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Sprouts! They’re some of nature’s miracle foods.

Through the magic of photosynthesis, foods with the capability of germinating (seeds, nuts, grains, peas, legumes and beans), when sprouted, offer a vast array of micro- and macro-nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and protein, in excess of the nutritional profile of the un-sprouted food. Furthermore, many such sprouts (particularly of grains, beans and legumes) are more easily digested than their dried counterparts.

Alfalfa spouts have been a mainstay of sandwiches since the health-food 70s, and mung bean sprouts are a familiar addition to much Asian food, but did you know that you can sprout rice? Lentils? Even sesame seeds!!

Sprouting has its limits and detractors. For starters, there are some foods that should not be sprouted; most large beans contain unhealthy chemicals that are destroyed through cooking, but many of those chemicals persist and make their sprouts mildly toxic. Some adherents to raw foodism, fruitarianism, and various other natural food philosophies believe that either a) most/all sprouts contain toxins, even those found safe by nutritional science, and b) sprouts are indigestible, and interfere with the purification pursued by food purists.

However, many of us pursuing better health and a more full spectrum of nutrient consumption include, or would like to include, sprouts in our diets. But if you don’t have a health food or raw food restaurant nearby, where do you start? Luckily, there are lots of great resources on the web to help you get started, including the link at top (to Wikipedia), the awesome video, and several websites and communities that can get you set up with the right ingredients and methods.

I got started sprouting lentils, mung beans, sesame seeds, and red rice with just the ingredients and supplies in my kitchen! And a bit of (indirect) natural light of course. Sprouts are fun for kids, a great plant-based source of protein, a satisfying addition to salads and a way to boost your raw food consumption.

I do a raw food day one day a week, usually on Monday. So on Friday night, I rinse and pick over ¼ cup of brown lentils or mung beans and 1/8 cup of red rice (separately). I then place them in two separate mason jars full of water, which I refrigerate overnight. Then I rinse again, drain well in separate sieves, and replace in the (dried) jars and leave them covered on the counter in my kitchen. I turn the jars a couple of times a day so that the same seeds aren’t sitting all day in the tiny bit of condensation, and I ‘rinse and repeat’ morning and night until the sprouts are well-started, at which point I refrigerate.


How To Sprout Beans – from WildHealthFood.com*

Sprouting Forum – at RawFoodSupport.com – I post there as Seabucktho*

Information, recipes, and supplies – from San Francisco’s SproutPeople.com*


*I have personally found these resources helpful, but they are not the only resources on the net.

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