We’ve all seen sprouted bread on the shelves or in the freezer section of our local grocery stores. Now it is spreading to the snack and cereal aisles as well. So what the heck is sprouting, how exactly do you sprout, and what benefits does sprouting have? I’m glad you asked, because in this blog post we will explore just these very things.
First off let’s go into what exactly sprouting is. According to Dr. Axe’s website sprouting is germinating seeds, which include grains, nuts, beans, and other seeds, to make them more digestible and nutritionally available to our bodies.
Now that we know what sprouting is, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of sprouting.
- Sprouts contain digestive enzymes and high levels of antioxidants
- Blood sugar control
- Lower glycemic index (basically less starch in sprouted grains)
- Increase in vitamins and minerals…yeah!
- Eliminates the anti-nutrient phytic acid. With this gone the body can more readily absorb iron and zinc, as phytic acid blocks the absorption of these minerals when present.
Now let’s go into the fundamentals of actual sprouting. The only precaution when sprouting is the potential for bacterial growth. Here are some tips for preventing this as much as possible, which I found on the Daily Burn website.
- The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources recommends buying certified pathogen free seeds. These can be found from Burpee Seed Co. and Sprout People
- Heat your seeds on the stove for five minutes in a solution of three percent hydrogen peroxide, preheated to 140 degrees, recommends UC Davis. You can purchase the hydrogen peroxide from your local drug store. Use your kitchen thermometer to achieve the right temp.
- Rinse the seeds in running tap water for one minute, and place them in a sanitized sprouting container. A mason jar will work well, Caspero says. To sanitize the jar, soaked in 3⁄4 cup of bleach per gallon of water for at least five minutes, then rinse it with clean water.
- Fill the Mason jar with enough water that it covers the seeds, plus one inch. Skim off and throw away any floating seeds and debris, the UC Davis guide recommends.
- Cover the mouth of the jar with a sprouting lid.
- Place the container away from areas of food preparation, pets, and busy areas of the house. Depending on what you are sprouting, the soaking times will vary anywhere from three to 12 hours, she says.
- Now drain, pouring the water out through the sprouting lid. Then run fresh water through the lid and shake to rinse thoroughly. Drain and repeat again. Continue to rinse and drain two times a day until the food is done sprouting. The sprouts should be ready in one to four days.
- Enjoy sprouted foods within two to three days. Cook them before eating to kill any bacteria that may have snuck in during the sprouting process, she says.
If you follow these guidelines, you should prevent bacterial growth; just make sure and read through all of this before starting your sprouting adventure. Mason Jar Lifestyle has some great sprouting lids to get you the best results. You can find them here, so make sure a grab a few to get you started!