Top 5 Reasons for Growing Sprouts at Home & How to Grow Them
Sprouts are bursting with life! Here are the top 5 reasons for growing sprouts at home and 4 easy steps on how to grow them at home year-round.
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About eight years ago, I was suffering from chronic fatigue, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and bad skin. I had heard from a family friend that the Life Transformation Program at the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida (which is based on eating mostly raw food and no sugar) had cured her arthritis and was helping people heal from many illnesses. Eager for a solution, I skeptically turned to eating a similar raw food diet.
For 3 weeks, I ate nothing but raw food, and 60% of that food in volume was – you guessed it – sprouts! If I’m being completely honest, going into it, I really was not a fan of the taste of sprouts. Little did I know there was actually a huge variety of sprouts to choose from that were so varied in texture and taste. What happened over the course of those 3 weeks absolutely surprised me. First, my taste buds changed. I wasn’t forcing the sprouts down anymore; I was actually excited to pile the delicious sprouts onto my plate and dig in. Second, the transformation that took place in my body amazed me. The first 10 days were terrible and I was craving cooked food and pasta – lots of it! But once I got over the hump, I was more energetic than ever, my skin cleared up and my mental clarity was back! Third, I experienced serenity. After dealing with anxiety about food and my body image, I felt serene for the first time in years. Mealtime had become a pleasure as opposed to a stressor. Needless to say, after just 3 weeks, I was sold on the power of sprouts and raw food.
“Sprouts are at the peak of their nutritional value. They have more vitamins, minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids than dry seeds or their fully-grown counterpart.“
All this to say that sprouts work wonders for your health. While I don’t eat sprouts every hour of every day anymore, I do add them regularly into my meals. If you’re curious about what incorporating sprouts into your life can do for you, here are my top 5 reasons for growing sprouts at home:
- Sprouting removes toxins
All seeds contain toxins to protect themselves from being eaten. When seeds, like lentils, are soaked in water, they shed these toxins as they begin to germinate. You can remove these toxins by cooking the seeds instead, but you end up losing a lot of their nutritional benefits in the process. Best to eat them as raw sprouts!
- Sprouting maximizes nutritional value
Let’s compare a sprout with a dry seed, or a sprout with its fully-grown counterpart. In both cases, the sprout will have more vitamins, minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids. Sprouts are at the peak of their nutritional value. As a seed germinates, enzymes are predigesting complex nutrients, turning them into easily digestible ones for your body to assimilate.
- Sprouts offer a balanced nutrition
When you sprout, you are growing your own medicine and vitamins from nature. If you eat a variety of sprouted leafy greens, legumes, grains and nuts, they are a source of complete protein. Sprouts even absorb minerals and trace elements from your rinsing water. They also help maintain or restore the proper alkaline/acid balance in your body.
- Sprouts grow indoors year-round
Sprouts don’t require any sunlight, they are low-maintenance and barely require any space. Living in your mom’s basement is not an excuse for not growing them 😉 You can eat fresh sprouts on even the coldest day in winter.
- Homegrown sprouts cost a fraction of the store-bought ones
Homegrown sprouts are so much cheaper (and fresher!) than those you would purchase at the store. Buying organic seeds in bulk from companies like High Mowing Organic Seeds will save you a lot of money. You can also grow some of your seeds to maturity and save their seeds.
How do you get started?
Here are the materials you’ll need for growing sprouts at home and the easy sprouting instructions.
- Organic sprouting seeds. (We buy ours in bulk from High Mowing Organic Seeds)
- A pint-size mason jar
- Cheesecloth or sprouting lid
- Drying rack or bowl
- Filtered water
Start time: Before bedtime
Step 1 – Measure out the seeds
- Place 1.5 tbsp. of seeds in your jar.
- Fasten the sprouting lid (or attach the cheesecloth with the screw band)
Step 2 – Rinse the seeds
- Rinse with cool filtered water (FIY: EPA recommends 1 part bleach to 10 parts water; we don’t follow this guideline.)
Step 3 – Soak the seeds overnight
- Cover your seeds with at least 3x as much water in volume
- Let them sit 8-12 hours out of direct sunlight
Step 4 – Rinse & Drain 2-3 times a day
- In the morning, pour off the water (your houseplants will love it!)
- Rinse your sprouts in filtered water at least morning and night for 2-7 days until they’re ready (2-3 days for beans; 5-7 days for leafy greens).
- After each rinse, turn jar upside down on drying rack or bowl to let water drain. That’s it!
Have a go at growing sprouts at home and tell us how your experience goes in the comments below!
Want to learn more about sprouting in our ONLINE video workshop “Sprouts & Microgreens: Homegrown Living Foods”? Click here for the juicy details!”
Permaculture Principles applied:
No need to get high-tech to grow sprouts! All you need is to recycle old jars to use them as sprouters. Make sure even your leftover soaking water has a purpose – your houseplants will thank you!
It might take you up to 5 days to grow your vitamins, minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids. But I promise you it’s much more fun and fulfilling this way than to buy packaged vitamins from the store.
When you grow sprouts, you’re receiving an abundant yield of living food, vitamins, and medicine. Take note of uncommonly noticed yields as well. Perhaps you’re developing, improving or practicing your food-growing skills and taking a first step towards gardening.
There is such a rich variety of sprouts to choose from, from leafy greens, to beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Pick and choose from all these categories for optimal nutrition.
These little seeds have already caught and stored all the energy they could from their parent plant, in order to grow independently. If you’re interested in saving your own seeds, as opposed to purchasing them, consider growing some of your seeds to maturity.