Petra Nicoll

Lake Oswego, OR 97034

Tel: 541-543-9820​​​

petra@petranicoll.com

www.petranicoll.com

© 2018 by Petra Nicoll, LLC,  Intuitive Coach/Author

RThe Art of Sproutings

The Art of Sprouting

You’ve probably visited restaurants that serve a handful of sprouts over salads or buddha bowls, or maybe you’ve purchased a container yourself at the grocery store. Sprouts are nutrition powerhouses and you may not have realized how easy they are to grow at home! Using our How to Sprout Guide, you’ll be a pro at growing, harvesting and eating fresh sprouts in no time.

What are Sprouts?

 

The foundation of sprouts is the seed. Each seed holds vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in reserve, awaiting the suitable environment to begin growing. When we provide air, water, and the appropriate temperature, a miracle begins. The seed germinates, it begins to sprout an incredible flow of energy is released. Natural chemical changes occur, such as:

 

  • Enzymes are activated, which are necessary for food digestion.

  • Proteins convert to free amino acids – the building blocks of our bodies.

  • Starches change to simple sugars.

  • Minerals combine to increase assimilation.

  • Vitamin content increases from three to 12 or more times.

  • Chlorophyll and carotene content increase dramatically when exposed to sunlight

 

 

The health benefits of sprouts are numerous, including improved digestion and nutrient-absorption. They are also a rich source of antioxidants, making them great for the immune system and a wunderful addition to any anti-inflammatory diet. Emerging evidence also shows that sprouts may have anti-tumor effects and have the potential to inhibit cancers in the breastprostate, and bladder.

 

Homegrown sprouts are remarkably inexpensive and easy to grow!

 

What Can I Sprout?

 

  • Beans

  • Legumes

  • Nuts

  • Seeds

  • Grains

 

How Can I Use Sprouts?

 

  • Add to salads.

  • Put them into sandwiches (extra points if you can make one without bread!).

  • Add to soups after the soup has been cooked.

  • Blend in with your smoothiesalad dressings, dips, and sauces.

  • Enjoy as a snack.

  • Bake into your favorite burger patty or meatloaf.

 

 

 

HOW TO SPROUT GUIDE

 

 

Method 1: The Soak and Sieve Method

 

Good for: Mung beans, chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, buckwheat

 

You will need:

 

  • Container to soak beans/lentils/peas in

  • Sieve

  • Towel

 

Directions:

 

  • Soak beans/lentils/peas of choice overnight.

  • Rinse thoroughly in a sieve.

  • Leave in the sieve over a bowl.

  • Rinse twice per day, once in the morning, once in the evening, then cover with a towel.

  • Watch them sprout away!

 

Method 2: The Saggy Sack Method

Good for: Alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, sprouts cabbage sprouts, clover sprouts

 

You will need:

 

  • Mason jar

  • Nut sack or cheesecloth (available at health foods stores and hardware stores – and they have multiple uses)

  • Seed/lentil of choice

  • Food-grade hydrogen peroxide (to prevent mold growth, optional)

 

 

Directions:

  • Add 1-2 Tbsp of seeds to the nut sack, then place the sack in a mason jar.

  • Fill jar with water, making sure all beans/seeds are covered.

  • Allow to let sit like this for 12-24 hours.

  • After some time, drain out the water and rinse the seeds.

  • Leave the nut sack and seeds hanging in the empty jar.

  • Rinse your sproutlings twice a day. Each time you rinse them, rinse several times, then leave to drain.

  • If using food-grade hydrogen peroxide, add 1/2 tsp to the water and let sit for five minutes before rinsing several times. This helps prevent mold growth.

  • When ready, keep sprouts refrigerated and rinse daily.

 

 Method 3: The Micro-Farm Method

 

Good for: Pea sprouts, sunflower sprouts, wheatgrass

 

You will need:

 

  • A pan or casserole dish

  • Organic sprouting seeds of choice

  • Organic soil

     

 

Directions:

  • Line a casserole dish or pan with approximately two inches of organic soil.

  • Sprinkle a handful of seeds on top, then cover with another inch of soil.

  • Spritz with a little bit of water every day.

  • After 4-5 days, you will have sprouts! When you’re ready to use them, trim them with scissors.

     

Some of Our Favourite Sprouts

We like the sprouts below because they are rich in protein, high in Vitamins A, C, E and K, and rich in minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

  • Alfalfa Sprouts

  • Broccoli Sprouts

  • Chickpea Sprouts

  • Lentil Sprouts

  • Pea Sprouts

  • Mung Bean Sprouts

  • Red Clover Sprouts

 

How to Buy + Select Sprouting Seeds

If you want to learn how to sprout, you need to start with good seeds – without them, your sprouts won’t grow. Look for sprouting seeds that are raw, as cooked or toasted seeds will prevent sprouting. Buy seeds that have not been irradiated, which destroys essential nutrients.

Aim to buy seeds that are fresh – bulk buying isn’t the best option here. Purchase sprouting seeds in small quantities (you don’t need much, as 1-2 tbsp makes a lot of sprouts) and buy them more frequently if you are making lots of sprouts. Finally, we like to choose sprouts that are organic to avoid any chemicals or pesticides.

Many people find they cannot tolerate grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes, or products such as bread, cakes, or bean dishes made from them. Do you suffer from indigestion, flatulence, heaviness and other maladies after eating them?

 

Grains/seeds and legumes/beans contain enzyme inhibitors, which keep them dormant until they are soaked and start to sprout. They also contain phytic acid (an organic acid in which Phosphorous is bound) in the outer layer of bran, and a variety of toxins to protect them from being eaten by mammals, including humans.

 

These enzyme inhibitors, phytic acid, and other toxins make dry grains, seeds, and legumes indigestible. Phytic acid also reacts with many essential minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc, and stops their absorption in your intestines.

 

Early humans did not evolve with grains or legumes as part of their diet. It is only in the last 10,000 years since the advent of agriculture,  humans have started to eat them. I emphasize that grains and legumes are a "New Food" and that the human body has not fully adapted to digesting them. No other primates eat them.

 

Soaking neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors present in dry grains, seeds, and legumes, and starts the production of numerous beneficial enzymes. As they soak, enzymes, Lactobacilli, and other helpful organisms break down and neutralize the phytic acid. As little as seven hours soaking in water removes most of the phytic acid. Soaking, fermenting and sprouting also breaks down gluten and other difficult-to-digest proteins into simpler components that are more easily absorbed. However, not all toxins are removed, with wheat and some legumes (see below) being the worst affected.

A diet with grains or legumes that have not been sprouted or soaked can lead to serious mineral deficiencies, bone loss, and digestive problems such as reflux, bloating, food allergies, irritable bowel, and other forms of weak digestion.

 

Bread and other products made from flour that has not been risen or soaked for at least seven hours have a similar effect. Most commercial bread, pastries, biscuits etcetera, are made from un-soaked flour.

 

Commercially baked bread made from milled dry grains and fast-acting yeast is prepared and baked in less than a few hours. No Lactobacilli are involved, only one strain of yeast is used, and the conditions are not suitable for neutralizing enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. Breads are hard to digest.

 

The toxins in many legumes do not appear in their sprouts. Sprouts are a living, enzyme-rich food, natural and low in calories. Their vitamin A content will usually double, various B group vitamins will be 5-10 times higher, and vitamin C will increase by a similar order. Their protein content becomes easily digestible, and rich new nutrients such as enzymes and phytochemicals are created. They contain significant amounts of bio-available calcium, iron, and zinc.