Sprouting is a healthy eating habit I have just recently gotten into. You can sprout a variety of different foods such as grains, seeds, beans, and nuts too.
Sprouted products are popping up everywhere. Just search “sprouted” on the Thrive Market and you will seriously get hundreds of results. Sprouted grains, sprouted beans, sprouted cereal, sprouted chips, even sprouted protein mixtures! According to The DailyBurn, The sprouts industry is growing fast. Sprouted grains sales could reach $250 million by 2018, compared to the $30 million per year that they’re bringing in today.
Sprouting foods before consumption can have some awesome nutritional benefits for your body. You will gain more protein and fiber, as well as an increase in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin D. Sprouting also helps aid digestion and your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. If you are someone who suffers from gas, you should definitely try sprouting beans before you cook them; this can help with some of those nasty side effects.
Overall, sprouting is really good for you and best of all, it’s super easy to do!
If you are planning on sprouting beans make sure you buy dried beans instead of a can of beans. Canned beans won’t work. I’m honestly not sure why, I think anything in a can is just too processed. Plus, as a bonus, you’ll end up saving money by buying dried beans!
Now it’s time to begin. The first step to any sprouting process is to soak your product. See the handy chart below.
When I first got into sprouting, I experimented with chia seeds. I started by soaking them overnight in order to make the ever-so-famous, chia pudding.
I have never had a problem letting food over-soak. The chart above says to let chia seeds soak for 2-4 hours, yet I always soak mine overnight (8+ hours) with no problem.
I have however had a couple of instances when I had to flush the old water out and replace it with clean new water. I have done this with almonds and many different beans, just to ensure food freshness and stay free from mold.
I typically soak chia seeds in a glass container, uncovered, and in the refrigerator. The next day I will take a rectangular large baking dish and line it with 3-4 sheets of paper towel. I then scoop the soaked chia seeds onto the paper towel and spread them evenly so that they form a single layer of chia goodness.
If you search the internet, you will find that many people sprout in their own unique ways. My way has always worked for me so I don’t see a point in changing. However I would love to hear the different ways you go about sprouting – be sure to comment below!
After spreading the soaked seeds, leave your baking dish in a sunny spot and just wait! Keep the paper towel moist by spraying it down with your kitchen sink hose about twice a day or so. I have found that the sun helps the seeds grow better and faster.
After a while you will begin to see some of the seeds starting to creep open! This is probably my favorite part of the process, I just think it’s so exciting!
After just a few days you will have plenty of these little nuggets growing right in your kitchen! Once ready for consumption, slowly pull the top paper towel off the sheet in order to detach the little guys from their roots. You do not want to be eating paper towel. I recommend rinsing off the sprouts in your sink with a strainer of some sort, after all they were sitting in your kitchen, uncovered, for all of that time. After a nice washing, I personally like to eat the whole thing as is. Some people prefer just the seed or just the sprout, but I say, why waste any of that nutrient-packed goodness?! What do you think?
You can use your sprouted chia seeds as and extra nutritional kick in a smoothie, or as a flavorful salad topper.
I hope my post educated you enough to go out there and get sprouting!
Here are some garbanzo beans, also known as chick peas, that I sprouted to make some delicious hummus!