Sprouts are a wonderful, nutritious, high protein, low fat addition to a raw lifestyle. There is more protein, ounce for ounce, in sprouts, than in steak. Sprouts have that pleasant "crunch" and are a wonderful replacement for noodles in raw soup, and every bit as satisfying. What's more, they are easily sprouted at home. Once sprouted, the enzyme inhibitors are gone, the fat is used up, and the perfect food is born.
When you buy seeds to sprout, make sure they are not coated with pesticides. Seeds sold for planting purposes most likely will be. Make sure you buy seeds meant to be used as food only.
You don't need fancy sprouters or equipment to sprout. You can use clean mason jars, the kind you use for canning. The lids come in 2 parts, the ring and the disk. Get some plastic canvas at your local craft shop, and cut circles the size of the disk. Put the ring on, and voila, you have a cheap sprouter!
Here';s some to try:
Alfalfa ...one of the most nutritious sprouts known to humankind. Alfalfa has been used for centuries for overall support and rejuvenation. Alfalfa is a rich source of calcium, magnesium phosphorus, iron, potassium and trace minerals, and is one of the biggest plant sources of protein.
Alfalfa contains all eight essential enzymes: lapase to break down fat, amylase, sucrase, which converts cane sugar to dextrose, peroxidase, which is an oxidizing aid for blood, pectinase to digest starches, coagulase to coagulate milk and help to clot blood, emulsion to act on sugars, which helps digestion, and protase to digest proteins. Furthermore, it contains every essential amino acid. Tryptophan 0.3%, Aspartic Acid 2.3%, Threonine 1.0%, Serine 1.0%, Proline 1.2%, Glutamic Acid 2.7% Alanine 1.1%, Glycine 1.1%, Valine 1.0%, Cystine 0.2%, Isoleucine 0.8%, Methionine 0.3%, Phenylalanine 1.0%, Tyrosine 0.5%, Lysine 1.1%, Histadine ).4%, Arginine 1.1%.
Alfalfa also contains: Triacontoanol, Vitamin A (high concentration), Thiamine, Riboflavin, Panatothenic Acid, Niacin, Pyridoxine, Choline, Bentaine, Folic Acid, Co-enzymes, Crude proteins, Minerals: Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Magnesium, Sulphur, Manganese, Iron, Boron, Copper and Zinc. In all, alfalfa sprouts are a tasty powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and live enzymes.
Black popcorn sprouts ... these sprouts taste like a fresh summer ear of corn on the cob- very sweet. (However, you have to remove the seed... it stays hard.) Buy black popcorn at the supermarket. It takes about a week to sprout and grow. Wait until it has blades over an inch long.
Fava beans, broad beans ... when sprouted, these look like lima beans on steroids. These beans have naturally occurring L-dopa, a precursor to dopamine, one of the brain's "feel good" chemicals. These beans can actually relieve pain, anxiety, depression, and they initiate the pituitary gland to produce HGH, which scientists are researching at this moment, as "the fountain of youth." (Production of HGH slows down or stops after adolescence.) It can rebuild tissue, and rejuvenate it as well. After eating them only a few days you may notice clearer and softer skin, stronger fingernails, and less pain. One note of caution though...some people are allergic to favas (like some people are deathly allergic to peanuts). There is a disease called Favism, caused by a lack of an enzyme (G6PD). It is an inherited disease, mostly in people of ancient Greek origins. If you happen to be of ancient Greek origin, there is a blood test that can check for this rare chromosome abnormality.) Fava and broad bean sprouts are similar to soy and mung beans in nutritional analysis.
Fenugreek ...a sweet tasting sprout that smells like butterscotch. Fenugreek is supposedly ideal for those desiring to lose weight and is used as a digestive aid, and even a cancer fighter. Fenugreek contains Vitamins A, B, C, E, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Carotene, Chlorophyll, Phyto-Nutrients - Excellent for Women (Breast Health), Amino Acids, Trace Elements, Digestive enzymes, and Protein: 30%
Garbanzo beans (chic peas )... far superior and sweeter than the canned (cooked, dead) variety. You can buy a bag for a buck at any grocery. Soak them overnight, rinse, and soak again. They will double in size. In a few days, they'll sprout a squiggly tail. You can make raw hummus with them by adding some olive oil and spices. Throw them in raw soups and on salads. (They look a bit like a big, tan pollywog with their squiggly tail...but you can remove the tail so they look more like a bean.) After soaking, keep in the refrigerator, and rinse daily. Garbanzo bean sprouts contain: Vitamins A and C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Amino Acids, and Protein: 20%.
Garlic, onion, chives, leek ... these little sprouts taste like their adult contemporaries -with the flavor turned up - and make a super addition to any salad or raw soup. These beautiful little black seeds produce some of the strongest, most recognizable flavors in the sprout universe. They take longer to grow than any other sprout - from 10 - 15 days. (Freeze seeds before sprouting, they'll sprout better.) These sprouts contain: Vitamins A, B, C and E, Calcium, Chlorophyll, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium, Amino Acids, Trace Elements, and Protein: 20%.
Lentils ...these inexpensive flat little brown beans sprout quickly and taste mildly bean-like. They contain: Vitamins A, B, C and E, Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, and Protein: 25%
Mustard sprouts ...tangy, good at the soaked stage, with a nutty crunch. Mustard sprouts are great for making non-fat, live mustard, and add a nice crunch in raw soups. When mustard sprouts get to the leaf stage, they have a wonderful, spicy flavor. Mustard sprouts contain: Vitamins A, B, C, E and K, Anti-Oxidants, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Carotene, Chlorophyll, Amino Acids, Trace Elements, Antioxidants, and Protein: up to 35%.
Mung bean see Adzuki bean;
Red clover ...a very nutritious sprout that is touted as excellent for menstrual problems. Tender and crisp, red clover is a skinny little sprout, almost identical to Alfalfa in flavor - nutty and mild, but with a lighter green leaf. It sheds its hulls better than alfalfa, and lasts longer in the refrigerator (as a sprout). Red clover contains: Vitamins A, B, C, E and K, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Carotene, Chlorophyll, Amino Acids, Trace Elements, and Protein: up to 35%.
TIP: don't try to sprout watermelon seeds. They are very bitter.
©2005 Raw Food Boot Camp