

 

Optional Step 6: I like the crunch that the seed shells add, but if you don’t want these, you can put your sprouts in a large bowl. Fill the bowl with cold water. The seed shells typically sink and the sprouts float (or vise versa depending on the seed). You can easily scoop out the shells and compost/discard them

Health Benefits of Sprouting:

  • Cancer protecting benefits – tons of antioxidants (especially broccoli sprouts due to their sulforaphane content)

  • Great source of fiber – improving digestive processes

  • Great source of amino acids, proteins, and enzymes

  • Great source of Vitamins A, C, K, and most B’s

  • Great source of minerals – manganese, copper, zinc, magnesium, iron, and calcium

  • Great source of omega 3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory effects)

  • Higher nutrient content and higher bioavailability of these nutrients (your body actually absorbs more nutrients)

  • Prevent anemia by increasing iron intake

 

Other seeds, beans, or nuts you can sprout:

Seeds: Alfalfa, Broccoli, Chia, Celery, Clover, Fenugreek, Radish, Kale, Onion, Pumpkin, Sesame, and Sunflower.

(AVOID: any nightshade seeds like eggplant, hot peppers, sweet peppers, potato, or tomato. They’re potentially poisonous.)

Beans: Adzuki, Chickpeas, Green Peas, Lentil, and Mung

Nuts: Typically if a nut is “sprouted” this just means it has been soaked for 2-12 hours to make the nutrients more bioavailable. This neutralizes phytic acid or enzyme inhibitors.

Have fun experimenting!

*There are many different ways to sprout, this is simply the easiest I have found and takes up the least amount of space and time.

*The temperature of your house may slow or speed up the sprouting process. In the winter time, if your window isn’t insulted, it can take much longer than a week. Try a counter space farther from the cold window that can still reach some sunlight.

 

Sources:

“Benefits of Sprouting” - https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/sprouts.html

General Reference and “Benefits of Sprouting” - https://draxe.com/sprout/

“This can be as simple as nailing holes in a screw-on top” - http://www.verticalveg.org.uk/6-easy-steps-to-sprout-heaven/

“Other seeds, beans, or nuts you can sprout” - http://www.thekitchn.com/beyond-grains-sprouting-seeds-nuts-and-beans-204708