Sprouting is the process by which Seeds/legumes/ grains germinate to put out shoots. Sprouting increases the amount of protein that raw seeds generally contain along with other Vitamins and minerals. It decreases the amount of carbohydrates, as carbs will be utilized in the process of germination. Hence it is high time to include sprouts in daily meal given the importance to the amount of nutritional value they contain. The process of sprouting is not easy if not aware of right way of doing it. So let’s look at 3 simple methods to grow sprouts at home that make the whole process of sprouting fun filled.
What to Sprout?
In general most of the seeds, grains and legumes sprout. But, all are not ideal for consumption. Some may not taste better and some cause indigestion problems. Here is a list of seeds, legumes & grains that are ideal of consumption and give good sprouts.
- chick peas
- Finger Millet
- Alfa Alfa
- Mustard Seeds
- Radish Seed
Some Tips Before You start:
- Time taken for sprouting is 36-48 hours for good sprouts
- Organic Seeds, legumes/ Grains are good for sprouting than Hybrid Variety
- Fresh seeds soak and sprout faster than seeds that are older
- Fresh cold or Luke warm water is ideal for washing seeds before and after soaking. Thorough washing is necessary. If not washed properly, you don’t get nice sprouts and may even lead to bacterial contamination.
- Don’t Mix all the seeds, legumes/grains together. Soak and Sprout them in separate containers. (Note: The time for soaking differs from one variety seeds to the other. Ground nuts take longer time than Mung Beans to soak. Mung beans sprout faster than ground nuts. You can always mix sprouts and eat. But to soak and sprout, don’t mix)
- 3 Table Spoons of seeds give 4 cups of Sprouts. 1 cup of legumes and Grains give 3 cups of Sprouts. So plan accordingly based on the amount of sprouts you require.
Methods of Sprouting at Home
Step 1. Take Seeds/legumes/grains of your choice (from above mentioned list) in a container. If you want to eat more than one variety, soak them separately in different containers
Step 2. Wash them thoroughly with clean water or Luke warm water for 3-4 times
Step 3. Pour fresh water and soak them for 8-10 hours. You can see them soaked well.
Step 4. If you feel that they need further soaking, drain the water. Wash the seeds thoroughly for 3 to 4 times with clean water. Soak them again in fresh water for another 2-3 hours.
Step 5. When the seeds are nice and tender, drain the water and wash them thoroughly
Step 6. Take a paper towel/Muslin/Cotton cloth and spread seeds on it to absorb excess water if any. Make sure there is no excess water in the seeds. Leave the seeds on the cloth for about 2 hours for complete absorption of water. (This is very important as Excess water spoil the process of germination and Seeds start to rot).
Now let’s begin the actual process of sprouting. There are 3 simple methods to grow sprouts at home
1. Traditional Technique:
- Take a clean cotton/ Muslin cloth.
- Transfer the soaked seeds into the cloth and make a tight knot.
- Keep it aside for about 36-48 hours. Check them once in a day and sprinkle some water whenever you find the cloth dry.
2. Glass Jar or Container:
- Transfer the soaked seeds into a container /glass sprout jar, cover it with a cloth/mesh
- Prop the Jar upside down into a Bowl
- keep it aside in a warm place & where they can breathe. Sunlight is not needed.
- It takes 2-4 days for nice sprouts to come.
- Check them everyday, wash thoroughly with clean water for 3 times, drain the water completely( Make sure there is no excess water), prop it upside down again.
- Repeat the process, until they sprout to desired size.
3. Seed Sprouter:
- Seed sprouters are available in the market now, making the process of growing sprouts at home much easier
- After taking off excess water from the soaked seeds, spread the seeds on a cloth to remove excess water
- Take the Jar and add water in the First compartment. Pour water only till marked level
- In the remaining 2 compartments, add Seeds, legumes/ grains of your choice in each compartment.
- Put the lid on and leave it aside in the warm place for 3 -4 days till they sprout fully
- The advantage with this Jar is, 2 types of seeds can be put together in different compartments in the same jar at a time.
- No need to check them for excess water or lack of water.
- No need to clean the seeds everyday.
- Once they are ready, give them one final wash thoroughly
- Spread them on absorbent cloth to remove excess water.
- Spread thin absorbent towel in a container and pour the sprouts into it. Cover them with the same/another towel and refrigerate (Always remember excess water is enemy to sprouts). They are good to eat for 2 to 3 days.
Sprouting is fun if done in a right way. If you don’t know the right way of doing it, the whole effort will go in vain. Please follow any one of the methods mentioned above and start doing with small quantity and one variety. Once you are successful, you can increase the quantity and variety.
Happy Sprouting-Healthy Eating