Sprouting at Home

Here at Things that are Awesome, we love food, but we also love our bodies, so most of what we eat (at least at home) is clean, fresh and nutrient dense. Sprouted grains, nuts, beans and seeds are an easy source of multiple nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C and E and can be readily incorporated into almost any meal. Unfortunately, sprouts lose a whole lot of their nutritional punch in transit and can play host to a variety of bacterias, so the best way to get your sprout fill is by sprouting them yourself at home. But good news: at home sprouting is not only super easy to do, but also cheap!

Supplies: Glass jars, water, loose burlap or other breathable material (it also needs to be porous enough to be able to drain water) cut into squares big enough to cover the top of the jars, elastic bands, a drying rack, and your seeds of choice (for this post, we sprouted alfalfa, crunchy beans and crimson lentils).

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Step 1: Put a tbsp or 2 of seeds into the jar. If you’re sprouting alfalfa, be sure to use a fairly wide mouthed jar as it needs room to branch out. Fill the jar about half to 2/3 full with water, cover with burlap and secure with elastic band. Give the seeds a swish to rinse, drain the water, then refill. Let seeds soak overnight (with the burlap cover), for about 24 hours.

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Step 2: After 24 hours, drain the jars, flip upside down on a drying rack, and leave for three days, filling with water to swish and rinse (draining through the burlap) 2-3 times each day (a good rule of thumb is to leave your sprouting jars in the kitchen and to rinse with breakfast, lunch and dinner).

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Step 3: By day three, your sprouts should be ready to eat! Stored inside a brown paper bag sealed in a ziplock, your sprouts will keep for about 5 days. Toss them on salads, include in sandwiches, and/or add a handful to the food processor when making hummus or other spreads. Chives are one of my favourite garnishes and sprouting garlic chives is next on my list!

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Fun fact: sprouting eliminates phyto-gasses and enzyme inhibitors which prevent the gut from breaking them down, increasingly digestibility and decreasing the gas typically associated with the consumption of beans and certain vegetables.

Special thanks to Dan for his sprouting guidance!

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