My best friend (the one my husband calls the crazy vegan one, even though strictly speaking she is neither) used to do a lot of sprouting in varsity digs. It was the easiest way to ensure a constant supply of fresh, healthy food to combat all the damage we were doing to our systems with binge drinking. It was cheap too (very NB to students, so we could drink more).
We looked at it as insurance on our livers. Sproutsurance, if you will. Yes, even in our immature, alcohol-befuddled state, we recognized that sprouts are good for us. I suppose our thought process went something like this: they’ve got to be healthy – I mean, they’re still frickin’ ALIVE, man!
Thing is, we were right. Because sprouted seeds are “living” food (a term borrowed from Peter and Beryn Daniel’s health food book Rawlicious), they have a higher nutritional content. Sprouted food is apparently also easier for the body to digest, taking less strain on our bodies and freeing up energy for other physical and mental processes.
I like the way the Rawlicious team looks at it: “sprouting is not just about growing your own food – it’s about re-establishing a communication with the plant world and also the earth. It’s about re-connecting to your own creative ability and taking the time in a day to do something truly supportive for yourself.”
How to sprout
There are several commercial sprouting devices available in health shops and online (Healthmakers online store offers a nice selection). If you don’t have one of these clever gimmicks, here’s what you’ll need:
- An empty glass jar
- A clean piece of gauze, mesh, cheesecloth or one of those disposable cleaning cloths
- A rubber band
- Seeds to sprout (go wild with experimenting. Common ones are alfalfa, mung beans, radish/onion seeds, lentils and chickpeas. You can get all these and more at health food shops.)
My sprouters ready to go. The seeds are (from left): alfalfa, mung beans, lentils.
In the evening, place a handful of seeds into the jar and cover with water. Secure the gauze over the top of the jar with the rubber band.
In the morning, drain the seeds, rinse them and drain again. Leave upside down on your draining rack all day.
Repeat this process for a few days, until they grow a little tail and maybe a couple of tiny green leaves.
How to eat them
Add to salads, sarmies and stir-fries. Garnish everything. Larger sprouts make a decent snack on their own.
Has Veggietot Mom still got what it takes?
What will happen overnight? Will Veggietot Mom’s green fingers let her down? Watch this space to find out…