Soaking and Sprouting
Raw beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds contain enzyme inhibitors that are normally destroyed with cooking. The nutrients can be released by soaking them (germination) or sprouting them. Germination involves soaking in water for a specific amount of time. Although the recommended germination times vary from 2 hours up to one day, some raw foodists say that soaking overnight is sufficient and more convenient. It’s important to start with dried, raw, preferably organic seeds, beans, legumes, or nuts. Rinse beans, nuts, legumes, or seeds and place in a glass container. Add room temperature purified water to cover and soak at room temperature overnight. Mung beans, however, require a full 24 hours. Rinse a couple of times prior to use.
After germination, seeds, beans, and legumes can be sprouted. After they are drained during the final step of the germination process, place them in a container for sprouting. Leave them at room temperature for the recommended time. The seed, bean, or legume will open and a sprout will grow from it. Rinse the sprouted nuts or seeds and drain well. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Example of Sprouting Alfalfa
GROWING INSTRUCTIONS: Yields approximately 4 Cups (1/2 lb.) of Sprouts
Measure out 2 Tablespoons of seed* Rinse your seeds to remove dust or debris. Soak Transfer your seeds into your Sprouter (if necessary), or a bowl. Add 2-3 times as much cool (60-70 degree) water. Mix seeds up to assure even water contact for all. Allow seeds to Soak for 8-12 hours.
Empty the seeds into your Sprouter (if necessary). Drain off the soak water. You can use it – it has nutrients in it.Rinse thoroughly with cool (60-70°) water. Drain thoroughly. Set your Sprouter anywhere out of direct sunlight and at room temperature (70° is optimal) between Rinses. This is where your sprouts do their growing. We use a counter top – in the corner of our kitchen, but where the sprouter won’t get knocked over by cats, dogs, kids or us. We don’t mind the indirect sunlight or the 150 watts of incandescent light, because light just does not matter much. A plant can only perform photosynthesis when it has leaves. Until a plant has leaves, light has little if any effect. Sprouts also happen to like air-circulation, so don’t hide your sprouts. When leaves do appear, this will be plenty of light for them to green up! Rinse and Drain again every 8-12 hours for 3 days. As long as you grow you have to keep the sprouts happy! Always be sure to Drain very thoroughly. The most common cause of inferior sprouts is inadequate drainage. Even the best designed Sprouting Device holds water, so pay special attention to this step.
On the 4th day relocate your sprouts if necessary. If you’ve been keeping them away from light, move them. Avoid direct sun – it can cook your sprouts. Indirect sunlight is best but virtually any light will do. Experiment – you will be amazed at how little light sprouts require to green up. Photosynthesis is a marvel! Continue to Rinse and Drain every 8-12 hours. Your last Rinse/Drain will be either at the end of day 5 or the start of day 6 Always Drain Thoroughly!
Your sprouts will be done about the end of day 6. The majority of sprouts will have open leaves which will be green. You’ll recognize them. You may De-Hull your sprouts at any time during day 5 or 6. Before your final Rinse; remove the seed hulls. Leafy sprout hulls are not a real concern. They can conceivably lessen the shelf life of your sprouts, but we usually consume them too fast for that to be a concern, so it is, to us, more a matter of aesthetics. We think they look better with their sprout hulls gone – so we remove them thusly: Transfer the sprouts to a big (at least 2 times the volume of your Sprouter) pot or bowl. Fill with cool water. Loosen the sprout mass by pulling it apart with your fingers or a fork. Hulls will rise to the surface. Keep pulling your sprout mass apart and move them around slowly, pulling them down – under the water – to make room for the hulls to rise. Skim the hulls off the surface of the water and compost them. Return the sprouts to your Sprouter for their final Rinse and Drain. You can also use our Dehuller (a small salad spinner with an excellent design that minimizes the sprouts that escape in the dehulling process). That’s the short course – here is the full lesson. Better yet, here is our video on de-hulling.
If you Dehulled using a salad spinner or other method you can go right to refrigeration. If not… Your sprouts are done 8-12 hours after your final Rinse. After the De-Hulling and the final Rinse we need to Drain Very Thoroughly and let our sprouts dry a bit. If we minimize the surface moisture of our sprouts they store much better in refrigeration, so we let them sit for 8-12 hours….Then Transfer the sprout crop to a plastic bag or the sealed container of your choice.
Benefits of sprouts
Sprouts are baby plants in their prime. At this stage of growth they have a greater concentration of proteins, vitamins and minerals, enzymes, RNA, DNA, bio flavonoids, T cells etc than at any other point in the plants life even when compared to the mature vegetable. Sprouts are also always grown organically. Because sprouts are baby plants they have very delicate cell wall which release nutrients very easily. These nutrients are in elemental form and along with the abundance of enzymes they are so easy to digest. Sprouts (baby plants) trap the energy of the sun and convert it to chlorophyll. Eating fresh, live clorophyll rich foods nourishes every cell of our bodies and increases stamina.