It seems like every day we hear of a new healthy eating trend in the wellness world, and sprouting seeds and nuts have long been waiting to become the next star of nutrition.
In this article, you’ll discover the benefits of sprouting seeds, grains, legumes, and nuts; the best seeds to sprout; instructions for sprouting; and how you can best use these superfoods in your meals.
What is sprouting?
Sprouting is a process where you soak seeds, nuts, legumes, or grains in water to produce new leaves or buds.
The benefits of sprouting seeds
Besides being fresh and delicious to eat with your meals, sprouted seeds, nuts, grains, and legumes have several health benefits, as the sprouting process makes them denser in nutrients.
- Antioxidants, amino acids, vitamin C and B vitamins increase.
- Anti-nutrients (e.g.: phytic acid, which can negatively affect the absorption of iron, zinc, and calcium in the gut) decrease.
What can I sprout at home?
There are four main food categories that you can sprout:
- Sprouting seeds: Alfalfa, broccoli, beet, kale, chia, clover, fenugreek, flax, mustard, radish, sesame…
- Sprouting grains: Barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, rye, wheat…
- Sprouting legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, mung beans, green peas, pinto, soybeans…
- Sprouting nuts: almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts
Although they come with a variety of health benefits, not every seed, grain, legume, or nut can be sprouted. Some may become toxic when consumed in sprouted form such as:
- Kidney beans
- Tomato seeds
- Pear seeds
- Apple seeds
- Citrus fruit seeds
How can I sprout seeds at home?
You don’t need much equipment to sprout seeds, grains, legumes, or nuts at home. You can buy specially designed sprouting jars that make the process easier for you but they aren’t necessary.
Here are the instructions for easily sprouting seeds at home:
- Choose a jar with a wide opening.
- Rinse the seeds / legumes / grains / nuts in cool (but not cold) water. Remove any broken ones.
- Place the rinsed seeds in the jar and fill the jar to about ¾ full with cool water. Cover the top of the jar with a piece of muslin cloth and secure it with an elastic band. This will allow air to flow into your sprouting jar.
- Soak whatever you’re sprouting in water for at least 8 hours. Larger seeds may take longer to sprout, while warmer temperatures help accelerate the sprouting process. Choose a suitable spot in your home that is bright but doesn’t receive direct sunlight.
- Drain the seeds gently to avoid damaging the thin, delicate sprouts. Rinse them thoroughly, then repeat the process of rinsing and draining. Usually, 2-3 days of rinsing and draining about 3 times per day is sufficient.
- Rinse and drain the seeds for the final time, then spread the sprouts on a clean tea towel to let them air dry for about 30-60 minutes.
How to store sprouted seeds
It’s better to consume the sprouted seeds fresh, but if you have to store them, be sure to drain and air dry them carefully. The sprouted seeds can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
How to use the sprouted seeds in meals
You can add your homemade sprouted seeds to salads, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, and many other dishes. You can also juice them or turn the sprouted grains and nuts into flour to add to your baked goods.
Last Updated on June 26, 2023