When I started working at Bob’s Red Mill this last year, I was amused at the fact that we had a section for sprouting. I don’t know why it amused me so, I guess had never thought to sprout my own, whenever I found myself wanting or needing sprouts they were right there in the produce section. It seemed like a very hippie thing to do, sprouting your own. But the more I learned about it, the more and more I wanted to try it on my own. So I plunked down $3 for a sprouting lid (I already have canning jars, and I’d heard there was no point in buying a special sprouting container), I figured if I wasn’t successful I haven’t lost much.
My first attempt I sprouted a mix of alfalfa, radish, and broccoli…it was semi-successful, I think due to old seeds. I found that about half the seeds didn’t sprout, so I kept waiting for them and in doing so, the rest spoiled. I did, however, discover that I really like radish sprouts, they have the nice spiciness of their full grown counterparts. My second attempt had me very discouraged, garbanzo beans…it didn’t turn out well. I took a bit of a sprouting hiatus.
I recently decided to give it one more go, purchasing a package of radish seeds and mung beans from Bob’s bulk section. I soaked them carefully, each according to the recommendation, then faithfully rinsed them twice daily. Just 4 days later, both are looking fantastic and ready to enjoy! I put them out in the sun to green up a bit. I’m planning on Vietnamese shrimp rolls with mung bean sprouts for dinner this evening and radish sprouts in my salad for lunch tomorrow.
Sprouts are amazing little things. They are actually living at the time they are consumed, so vitamin and mineral content are at their highest, unlike other veggies which start losing vital nutrients from the moment they are picked. They are high in phytochemicals, flavonoids, and antioxidants, all of which are shown to boost the immune system, reduce the risk of cancer, and flush toxins from the body. They also are very easy to digest due to the naturally occurring enzymes.
Sprouting requires very little effort or investment. About 25 cents worth of seeds will produce more sprouts than a $3 container of sprouts purchased from the grocery store. They are grown indoors, therefore can be grown in any climate any time of year. They don’t require transportation, are free of chemical pesticides or fertilizers, and go from seed to ready to eat sprout in less than a week.
Spring for high quality organic seeds, be sure to check the package date, and follow the instructions for soaking and rinsing. If purchasing from a bulk bin section, you can find instructions for soaking and rinsing various kinds of seeds on a sprouting website, like Sproutpeople, just search by seed for detailed instructions.