To make things easier we have divided SPROUTS into 4 categories. Have a look at the handy Sprouting Chart that I have cobbled together from my research and put online (print it out and put it up on the fridge to refer to).
1. Leafy Sprouts
Leafy Sprouts cover alfalfa, clover, radish, broccoli, red cabbage, onion, black mustard seed, cress, rocket, mizuna, mibuna and more. These are sprouts that are best eaten raw not cooked. They’re the most nutritious when their first green, cotyledon leaves are appearing – after about 4 to 5 days in the sprouter or jar. In general 1 tablespoon of seeds yields 7 tablespoons of sprouts.1
If you like brassicas such as broccoli, cabbage, cauli, you'll love the sprouted version - if you don't like brassicas you're more likely to enjoy them as sprouts, if for no other reason than - they are so amazingly healthy - full of antioxidants.2
In order for the stronger tasting or peppery hot sprouts to be palatable you need to mix them with a mild sprout like clover or alfalfa. There are some nice mixes or blends of these seeds that make tasty sprout combos.
2. Bean, pea and pulse sprouts
These are essentially just root sprouts. If you were to leave them to sprout leaves they’d be too tough to eat raw. These sprouts can be eaten raw or cooked. In fact if you want to reduce the rather gaseous results of eating beans then sprout them first before you cook. As I said in our last newsletter sprouting helps break down the complex sugars responsible for that, making them easier for us to digest. Sprouts in this category include: pea, chickpea, green, and brown lentils, mung, adzuki bean, raw peanut(which is actually a legume)… All beans can be sprouted and cooked. We’ll have some nice combos available soon.
3. Grain & Pseudograin Sprouts
Grains are a quick sprout, taking as little as 20 minutes, and no more than 2 or 3 days to produce a finished sprout. If you let large grains like Wheat, Barley, Rye, Spelt , etc. grow for several days they produce grass (wheat grass for instance). Sprouts in this grain category can also include Buckwheat, unhulled Sesame, Millet, Amaranth. Grain sprouts are all sweet, though some are sweeter than others. Children tend to love them because of their sweetness, so they are often a child's first positive sprout experience. 3
They can be used in breads, as a cereal, in stir-frys or as a snack - or anything else you can imagine. These sprouts are generally eaten raw and you can include them in a healthy breakfast like I do. Top your sprouts with some fruit & nuts, milk or cream and a sweetener or fruit juice.
4. Nuts and other seeds
These should really be called ‘soaks’, because you soak them, but don’t actually go as far as sprouting them. Almonds, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, sunflower seeds (which can also sprout), and whatever other whole nut you want to soak are in this grouping. These swell after a day or so and the essential nutrients within the seed begin to be activated and are more easily digested.
Remember, you don't have to be fanatical, just wise.
- The Sproutpeople website, www.sproutpeople.org
- Karin Puttner, Nutrition Awareness: Ten Steps to Healthy Eating, p43