All Seeds, Nuts, Grains and Beans Become More Alkaline When Sprouted & Nutrients Are More Bio-Available
All animals pick and eat fresh except for humans so it is very important to grow sprouts as they are still alive when you eat them. A handful of sprouts everyday will give you a good quality dose of vitamins, minerals, protein & fibre and because the enzyme activity is at its peak due to the germination process this means all the goodness becomes more bio-available to our body. All seeds, nuts and grains contain a natural chemical called Phytic Acid that inhibits germination until the conditions are right for survival this is why it is important to remove phytic acid from these foods before consuming. Phytates can draw minerals out from your body and also inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals into your body. If you soak whole oat grains before consuming them for example you increase the bio-availablity of vitamin B by 1300% !
Living Foods that are germinated and sprouted give us the most concentrated natural sources of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids (proteins in a digestible form). Synthetic or processed vitamins in tablet form are not as effective on the body as real food and therefore I place great emphasis on getting nutrition in the most natural way possible. Gram for gram, lentils and other pulses contain as much or more protein than red meat, are totally digestible but have none of the fat, cholesterol, hormones, antibiotics , bovine diseases, pesticides, herbicides found in most meat. The issue of animal cruelty aside, it takes 10,000L of water to make 1kg of beef, and the plant protein fed to beef cattle to produce 1kg of meat could feed up to 22 people!
Sprouting your own grains, nuts, seeds and pulses ensures optimum quality nutrition for your body as they are grown completely organically and also have no food miles or shelf storage. Germinated seeds and pulses and also very filling as they are low GI, so you will feel fuller for longer.
3 Stages of Sprouting:
Germination Overnight Soak Sprout 4-7 days Micro-greens 7-14 days
Germination - Soak overnight & eat raw or cook them
I suggest you only use organic pulses, seeds, nuts & grains – I have seen for myself the farmers bombing chickpea, lentil and wheat crops from the air with fungacides just before harvesting and spraying the ground with herbicides before germination and some seeds are treated with a chemical to prevent them from germinating in storage. Seeds, grains, nuts, legumes (which are all seeds of plants by the way) also have a natural inhibitor that is removed by soaking in water. Germination occurs and with it new life, dramatically increasing its nutritional value and digestibility – at least by 100%. You can add a sprinkle of sprouts on top of cooked food, add then to wraps, juice then or add them to smoothies. I sprout nuts 4-8 hours and then dry them in my dehydrator and store in glass jars ready for use.
What to Germinate
I germinate the following to have in salads or to add to cooked food such as curries to increase the meals nutritional value. Chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, millet, amaranth, pepitas, sesame seeds, mung beans, almonds, walnuts. Different seeds take different times to sprout for example nuts only take 3-4 hours, all the other grains and pulses I soak overnight. After soaking, spread the seeds etc. on a tray and cover with paper towel for a few hours to dry out. Store in the fridge with a paper towel in the bag to absorb excess moisture - your sprouts will last longer. Even if you are going to cook the pulses & grains it is beneficial to germinate them first.
How to Sprout 4 - 7days
Sprouting takes germination a step further to either a whole sprout that you can eat and takes 2-6 days of growth before eating. If find the containers called “Easy Sprout” very good or you can use glass jars with mesh or cheesecloth lids. Soak seeds overnight in water – allow extra water for expansion of the seeds, the next morning drain the soak water into a bucket and rinse the seeds and drain again. Rinse and drain twice a day, the soak water you have saved could be used on a pot plant as it contains nutrients. You can also sprout large amounts of lentils and chickpeas in calico bags - just soak in water overnight, rinse and drain and place into the calico or hemp bag and hang the calico bags from a door handle for 2 days and they are ready and dry enough to store in the fridge . Mung beans should be soaked in warm water, after they have germinated they should be sprouted in the dark with a weight on top to grow them straight – I use my steamer pot and a container of water on top to weigh them down. After you have grown your sprouts to the desired size, spread them out on paper towel and dry off before putting them in a ziplock back with a fresh paper towel for storage. To green up the sprouts, place them in bright diffused light indoors for 8 hours - not in direct sunlight. Keep your sprouting containers clean & hygienic. Wash out calico or hemp bags.
Micro-greens 7 - 14 Days
Microgreens take sprouting a step further and are grown for 1-2 weeks to reach juvenile foliage stage in a soil medium. The juvenile foliage is harvested with scissors. I use organic potting mix with 2 large handfulls of vermiculite per bag. I feed the micro greens with a weak solution of liquid fertiliser such as Seasol Power Feed. I use a 4 tier propagation shelf that has a plastic zip sleeve over the unit - these are available from Bunnings for around $40 - take care to ventilate when the sun comes out as the seedlings will cook if you leave the flap closed. You may need wire mouse mesh over the trays if you have a mouse problem.
What to Grow as Microgreens
peas, sunflowers, buckwheat, rocket, kale, beetroot, broccoli, sweetcorn (grown in the dark),cress, daikon radish, mustard greens, wheatgrass (for juicing or smoothies).