Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dear Diary...sprouting!

I'm totally enjoying my nutrition class. The information is at times a bit overwhelming but I'm taking tidbits of what I can use and incorporating them into everyday life so that it will become a lifestyle. I am also teaching my kids these important lifestyle habits so that they will use them naturally when they are grown and on their own. We are having fun with the experiments meanwhile. We did some sprouting this week. We started with chickpeas, as I had plenty on hand, but I think my favorite will be alfalfa sprouts. Here is a utube on how to do it....you'll need to turn off the music on my playlist before listening :P



Here's is lil' girl trying her hand. She rinsed them this morning and she'll do so again tonight. I will get a pic of her face when she sees the sprouts!! :D

 
 
 
Sprouts

Sprouting seeds, beans and grains for increased nutrients and energy is not a modern invention. In 2939 BC, the Emperor of China recorded the use of "health giving sprouts" in a book about plants.



Sprouts can be grown from a diverse range of beans and seeds. They are an easy, economical, and nutritious way of providing you and your family with fresh organic greens all year round. Research into the changes that occur when a seed or bean is sprouted shows an incredible increase in the protein, mineral, and vitamin content, plus they are a rich source of chlorophyll.

Broccoli Sprouts

In a study at Johns Hopkins University[1], researchers discovered that broccoli sprouts contained as much as 50 times more of the anti cancer compound antioxidant sulforaphane than fully-grown broccoli. The sprouts were most concentrated at three days old, when the tender shoots are topped with two baby leaves.

Sulforaphane is found in broccoli, cauliflower, and some other vegetables prompting the body to make an enzyme that prevents tumors from forming. A study in 1994 indicated a 60 to 80% reduction in cancer development in lab animals fed sulforaphane from broccoli. The study found that eating two pounds of broccoli a week provided enough sulforaphane to cut the risk of colon cancer in half. Levels of sulforaphane, however, varied greatly between broccoli, and it was impossible to tell which was high in the compound. Sprouts, however, were shown to be uniformly high in the compound. Sprouts are also more palatable as they are do not have the sharp tang of mature broccoli and they can be used in salads or sandwiches.

Alfalfa

Sprouted alfalfa seeds are considered the queen of all sprouts. They contain vitamins D, E, K, and C, a wide range of minerals, and 35% protein. However, alfalfa sprouts contain an amino acid called canavanine, which is a natural toxin. An excess of this toxin can cause Lupus-like symptoms. Canavanine is thought perhaps to be the alfalfa sprout's natural defense against animals that might eat them. A small amount will not harm you, but it is safer to eat broccoli sprouts, which do not contain Canavanine.

Other seeds or grains can be used. Try sunflower seeds, fenugreek, mung beans, lentils, buckwheat, chickpeas, and soybeans. Never use chemically treated seeds.
Most health food stores stock organic seeds and beans and there is the added advantage that your product has not been sprayed or contaminated in any way. It is possible to have a sprout garden in your kitchen with very little equipment or space. There are many sprouting kits available at health food stores or home stores, or you can try the method below.

To Sprout

Bean sprouting tops can be bought at your health food store or you can make one from some muslin, cheesecloth or gauze and a preserving ring or rubber band.

Put two to three tablespoons of beans, seeds, or grain in a screw top jar and half fill the jar with warm water;

Leave to soak overnight;

Pour off the water (you can use this to water your houseplants, but it is best not to drink it as it may contain phytates, which bind the minerals in the body);
Rinse once or twice and stand upside down until the water drains out completely;

Keep the sprouts in a dark area or cover them with a kitchen towel until you see they are germinating;

At this stage, bring them into the light to develop their green tips that contain chlorophyll;

Rinse twice daily until the sprouts are at least 3-cm long or have two baby leaves;
Do not leave the sprouts standing in their water, as they will quickly rot. Do not try to sprout too many seeds at once, as they increase their size rapidly. Wash the jar thoroughly between sprouting.

Sprouted seeds, beans, and grains will keep crisp for up to a week if stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container. However, it is best to use them as fresh as possible, so only prepare as much as you can use in two to three days.

How to Use Sprouts

Sprouts are delicious raw in salads, sandwiches, or added to soups and casseroles at the end of cooking. They can be blended with drinks or added to desserts. Sunflower sprouts can be dried in the oven, ground, and added to baking or granola.

Sprouts are particularly useful during the winter months when the supply of garden fresh vegetables is low. Children in particular marvel at the miracle of sprouts and are more likely to eat them when involved in their production!

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How will this affect your recommendation to include sprouts in the daily diet?

Sprouting Chart

The following chart will give you an idea of the variety of seeds and grains you can use and specific instructions for each one.


Type of seed

Initial Soak Time

Rinse & Drain

Av. Time Until Harvest

Some Suggested Uses



Alfalfa

8 hours

Twice daily

3-5 days

Salad, sandwiches, juices, on breakfast



Barley

8 hours

Twice daily

3-5 days

Stir fry, casseroles, bread, and patties



Buckwheat

8 hours

Twice daily

3-5 days

Salad, juices, pancakes, stir-fry



Corn

8 hours

Twice daily

2-4 days

Vegetable casseroles, tortillas, soup



Cress

None

Mist with water 3 times daily

3-5 days

Salads, sandwiches, breads. Can mix with other seeds



Dill

8 hours

Twice daily

3-5 days

Salads, sandwiches, juices



Fenugreek

8 hours

Twice daily

3-5 days

Salads, snacks, on breakfast



Flax (or linseed)

None

As for Cress

3-5 days

Salads, juices, on breakfast



Garbanzo (chick peas)

8 hours

Twice daily

3-4 days

Vegetable casseroles, stir-fry, soups



Lentils

8 hours

Twice daily

3-5 days

Vegetable casseroles, salads, soups, juice



Millet

8 hours

Twice daily

3-5 days

Casseroles, juices, soups, salads, stir-fry



Mung beans

8 hours

Twice daily

3-5 days

Salads, soups, Chinese dishes, omelets, snacks, and on breakfast



Mustard

None

Twice daily or as for Cress

3-5 days

Salads, juices



Oats

8 hours

Twice daily

2-3 days

Essene bread, stir-fry, snacks, and granola



Peas-blue

8 hours

Twice daily

3-5 days

Salads, soups, stir-fry, snacks, and omelets



Pumpkin kernel

8 hours

Twice daily

3-5 days

Salads, snacks, breakfasts, stir-fry



Radish

8 hours

Twice daily

3-4 days

Sandwiches, salads, juices



Rye

8 hours

Twice daily

2-3 days

Breads, granola, and snacks



Sesame

8 hours

Twice daily

2-3 days

Breads, granola, snacks, and porridge



Soy beans

24 hours, change every eight hours

Twice daily

3-5 days

Chinese dishes, stir fry, salads, casseroles



Sunflower seed

8 hours

Twice daily

3-5 days green 5-7 days

Salads, snacks, breakfasts, stir-fry



Wheat

8 hours, drink soaking water

Twice daily

2-3 days wheat-grass 5-7 days

Essene breads, breads, snacks, granola, pancakes, breakfast and stir-fry




Footnotes

[1] See http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/press/1997/SEPT/970903.HTM


Learn well. Live well.

2 comments:

HOPE said...

Very interesting...Lil' Girl is the perfect helper..like the "Okinawa" T she is wearing!!

Guess we'll be having SPROUT salad!!

Hugs

Paula Kathlyn said...

Can't wait to see how yours do! My mom told me about this process...I just love sprouts on my salads and sandwiches :)