Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Sprouts 101

A sprout is produced when a seed starts growing into a plant. Sprouts have very high levels of disease-preventing phytochemicals and they contribute to better health, from prevention to treatment of life-threatening diseases. You can make sprouts out of any seeds - green mung beans, garbanzo beans, moth, alfalfa, radish etc. Infact, sprouts are the only thing that can be grown any season, anywhere. You don't need any fancy equipment and it is very simple to make sprouts. They can be eaten raw or cooked into delicious meals.

Many of my early attempts at making sprouts resulted in absolute failure resulting in stinky sprouts that had to be thrown away. One of my net-friends (A fairy, actually!) told me how she makes it. I tried it and there was no going back. It is the most easiest and non-stressful way to make sprouts without any fancy equipments. All you need is -> A glass bowl or a plastic bowl that is see-through and -> a sieve or a meshcloth

The Method of Sprouting:
Wash the seeds to be sprouted and soak it in water for about 8 hrs or overnight. Drain the water in the morning and wash it once again. Cover it with a fine sieve and leave it alone. Every 2-3 hrs, pour some water into the glass bowl (through the sieve) and rinse and then drain it. This prevents drying and mold formation, that's invisible to the eyes. Well, I don't do it every 2-3 hrs. I do it whenever I see it, say about 2-3 times a day. The glass bowl usually rests in the place where I cannot ignore it. The sieve makes it easy to pour water, rinse and drain away. After another 5-8 hrs (depending on the warmth, humidity, light and seeds), the sprouts are ready to consume. Use it right away or store airtight in the refrigerator, for later use.
NOTE : Never use hot water or warm water to wash or soak the seeds. You are killing the seeds that way.
Happy sprouting!
Adding some more nutrition information I learnt recently from the website.
Longer sprouts have more vitamin C. Sprouting has other benefits too. The iron in pulses is largely bound to phytates, compounds that render iron unavailable for absorption. Sprouting breaks this bond, and the iron is readily utilised in the body, especially since the vitamin C also present creates the right environment for absorption. Maltose or malt sugar, a more easily digestible form of carbohydrate, is formed only when grains and pulses are allowed to germinate. Also, proteins are available as amino acids, the fundamental units of all proteins. Sprouting of whole grams is routine in parts of India like Maharashtra, reflecting the sensible eating habits of our people.


sailu said...

That's a good post on sprouting,Kay.Happy New Year!

Lera said...

Kay, you have a very nice & descriptive blog which makes sprouting all the more appealing!

Kay said...

Thanks Sailu and Lera. I enjoy visiting your blogs. Happy New Year to you too.

Lera, I'll see if I can find the recipe for 'Asokha'. It must be somewhere here.

Garam Masala said...

Hi there Kay,

You have a great blog here... I love your no-food/food related entries too.. Also I love how you are into healthy cooking (like the Karela Chips)

I have been trying to sprout black eye beans for the past three days without luck... I finally gave up and cooked it as usual due to fears of it going bad...
Have you tried sprouting those?

Kay said...

Thanks Garam Masala, Yes, I do like to cook healthy.

I havent tried sprouting black eyed beans yet. I do like chowli/lobia. Hmmmm, I'll try that and let you know how it turns out.

Kay said...

Garam masala, I tried sprouting black eyed beans and it just sprouted fine. I made chowli out of it and taste was just great as usual. I forgot to take a picture though.

RP said...

Thank you for posting this Kay. I made some sprouts today. I have posted the picture.

Anonymous said...

I didnt quitely understand the method of sprouting. Could u pls reply me abt this.
Shd we keep the seeds in the glass bowl and put a mesh or sieve on the bowl to cover it or shd we put the seeds on the sieve/mesh container.
Thanks. Hoping to receive ur reply.

Kay said...

Anonymous, The bowl can be made of glass or plastic (preferably glass) and use a sieve to cover this on top. You can pour water through the sieve and rinse the sprouts, as often as you like and drain it using the sieve.