How To Power-Boost Your Sprouting Nutrition

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Sprouting Nutrition: How to and Why? Grains, Legumes, Seeds, Nuts

A few years ago I spent a winter in rural Pennsylvania. The weather was harsh. With nothing but a knee-high blanket of snow for more than 5 months, the dead of winter created a desperate desire in me to not only see plants growing, but to have the taste of fresh greens on my plate when I ate my meals.

LentilMeasured-Before

I had to find a solution.

I became aware of sprouting and micro-greens through a few searches in google using key words and search phrases. I think I first typed in, “evidence + that + winter + won’t + last + forever” and pictures of budding plants in spring showed up. That was what I needed to next type in the word, “sprouts.”

Both sprouting and micro greens have a very fast seed -> to -> harvest period. Both create power foods that have been super boosted in nutrition value.

Sprouts and micro-greens start off by soaking seeds nuts and legumes in a water solution of purified water and a drop or 2 of food grade hydrogen peroxide. Unlike other chemicals that should be avoided for organic sprouting, hydrogen peroxide is a natural occurring additive that will keep your seeds common nuts and legumes free of salmonella, molds, and other bacteria that can quickly grow on them during the initial stages. The makeup of hydrogen peroxide is distilled water with an extra molecule of oxygen attached which formulates H20 + 0 = H202. H202 destroys micro-organisms 5,000 times faster than chlorine. It is non-toxic.

The difference between sprouts and micro-greens is simply that one is grown using air only and the other is grown in a shallow tray of highly nutritious potting soil.

This article shows how to sprout lentils, common reasons that sprouts are amazing, and the sprouting, nutritional and yield of your sprouts.

I will be covering micro-greens in an upcoming blog post.

How to Grow Lentil Sprouts – in pictures

Ingredients for Sprouting Lentils
One part dried lentils will double as sprouts. In this method I show sprouting in a mason jar. I also sprout between two cotton bandanas on a glass pie plate, and in a sprout bag that hangs in soft light. All can work. Some methods work best by location.

 

Soaking Lentils - Day 1
Add a few drops of 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide to a quart of water for soaking; or, treat the seed by heating on the stove top for five minutes in a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide (available at most drug stores) preheated to 140°F (60°C). Use a clean, accurate cooking thermometer (preferably digital) to reach and maintain this temperature during treatment. I sometimes use salt in the place of hydrogen peroxide to keep lentils clean during sprouting if my sprouts are from a certified pathogen-free source, but prevention from harmful microbes is only possible with hydrogen peroxide rinse. Soaking is usually done overnight.

 

Suggested Draining Level for Sprouts
For jars, this is a proper angle. You want your lentils damp, but you do not want them sitting in water. Carefully rinse 3 – 5 times a day so that they don’t go bad or get moldy, which happens very fast in humid climates.

 

Drained Lentil Sprouts - Sprouting Nutrition
The finished sprouted lentils will be ready in 2 – 3 days. If you are not using hydrogen peroxide baths, it is suggested that you cook your sprouts. Some seeds, including non-gmo and organic, can contain pathogenic bacteria Salmonella and E. coli. Alfalfa, clover, and mung bean sprouts have been involved most frequently, but all raw sprouts may pose a risk. This is why, unless the sprouting legumes are certified as free from microbes, should be bathed first.

Note: Seeds, nuts and legumes can contain harmful microbes.  It is suggested that unless they are certified (pathogen-free), care should be taken in the preparation and consumption of sprouts.  Elderly people, young children, and pregnant women should avoid uncooked sprouts. To learn more about the proper way to prepare safe sprouted seeds, nuts, legumes and beans, download “Growing Seed Sprouts at Home“, a PDF, by Trevor V. Suslow, Department of Vegetable Crops, UC Davis; and Linda J. Harris, Department of Food Science and Technology, UC Davis.

Five (5) Reasons To Grow and Eat Sprouts

1. Sprouts are living foods! Even after you harvest your sprouts and refrigerate them, they will continue to grow slowly and their vitamin content will actually increase. Compare this with store-bought vegetables

2. Sprouts are a great, inexpensive way of obtaining a concentration of vitamins, minerals and enzymes.  They contain all of the nutrients found in the various fruits and vegetables.

3. Sprouts are an excellent source of protein and are highly digestible.

4. Sprouts are a very inexpensive super food and are very easy to grow.

Adzuki

Harvest:
2-4 days
Yield:
2 to 1
Nutrition:
Vitamins A, B, C and E
High in Calcium, Iron, Niacin
All Essential Amino Acids except Tryptophan
Nearly twice the iron of ground beef!
Protein: 25%
Serving Size: 6 oz.
Calories: 290
Flavor Profile:
Robust, meaty, and sweet

Alfalfa

Harvest:
5-6 days
Yield:
7 to 1
Nutrition:
Vitamins A, B, C, E and K
Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc,
Carotene, Chlorophyll, Amino Acids, Trace Elements
Has as much protein as an egg!
Protein: 35%
Serving Size: 4 oz.
Calories: 30
Flavor Profile:
Crunchy and mild

Broccoli

Harvest:
3-6 days
Yield:
5 to 1
Nutrition:
Vitamins A, B, C, E and K
Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc Carotene, Chlorophyll, Trace Elements, Amino Acids Antioxidants
Gives you 20% of your vitamin c in just one serving!
Protein: 35%
Serving Size: 2 oz.
Calories: 25
Taste Profile:
Subtle sweetness, slightly tangy

Garbanzo Bean (Chickpea)

Harvest:
2-4 days
Yield:
2 to 1
Nutrition:
Vitamins A and C
Calcium, Iron, Magnesium
Amino Acids
Has 400 times the Vitamin C value of the unsprouted version!
Protein: 20%
Serving Size: 6 oz.
Calories: 340
Flavor Profile:
Nutty, sweet

Lentil – Green

Harvest:
2-3 days
Yield:
2 to 1
Nutrition:
Vitamins A, B, C and E
Calcium, Iron, Niacin, Phosphorus
Amino Acids
Has more than double the iron as canned tuna!
Protein: 25%
Serving Size: 6 oz.
Calories: 180
Flavor Profile:
Nutty, savory

Mung Bean

Harvest:
2-5 days
Yield:
2 to 1
Nutrition:
Vitamins A, B, C and E
Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium
Amino Acids
Has more protein than 1 tbs of peanut butter!
Protein: 20%
Serving Size: 6 oz.
Calories: 55
Flavor Profile:
Sweet, fresh and crunchy

Onion

Harvest:
10-15 days
Yield:
4.5 to 1
Nutrition:
Vitamins A, B, C and E
Calcium, Chlorophyll, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium
Trace Elements, Amino Acids
800% more protein than full grown onions
Protein: 20%
Serving Size: 2 oz.
Calories: 30
Taste Profile:
Pungent with a sharp bite

Radish

Harvest:
3-6 days
Yield:
5 to 1
Nutrition:
Vitamins A, B, C, E and K
Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc
Amino Acids, Trace Elements, Carotene, Chlorophyll
Antioxidants
More vitamin C than a pineapple!
Protein: 30-35%
Serving Size: 4 oz.
Calories: 45
Flavor Profile:
Spicy, bitter, crunchy. Tastes just like grown radishes.

Red Clover

Harvest:
5-6 days
Yield:
7 to 1
Nutrition:
Vitamins A, B, C, E and K
Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc,
Carotene, Chlorophyll, Amino Acids, Trace Elements
Contains more protein than 1/2 cup of dairy yogurt
Protein: 35%
Serving Size: 4 oz.
Calories: 40
Taste Profile:
Crunchy, fresh, sweet

©2014 This recipe was created in Pennsylvania.


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5 thoughts on “How To Power-Boost Your Sprouting Nutrition

  1. I love this! I have tried to sprout lentils in the past and have had good success during the winter, but during the summer they get moldy. What do you do to prevent this from happening?

    1. Hi Molly,
      Thank you for the comment. Yes, I have had the same thing happen, especially being in humid weather like it is in Costa Rica and my time in NYC. This story shows a jar, but I would recommend a sprouting bag. Amazon has a very good one. If you are here in Costa Rica, please let me know. I have an excellent source. Soak your lentils and then drain in the bag. Rinsing often in the key. I hang my bag around my kitchen sink faucet. It dangles there, and every time I pass by I stick it under the faucet and then let it drain.

  2. Hi Kim, thank you for this informative article. I tried mung beans after reading this. They have already started sprouted. I didn’t buy any special type. I will probably eat them today. I will let you know.

    1. That is great Donna. Please remember that sprouts can carry pathogens. This is why it is important that you purchase sprouting seeds, nuts, legumes (etc.) from a company that is non-gmo, organic, and they do testing for pathogen-free results.
      Enjoy! Please let me know how you used them.

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