Three Steps to Sprouting in a Jar

 

While I was off at college, my mom sprouted for a while to help get rid of her cancer. I wasn’t really in the house when she did that, so while she was already familiar with this, I hadn’t ever grown them. Then, about a year and a half ago, I learned about the “raw food diet”. This is, in my opinion, one of the hardest diets to follow because it means that you don’t eat anything cooked! Well mostly, most raw foodies still eat some cooked food, but the majority of their diet consists of uncooked food. 

They believe that once you heat food above a certain temperature (108-115 F), the food looses most of its nutritional value. I got excited about this diet and checked out a million library books and read up. I even went a few weeks of eating mostly raw food, but because I’m not a big diet person, I phased that out pretty quick. But while the extreme diet wasn’t for me, I still think it is very good to eat raw foods. And when I learned about what raw foodies eat, I learned how to sprout. The raw food diet calls for a lot of soaking and a lot of sprouting. So I tried it out, and it was really easy, and the sprouts give you lots of energy. And that good feeling you get from eating something so good for you. So I sprouted for a while, then life happened and I stopped. But I’m going to do it again! This is my goal.

 Here are some wonderful benefits of sprouting (see articles at the end of post for further reading):

  • Contains many essential nutrients
  • Nutrients easier to digest
  • High in Protein
  • Changes grains from a starch to a vegetable, making it more nutritious

 

What to Sprout:

Lots of things can be sprouted. However, it is important that what you sprout are whole and organic and made for sprouting. It is good to avoid pesticides in general, but the organic thing is more important in sprouting because many genetically altered seeds will not sprout. I have bought sprout seeds from wheatgrasskits.com, and I was happy with them, but there are many places to buy them online. I think the most important thing is that they should be made for sprouting, and they should be organic. Here are the main categories of seeds that are usually sprouted.

  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Grains

Some seeds are harder to sprout than others. Also, different sprouts have different flavors and different kinds of nutrients. For example, broccoli sprouts are great for fighting cancer. 

 

How To Sprout:

NOTE: When I learned how to sprout, I learned how to do it in jars. I recently found out that there is actually a easier and better way to sprout using hemp bags. I just ordered some from amazon and am excited to try it. Here are the ones I bought. But here is how you sprout using canning jars: 

For the following directions, I will just refer to whatever you are sprouting as “seeds”, but the directions are the same for beans and legumes too.

Supplies: A canning jar, cheesecloth (or any kind of thin fabric), a rubber band, a bowl

Step 1: Soak the seed/beans. Different seeds require different soaking times, it ranges from 6-8 hours, so most of the time overnight soaking is just fine, however with quinoa you only need to soak for about four hours. So you can soak quinoa during the evening then start the next steps for overnight. There are a thousand sprouting charts online. Here is one I found that is helpful, but if I want to sprout something new, I will just look up the soaking and growing time online. 

chart from: http://www.raw-food-for-the-beginner.com/HowToGrowSprouts.html 

Step 2: Pour out the water and rinse the seeds. Swish the water around, rinse them a couple times. then put the jar upside down in a bowl so the jar is on an angle in the bowl. This is so any water that has not drained can drain out on to the bowl.  

Step 3: Rinse the seeds every night and day for a couple days, or however long the kind of seed you are sprouting takes. (see the sprouting chart for this info). I sometimes will also rinse mine in the middle of the day also. The purpose of rinsing them is to get rid of any bacteria, and to keep the sprouts clean. When they are done, rinse again, then dry them out and keep them in the fridge.

I am excited to try out the sprout bags because the bags can eliminate water much more easily and there will be more air flow to keep the sprouts nice and bacteria-free. 

It is hard to get a for sure correct answer on most things health related. People who sprout have varying opinions on the “correct” way to do things. So here are a couple of things to note:

*Some people say its best to keep the sprouts in the cupbord (so the sun won’t make them taste bitter), but others say its good to keep them on the counter (so they can have more air flow). I keep mine in my cupboard, then let them air out on a towel when they are finished before I refrigerate. This is another reason why I’m happy to do the bags- those are out of the cupboard, so again, they get the benefit of more airflow, but they are also in dark bags so that the sun hopefully won’t make them taste bitter.

 *Some say to only eat sprouts raw, others say to cook your sprouts lightly over the stove before eating. Still, others say to cook certain sprouts (lentils, beans, grains) that are harder to digest and eat some sprouts raw. Whichever way you do it, just make sure to only eat the sprouts if they smell good. If they smell old, or just- not good- then don’t eat them.  

So, that is all for now. I’ll post again once I figure out the sprout bags. Happy sprouting!

 

Sources & Further Reading:

 

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