Although hot summer temperatures may be making it hard to grow our own food, sprouting seeds and microgreens indoors can offer a great opportunity to nourish our bodies. These nutrient powerhouses can be grown right on your own countertop in just 3-7 days. The benefits are numerous, and the process is simple and fun. If you are looking for some nutrient-dense, low-calorie foods to add to salads, sandwiches, and stirfries, then you will want to learn the basic steps of sprouting. 

When a seed, grain, or bean, sprouts it breaks down the tough enzyme inhibitors, namely phytic acid, tannins and lectins, which are often responsible for pesky digestive issues. Interestingly, as a result of sprouting, the plant has increased availability of living enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and protein, all while decreasing in calories and carbohydrate content. Sprouting these nutrient-dense seeds makes them even better for you and easier to digest.1 

It is important to first know that not just any seed can be sprouted. You will need to obtain “sprouting” seeds (or grains or legumes), organic preferred. Sprouting seeds can be found in almost any edible plant seed variety, but it is not safe to sprout tomato or potato. Seeds can be sprouted individually, depending on preference, as some are spicy and bold (clover and radish), and some are sweet and crunchy (mung beans and peas). For starters, purchasing sprout mixes are always recommended because they balance the spice, crunch and sweet flavors.

To begin, you only need two items: a jar and a sprouting lid or cheese cloth. Websites and garden stores should carry the appropriate seeds, and while shopping, you also may want to look into buying sprouting kits, which are inexpensive and often worth it.  

Follow these easy steps to get sprouting:

  1. On day one, soak 1-2 tablespoons of seeds in a large jar, overnight. They can grow between 5-30 times their size, so plan ahead. 
  2. Every morning, rinse and drain. Repeat in the evening. 
  3. After each drain, lay the jar on its side on a plate or container to catch any extra water.

You can search for sprouting calendars to see how long the optimal sprouting times are for each seed, or read your mixed-seed package instructions. Generally, within anywhere from 3-7 days, you will have a full jar of beautiful greens.  

If you are looking for the most nutrient-dense, low-calorie food on the planet, sprouts are the answer.

Tiffany is a certified nutrition consultant and functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner and can be reached at (760) 285.1221.

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