Sprouting seeds, nuts and legumes can dramatically increase the nutritional value of these foods and makes them a lot easier to digest. It is generally easiest to sprout legumes and seeds, and you can sprout any of them; however, mung bean, lentils, great northern beans, flax seeds and chia seeds sprout the easiest/fastest.
While a person can purchase a sprouting kit, the only real equipment you need is a 1 quart mason jar with screw on lid (or rubber band) and some cheesecloth. Here are the basic steps to sprouting:
- Rinse whatever you are going to sprout several times with fresh water and put the legumes/nuts/seeds into the mason jar; fill about 1/4 of the way full.
- Fill the mason jar about 3/4 full with fresh water.
- Let sit overnight.
- Pour out the water and rinse with fresh water; drain. Repeat.
- Put cheesecloth over the top of the jar, holding it down with the elastic band or screw top lid.
- Briefly turn the jar upside down to let any remaining water drain out. Keep the jar upside down at an angle (put a small bowl underneath to catch any remaining water.)
- Within about 24 hours, sprouts will appear.
- Rinse sprouts with fresh water twice daily and drain. Store upside down at an angle to allow any excess water to drain and air to flow into the jar.
- Sprout times vary – 2 days is typical.
- Continue rinsing twice daily until sprouts are at desired length.
- Store sprouts in a clean, uncovered container in the refrigerator; they will stay up to 1 week.
That’s it. This really is one of the easiest things you can do to dramatically improve the nutritional value of your food; in essence, sprouting takes something that was good for you and makes it great for you!