SEEDS, GRAINS, PULSES
Highly nutritious, sprouted grains, beans, pulses, seeds and legumes are a convenient way to provide fresh, raw “greens” throughout the year.
Easy to grow and economical, these little powerhouses are packed full of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, essential fatty acids and protein. They are significantly higher in protein than their unsprouted counterparts and have less anti-nutrient (phytic acid), a chemical which stops the seeds from germinating and reduces the absorption of minerals in the digestive tract. They are more digestible when sprouted and allergies may be neutral-ised or reduced by sprouting. For example those with a wheat intolerance may find they can eat sprouted wheat groats quite happily!
Usually eaten raw in salads, they can also be added to soups, stir fries, bread and stews or they can be dehydrated and ground into a flour.
Dried beans, pulses, seeds and grains for sprouting must be whole, raw (un-pasteurised) and un-hulled (with the exception of hulled oat groats).
• Use 1 Tablespoon of dried beans/seeds/grain per 2lb jam jar.
• Rinse with clean water to wash off any dust and drain.
• Soak them in at least 3 times their volume of filtered water.
• Cover the top of the jar with muslin and secure with an elastic band.
• Drain off the soaking water and rinse with clean water 4 times.
• Leave the covered (with muslin or a special sprouting lid) jar upside down at an angle, maybe on the draining rack, in a warm, dry place out of direct sunlight.
• Rinse and drain thoroughly several times a day.
• Once sprouted make sure they are thoroughly drained and store in the fridge. Use within one week and rinse occasionally as necessary.
• Your seeds are ready to eat when the sprout produced is the same length as the original seed/bean. Smaller seeds such as chia, will produce sprouts many times their own length.
• See table for length of soaking time and number of rinses per day and harvest time for different sprouts.
• See second table for nutrient content and health benefit of specific beans and seeds
Linseeds need to be grown in a terracotta saucer rather than a jar. Use 2 Tablespoons of linseeds and a cup (250ml) water and just leave the seeds to ab-sorb the water then keep them moist by spraying until they’re sprouted. Harvest after 4 - 6 days.
Chia seeds can be sprinkled on the base of a shallow, wide glass bowl and sprayed with water to start the germination process. Just keep them damp until sprouted. Some sources recommend using a paper towel to sprinkle the seeds on. Another method for sprouting chia seeds is to use a terracotta saucer, soak it in water and stand it in a slightly larger bowl of water so the terracotta continues to absorb water and stays moist. Sprinkle the seeds on the terracotta saucer and keep them moist. Don’t soak the chia seeds.
All sprouting seeds need to be kept out of sunlight, but they don’t need to be in the dark. Some people use a vegetable storage bag to put their saucers in to keep insects and debris out of their linseeds/chia seeds whilst sprouting.
Once the seeds begin to sprout they are ready to harvest, even just a millimetre of sprout indicates that your sprouts can be harvested. Generally grains are harvested with much tinier sprouts than seeds, beans and legumes.
When sprouting beans and seeds you can either harvest them before their tiny green leaves appear or you may choose to put the sprouts in sunlight and grow the leaves on. Sprouts with leaves contain more chlorophyll and less minerals and protein.
To minimize any risk of bacterial infection, store clean, crisp sprouts in the fridge, discard any spoiled sprouts and wash hands before handling them.
There are lots of videos on YouTube about sprouting and using seeds.
Seed Soaking Time Rinses per Day Harvest Time
Aduki 12hr 3 3 - 6 days
Alfalfa 6hr 3 3 - 6 days
Amaranth 2hr 3 2 - 3 days
Barley grains 12hr 3 3 - 4 days
Chick peas 12hr 4 5 - 6 days
Fenugreek 12hr 3 4 - 5 days
Lentils 8hr 3 2 - 5 days
Millet grains 12hr 3 2 - 3 days
Mung beans 12hr 3 2 - 6 days
Pumpkin seeds 12hr 3 3- 4 days
Rice 12hr 3 2 - 3 days
Rye grains 12hr 3 3 - 5 days
Sesame seeds 8hr 3 3 - 4 days
Soya beans 10hr 4 2 - 6 days
Sunflower seeds 12hr 3 2 - 6 days
Wheat grains 12hr 3 2 - 4 days
Tiny seeds with pink sprouts.
High in protein and calcium.
Used in Traditional Japanese medicine to tone kidney-adrenal function
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine the colour black supports kidney function.
All beans support kidney health so these have a super kidney support effect.
Not related to wheat at all but the seed of a rhubarb relative.
Blood tonic, cleansing and strengthening to digestive system and helps to lower blood pressure.
One of the most digestible plant proteins, high in amino acids, minerals and antioxidants and second only to flax and hempseed in ALA content. Used by Native Americans as energy and stamina boosting food. Their high mucilage content makes them a great food for gut health.
High in iron and vitamin C.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine they promote stomach, spleen, pancreatic and heart health.
Along with hempseed they have the highest Omega 3 content in the plant kingdom, in the form of ALA which (in combination with the other Omega 3s DHA and EPA from fish or algae) are essential to the function of heart, brain, joint and immune system health and anti-inflammatory processes.
Rich in phyto-oestrogens, vitamin B1 and copper.
High protein with full amino acid compliment. As well as Omega 3 ALA, they also contain Omega 6 GLA
The only blood alkalising grain. High in amino acids and iron.
Strengthens kidney function.
Contain one of the highest protein contents of all legumes and no sulphur making them easily digestible.
Good source of protein, iron, zinc and Omega 3
Energy building grain.
Higher in calcium than milk, high complete protein.
Use black or brown rather than white. The nutritious hull helps the liver to metabolize their high fat content. Black seeds are higher in nutrients than the brown.
Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to strengthen the kidney.
Sweet Brown Rice
Higher in protein than short grain brown rice.
Strengthening to kidneys and stomach.
High in calcium, iron and protein.
Other seeds which can be sprouted include broccoli, mustard, celery, clover, radish, onion and kale.
Avoid seeds from the Solanaceae (nightshade) family, they may be poisonous.
Nuts cannot be fully sprouted. Soaking for 2 - 12hrs renders them more easily digestible and removes the phytic acid and some nuts, such as almond can be further sprouted to develop little ‘nibs’. Make sure to get un-pasteurised almonds from Spain or Italy. “Raw” almonds from California have been pasteurised. Make sure also they have not been treated with toxic fungicides.