Today I woke up feeling what my husband has dubbed a “March Meltdown”, that depressed feeling when I would normally be starting my summer garden but it’s still snowing outside. Yes folks, this is my transition in life…. Native California gal turned Canadian. I love my amazing life in Canada but my heart still craves that year-round sunshine, planting seeds and growing my own salads. It’s actually April and snow is still falling!
My morning started with a little bit of pouting followed by lot of self pity and then some complaining. As if all that negative energy would change the weather and make it warm outside!! Does anyone else out there feel my pain?
April is not supposed to look like this, but Mother Nature disagrees and all my plea’s for gardening weather have been ignored.
So here is my solution…….SPROUTING
What is sprouting?
It’s taking a handful of seeds, nuts, grains or legumes and turning them into live food. The seeds are soaked, then rinsed several times. The hull of the seed softens enough for the little sprout come out and wallaaaaaaaaaaaaah, a little sprout life is born! The great thing about sprouting is that the seeds aren’t in dirt so you get to watch life begin. And if you’re like me, growing food that’s pesticide free and super healthy brings great joy.
Why sprout? (the simple, non-technical version)
For me, it’s all about watching a tiny seedling grow into nourishment for my body. AND, its about filling that gardener’s void in my life right now. No more winter blues for me, I’m gardening Cold Climate style!!
Healthy reasons for sprouting include:
- Sprouting increases the protein quality by reducing the starch content.
- When the little seeds are given life, the carbohydrates within begin to synthesis. The result is a higher fiber content.
- There is an increase in Essential Fatty Acids.
- Sprouting provides a greater supply of Vitamins A, E, C, and B-complex, which in turn assists in digestion and the release of energy.
How to sprout seeds
There are tons of techniques, from fancy sprouting kits to a simple sprouting mason jar with cheese cloth. My preference is a low-cost tray system so rinsing can be done with ease. Amazon has them for as low as $15. I paid $22 for mine and it’s worked perfectly for 3 years now.
First, measure two tablespoons of seeds and soak them in your tray overnight. Soaking isn’t necessary but it will take longer for the seeds to sprout if you don’t.
Cover seeds with the sprouting tray lid. If you’re sprouting with a mason jar, be sure to allow air flow for the seeds or they will start to grow fuzz.
After a night of soaking, rinse them well and cover again.
Rinse the seeds about every four hours and on the second day, little tails will have sprouted from the seeds!!!
By the end of day three, the sprouts can be eaten, but I like to give them a few more days. LOOK how many sprouts came from only two tablespoons of seeds. A one pound bag of seeds will last several months.
What to do with sprouted seeds
- Garnish a juicy burger or a vegetarian sandwich.
- Add to a garden salad
- Add as a filling in a taco
- Top a cracker with hummus and sprouts.
- Add to your next green smoothie.
- Garnish your favorite bowl of soup.
How to sprout beans
It’s basically the same technique as sprouting seeds, only shorter.
Start with a half a cup of your favorite beans.
Soak the beans over night. Rinse well in the morning and then rinse about every four hours until large enough to eat.
*A variety of beans can be sprouted: azuki, garbanzo, soy, mung and kidney to name a few.
At the end of day two your beans will have little tails and ready for consumption.
What to do with sprouted legumes
- Sprouted garbanzo beans can be blended with tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and salt for a homemade hummus.
- Sprouted beans and lentils can be blended with egg, bread crumbs, shredded carrots, garlic and spices for a veggie bean burger.
- Sprouted beans can be sautéed in garlic and butter for a protein packed healthy side dish.
- Mung beans can be grown a few days longer and used stir fry dishes.
To purchase a sprouting tray or seeds for sprouting click on the photo below. Mountain Rose Herbs has many quality organic products.
*IMPORTANT: Sprouts that are not rinsed well can carry Salmonella, E. coli and other harmful bacteria. Please rinse and drain thoroughly before consumption.