Sprouting Dear friends, In our shop we are coming across many customers who know that sprouts are "good for you" but do not know why and how to sprout. Here is an article about sprouting taken from the "Life Science Course" THE SPROUTING GARDEN A sprout is a germinating seed. It is the tiny shoot that emerges from the seed, the first visible evidence of the materials stored within the seed, programmed to create life. Sprouting is fun; it is exciting to watch the growth into vitamin-, mineral-, and protein-rich green vegetables, loaded with enzymes and chlorophyll. As the tiny seeds multiply in volume, a wonderful salad ingredient, with an abundance of vitamin A, B & C is being grown. Alfalfa sprouts are also a splendid source of vitamins D, E, G, K & U. vitamin C is especially high in lentil and mung bean sprouts after 3 days. However lentil sprouts should be harvested when the sprout is no longer than the seed, while mung bean sprouts should be allowed to grow long enough to produce green leaves. The sprouted seed contains far more vitamins than the dry seed, multiplying dramatically through the sprouting period. Research at American universities showed phenomenal increases in Vitamin C as sprouting progressed, and an increase in Vitamin C even during storage in the refrigerator. Riboflavin, niacin, and other B vitamins were also increased during sprouting. It was found that the total Vitamin B content is increased 100% during the sprouting process. Sprouts are also noted for their high-enzyme activity. During germination, proteins are broken down into amino acids and some new proteins are synthesized. During sprouting much of the starch is converted to natural sugars. In many seeds, fats disappear and are replaced by carbohydrates, improving tremendously the digestibility of sprouts over seeds. Phytic acid in whole grains is antagonistic to the absorption by the body of calcium, iron and other minerals. Soaking and sprouting neutralizes the phytic acid, so sprouted grains not only provide increased nutrients, but elimination of the threat of phytic acid also. Alfalfa seeds, sunflower seeds, mung beans, adzuki beans and lentils are the easiest to sprout. Garden peas, soybeans, chickpeas wheat and rye may also be sprouted. Most whole nuts, seeds and beans as well as grains may be sprouted, although shelled nuts are difficult, sometimes impossible to sprout. All sprouts may be eaten raw and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Sprouted beans, raw or cooked, are less gassy than unsprouted beans, which of course, must be cooked. Eat sprouts from rye, wheat or other grain in 24 hours or so, when but a short sprout is showing. ( Grain sour easily ) Harvest sunflower seeds when sprouts are no longer than seeds, preferably even shorter. Eat lentils in 2 or 3 days, sprout no more than 1 tablespoon at a time. Chickpeas & Soyabean sprouts are especially high in protein but are not easy to work with. Rinse frequently to preclude souring, say, 4x per day or more if weather is hot. Lentil sprouts are also high in protein and much easier to handle. Mung beans are easy to handle and will be ready in about 4 days. Alfalfa sprouts will also take about 4 days. If you would like to try your hand at sprouting start with the easiest ones: alfalfa, sunflower seeds, mung beans adzuki beans and lentils. Soak your beans or seeds overnight then put in a jar. Put some cotton cloth over the mouth of the jar and secure with a rubber band. Rinse the sprouts then turn the jar upside down to get rid of all the water. Put in a darkish place in your kitchen, not too far from the zinc. Rinse 3 to 4 times a day, depending on the temperature. When the sprouts are ready for harvesting, they should be allowed to drain on a paper towel, in full daylight ( to absorb chlorophyll ) before storing. They will keep longer if stored slightly moist as opposed to wet. Spoiling may be caused by soaking too long, not rinsing enough ( allowing the seeds to dry ), bad drainage ( we like using the 4 tier sprouters available at health food stores). Happy Sprouting and wishing you wellness, The Crazy Nut Team.