How To Make Sprout At Home (With Sprouting Chart!)
I journeyed into the world of sprouts and here’s what I learned.
Sprouts are a superfood packed with tons of vitamins, nutrients, and fiber but the best part is that they are much easier to digest than their non-sprouted counterparts. This is because the anti-nutrients such as phytates which bind to the nutrients making them difficult for your body to absorb and enzyme inhibitors which make them difficult to digest, begin to break down and mitigate as they soak in water and sprout.
Watching something sprout is a magical process to watch. It's a slow and gentle transformative process that awakens a seed from its dormancy. They are also super easy to make and chock full of unlocked nutrients in foods that you already make and love. So if you are someone who has a hard time digesting a type of grain or legume I suggest trying to sprout them before you do away with them entirely. The best part is that they’re insanely easy to make and can be made anytime of the year. They don’t take up too much space, they only require a jar with a mesh lid, and need very minimal sunlight!
There are three main types of sprouts you can make: Legumes, seeds, & grains. Any bean like lentils, chickpeas, or mung will fall under the legume category. Things like sesame, alfalfa, and mustard all fall under seeds. Lastly, items like quinoa and millet will be placed under grain. The commonality between all three is that they will sprout under the proper conditions… hence the name sprouts!
Although the process for each sprout is somewhat similar to each other, they all have different flavors and different applications. Legume will most likely need to be cooked and will taste the exact same as what you know them to be. They will just have the added sprouted benefits. Grains and seeds, on the other hand, can mostly be eaten raw. For example, unsprouted quinoa* will need to be cooked but sprouted quinoa can be eaten raw! Pretty cool, huh?
One of the main worries of growing your own sprout is getting E.coli. This happens when the seed itself has been contaminated so the best way to avoid this is to buy from a reputable source as well as buying organic. The chances of this are very low so I would recommend that you take the precaution just to be safe.
* Quinoa contains a high concentration of saponins which can cause a strong allergic reaction to some*
By Alex C
Senior Food Writer at Pro Home Cooks
How To Make Sprouts
- Once you’ve gotten your large jar (32 oz. or larger) with a mesh lid, you’ll need a bunch of grain, legumes, or seeds so pick out your favorites. I went with chickpeas, lentils, sesame seeds, pinto beans and quinoa. They all start with the same process. The first step is to soak them. I created a cheat sheet (above) for some of the basic legumes, grains, and seeds you could sprout above. Please see chart above and follow as advised.
- Once they have been soaked you will drain them completely and then give them a quick rinse with clean water. All this will be done in the jar they are in so there really is no mess to clean up! Try to pour out as much water that you can so that there is less risk for mold or bacteria growth. The sprouting kit I bought allows for the jar to stay on a slant so any excess water will eventually drip. If you don’t have this, just shake out the water as best as you can and place in a bowl on a slant (see photo for reference).
- One of my favorite things to do is to rotate the jar so that the jar is completely covered with the sprouts. This will allow better air flow and give them more space to grow. Sprouts are sensitive to heat and light so place them in a cool shaded area with very little sunlight.
- For the next consecutive days (about 2 -3), you will rinse and then drain the sprouts. After day 1 you will start to see a little growth! Once day 3 hits, most sprouts will be perfect to harvest! Most sprouts only need 2 -3 days for you to see growth but check with the chart above to see how long your sprouts will take!
- You don’t want them to overgrow so once your sprouts are ready get to cooking. If you don’t plan on eating them immediately you can store them in the fridge for up to a week but that’s it. Spread them out onto a paper towel and let them air dry for 30 - 60 minutes to ensure that they are dry. Seal them in an airtight container and enjoy throughout the week.
- 32 oz jar or larger
- A mesh lid
- Any kind of legume, grain or seed (see chart above for times & amounts)
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