From kombucha to kimchi, fermented and sprouted foods are taking over the food world. This healthy trend has been around for generations—humans have been eating ‘live foods’ for centuries, even before modern times. Sprouting is the process by which grains and seeds are germinated for digestive and nutritional benefit. By activating dormant elements within food by way of germination, proteins, vitamins, and antioxidants become accessible to the human body.
It is very easy to sprout your own foods at home, as long as you pay attention to avoid bad bacteria growth. Most whole grains and seeds are ideal to sprout, and can be done so under certain temperature and humidity conditions. Plus, this activity is an ideal experiment for kids to watch and learn about the seeding process!
How to Sprout Foods
Firstly, make sure you are using a grain or seed in its raw state. If what you are trying to sprout has been treated in any sort of way (i.e. toasting, hulling, flaking, etc.) you will not get a successful result. Pick out any abnormal-looking grain or seed by sorting through your supply.
Rinse with water. Place grains/seeds in a jar and cover with water, about 2-3 inches. The jar needs to be secure from pests, but the gases produced by this fermentation process will need some air to breathe. Be sure to purchase a sprouting jar lid with holes or fit cheesecloth over the lid and secure with a rubber band. Let grains/seeds soak in water overnight, or at least 24 hours, in a cool and dark place.
Drain and rinse grains/seeds well and return to the jar. They should be moist, but not wet or sitting in water. Cover and set aside for another 24 hours. Repeat rinsing process. Be sure to keep an eye on any bacterial growth, and keep the sprouts as clean as possible.
Rinse grains/seeds twice a day for 2-3 days, or until you see little ‘tails’ coming out. If you keep the process up longer, you will eventually start to see small leaves growing from the sprout. Sprouts will eventually be too large to maintain, so be sure to eat them before they go bad!
Eating Sprouted Foods
You can use these sprouted foods in salads, sandwiches, soups or other recipes. Read on for more recipes on incorporating these superfoods into your diet!
Capture the flavors of the West Coast in this veggie-full sandwich, starring your favorite sprout. Substitute your home-grown sprouts in this sandwich for the most feel-good recipe of all time. Get the recipe.
Sprouted snacks are the way to go! Blend sprouted chickpeas or other legumes into rich, creamy hummus- ideal for snacking. Get the recipe.
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