From Antivist

Sprouts are great to eat for everyday living and especially so in an emergency situation. Typical foods set aside for storage are traditionally low or nonexistent in vitamin C and many of the B vitamins. Yet it is exciting to know the seeds from those same storage foods can be sprouted to give a rich source of these important nutrients. Sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C and also contain many good B vitamins. And you probably won't find a less expensive way to get these vitamins than from low calorie sprouts. Green leafy sprouts are also a good source of vitamin A. Sprouts are a good source of fiber, protein, and contain enzymes that aid digestion. In addition, sprouting destroys the seed's natural preservative enzymes that inhibit digestion.


Different kinds of seeds you can sprout:

(This list gives the popularly sprouted seeds and is not all enclusive as you can sprout any kind of seed.)

Generally eaten raw
Alfalfa, radish, mung bean, sunflower, clover, cabbage.
Generally cooked
Kidney, Pinto and other miscellaneous beans.
Eaten raw or cooked
Lentils, Soy beans, green peas and wheat. (In addition, all the sprouts that are generally eaten raw can be easily cooked.)
Alfalfa, one of the most popular sprouts, is a good source of vitamins A, B, C, D, E, F, and K and is rich in many minerals, as well as many enzymes needed for digestion.
sprouts are high in vitamin C and potassium and have a rich flavor.
wheat is high in Vitamins B, C, and E and has three times the vitamin E of dry wheat. Wheat also has many minerals.
Mung Beans
These sprouts should be sprouted under pressure to produce long and juicy sprouts. Mung bean sprouts are an excellent source of protein, vitamin C, A and E, along with many minerals.
Green Pea
sprouts are rich in many of the B vitamins and vitamin C. Green pea sprouts make a rich addition to any green salad.
An extremely rich source of protein and vitamins A, B, C and E. Soybeans are rich in minerals and lecithin. They can be sprouted under pressure like mung beans.
Kidney beans, pinto beans and miscellaneous beans
They are a good source of vitamin C, many of the B vitamins and many minerals. Sprouting these beans also changes their indigestible carbohydrates to digestible carbohydrates thereby greatly reducing the intestinal gas they otherwise cause.
Rich in protein, vitamin C and the B vitamins. They have a mild ground pepper flavor.
Makes a great salad green. High in vitamins A, B, C and D.
Rich in vitamins B, D, and E, many minerals, and Linoleic Acid, the W6 EFA.
Do Not eat tomato or potato sprouts as they are poisonous.

Growing Sprouts

Sprouts are easy to produce and require no special equipment or knowledge. All that is required to produce sprouts is seeds, moisture, warmth, darkness and maybe 10 minutes of your time every day. Methods vary from high tech production to something as simple as quart jar or a cloth covered pan. Perhaps the simplest method is to take your seeds, place them in a quart jar, and cover them with water to start the process.

Seed amounts to use per quart jar

  • 1/2 Cup Seeds: Wheat, All Beans, Rye, Oats, Rice, Sunflower, Lentil, Hulled Buckwheat, and Garbanzo Beans.
  • 2 Tablespoons: Alfalfa, radish, clover, cabbage.

Be aware that seeds soak up 2 or 3 times their dry volume in water. After they have absorbed all the water they are going to absorb (2-12 hours depending on the size of the seed), drain the water off, rinse them, and put them in a dark, warm place, with the bottle upside down and tipped up against a corner so water can drip out. Of course you need to put something under the bottle to catch the dripping water. Use a lid that permits air to move in and out of the jar. You can use a thin cloth, a nylon stocking, or anything you have that's handy. Fasten it down around the opening of the jar using an elastic or bottle ring. After the seeds have stopped draining, if you are sprouting very small seeds like alfalfa, cabbage or radish seeds, roll the bottle, coating the outer wall of the bottle with seeds. Leave the bottle on it's side in the dark. Room temperature is best for growing sprouts, around 70 degrees F. Rinse the seeds twice a day, being sure to drain them well. (Do not neglect to rinse them. They will sour and be useless.) Within two days your seeds should begin sprouting.

For sprouts you are going to cook, let the sprout grow only as long as the seed. For sprouts you will eat raw (except wheat) let them grow up to 2-3 inches. Expose mature alfalfa, wheatgrass, buckwheat or sunflower sprouts to indirect sunlight for 4-5 hours. As they turn dark green their vitamin A content dramatically increases. (This is an important step, for if you don't, your sprouts will have only about 1 percent of this vitamin's RDA. Don't expose bean sprouts to sunlight as this will give them an unpleasant bitter taste.) When your sprouts have grown to the desired length, rinse them again, then put them in a sealed container with something to absorb the water on the bottom and store them in the refrigerator.

Using your sprouts

After sprouts reach their peak, they immediately begin to loose their vitamin C. Because of this, don't attempt to store sprouts longer than a week. Only grow small quantities of sprouts that can be used in a short period of time. If you plan on getting many of your vitamins from sprouts, it would be a good idea to have one or two small batches of sprouts growing all the time.

Cook sprouted beans using the same recipes you normally use. Sprouted beans cook in 2/3rds the time of unsprouted beans. Heat kills a percentage of the vitamins and enzymes gained by sprouting, so simmer or steam slowly depending on your recipe, and don't cook longer than necessary.

You can sprout a mixture of seeds to make great green salads all by themselves. You can also use raw sprouts in just about anything:

  • Blended in drinks.
  • Added to bean or lettuce salads.
  • Mixed with already cooked breakfast cereals.
  • Wrapped in tortilla or taco shells and smothered in your favorite sauce.
  • Added to soups and stews just before eating.
  • Sprout filled Won Tons.
  • Put into sandwiches.

Raw sprouts are so versatile that they can also be thrown into just about anything then cooked, such as:

  • Breads and biscuits.
  • Soups.
  • Pancakes.
  • Eggs and omelets.
  • Oatmeal or cracked wheat.
  • Sauces.
  • Mexican or Chinese foods.
  • Potato Patties.
  • Casseroles.
  • Dips.
  • Meatloaf.
  • Any vegetable.
  • Stir fried all by themselves.
  • Even desserts. Really, the sky's the limit.

When cooking sprouts, it is better to steam or stir fry them than to boil them and discard the water. You only lose 20-30 percent of the vitamin C compared to 60 percent.

How much sprouting seed you should store and tips on purchasing

It is suggested that if you plan to get all your vitamins from sprouts alone, that you store up to 125 lbs of a variety of seeds per year per person. If you have other sources for your vitamins, it is suggested you have 30 lbs of seeds set aside for sprouts to be eaten raw, and 30 lbs of sprouts intended to be cooked per year per person.

Many specialty companies exist that deal exclusively in sprout seed. Usually these seeds cost several times more than other seeds of the same type. One study shows that mung beans sold exclusively for sprouting cost 4.5 times more than regular mung beans. Yet 99 percent of the time the cheaper seed will sprout and grow as quickly as the more expensive seed. It is the web page author's opinion that it is a waste of money to buy 'sprouting seed' over regular seed. Before purchasing a large amount of storage seed intended for sprouting, purchase a small amount and test it to see if it sprouts well.

Do not attempt to store your sprouting seed for more than 5 years unless it is stored in a cool (at least 60-65 degrees F) dry place. If you are storing large seed, it may be packed in the absence of oxygen. Seed may last up to 15 years stored in this way. As your seeds get old they will take longer to sprout, and you will progressively get more seeds that won't sprout. The key again is rotate, rotate, rotate.

Use several different kinds of sprouts to find what you like before purchasing a large quantity of seed. Do not purchase seeds intended for anything except human consumption. Many seeds processed by farmers and gardeners for planting have been treated with fungicide and or insecticide agents and are very poisonous. These seeds are usually, but not always dyed red. If in doubt, ask.



What's the best way to get super nutrition?

Did you know that your body doesn't crave calories...it craves nutritious foods! When you eat nutrient-dense foods like whole grains, legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables, your body quickly gets what it needs to burn for fuel and to build healthy cells, signaling you to stop eating long before you've eaten enough to make you full. But what if there are no fresh fruits and vegetables? What if you get caught without any way of cooking your food? Would you like to know what to store that doesn't require any cooking?

Especially during periods of hot weather, wouldn't you just love to know that you could serve your family a nutritious meal you didn¹t have to cook? Just think ­ no dirty pots and pans, and no more standing over a hot stove!

It takes only 2 days to grow a fresh supply of food - the most nutritious food on earth! According to Gary Harrison, Ready Foods 2000, sprouted broccoli seed has 10 times the nutrition of the plant. That means I can get the nutrients I need from far less food....and from far fewer calories. It could be the next miracle weight-loss program... The Emergency Slim-Down Diet!

Sprouts to the rescue!

   "Sprouts grow practically anywhere; flourish in any climate, during any season of the year; need neither soil nor sunshine; are ready for harvest in 2-5 days; taste delicious raw or cooked; have no waste; and are so nutritious that they are one of the most complete foods known to man, rivaling meat in protein and citrus fruits in vitamin C at a fraction of the cost." (Northrup King Co., Consumer Products Division)

Growing a "garden" of sprouts requires much less effort than traditional outdoor or window gardens. Rinsing and draining several different kinds of sprouts takes only about 15 minutes a day and can provide a large variety of fresh vegetables not available in markets...and all for just pennies a day. So, stock up now and get ready for a deliciously unique experience.

Why sprout?

Sprouts add enzymes and enzymes heal the body, aid in digestion, and take the gas out of beans!

Sprouts are valuable sources of vitamins, minerals and proteins. Vitamins and minerals increase from 13-600% during sprouting.

Leafy green sprouts contain cancer-fighting chlorophyll, as well as Vitamin A and protein.

Sprouts are low in calories. Nutrients increase as sprouts grow in bulk, but calories remain the same.

Sprouts are a low-calorie source of fiber, an important factor in avoiding colon cancer and many other diseases.

Sprouts provide cheap food! A 15-ounce can of cooked beans contains about 4 oz. of dry beans. Sprouting 4 oz. yields over 1 1/2 pounds!

How much to store?

The Benson Institute at Brigham Young University, in their booklet Having Your Food Storage and Eating It, Too, suggests that 370 quarts of pickled, canned, or bottled fruits and vegetables should be stored for one person for one year. (BYU Press, Provo, Utah, 84602) This is roughly 1 lb. per day per person. Does this sound like a lot? It is! For a family of 5, this would amount to 1,850 quart jars of produce each year! Few people have access to that much produce, let alone that much storage space.

Because the volume of dry beans, peas, lentils and other seeds increases at least three to four times during the soaking and sprouting process, you would only need to store 125 pounds per person of a variety of seeds that can be sprouted and eaten raw, for fresh salads and greens, or cooked.

If you're one of the lucky few who has a fairly good supply of canned, bottled or dehydrated fruits and vegetables stored, then consider storing the following amounts for variety and better nutrition and essential enzymes:

   40 pounds per person of seeds to be used in salads or as salad greens (sunflower, pumpkin, pea, alfalfa, barley, clover, buckwheat, lentil, radish, adzuki, garbanzo, quinoa, wheat, oat, and mung bean)
   40 lbs. per person of seeds to sprout and use in cooking (mung, lentil, garbanzo, pinto, pink, black, kidney, small white, navy, lima, soy, etc.)

It is important to try a wide variety of sprouts and the experiment with different methods of preparing them so you will know what types your family enjoys and which ones to store. Because sprouts are such a good source of nutrition, I use them to supply necessary nutrients and consider most of the rest of our foods merely enjoyable "bulk."

In addition to bottled and dehydrated fruits and vegetables, I store the following quantities of seeds for sprouts to be eaten raw:

   * sprouting barley - 25 lbs.
   * rye - 15 lbs.
   * mung beans - 30 lbs.
   * quinoa - 20 lbs.
   * whole oats - 10 lbs.
   * alfalfa - 15 lbs.
   * peas - 10 lbs.
   * lentils - 30 lbs.
   * clover - 20 lbs.
   * sunflower - 60 lbs.
   * whole buckwheat - 35 lbs.

For sprouts to be cooked, I store:

   * Lentils - 30 lbs.
   * Garbanzo Beans - 50 lbs.
   * Pinto Beans - 50 lbs.
   * Navy or Small White Beans - 50 lbs.
   * Soy Beans - 25 lbs.
   * Mung Beans - 40 lbs.
   * Kidney Beans - 20 lbs.

Storing seeds

Seeds should be frozen or stored in a cool, dry place in air-tight containers. Vacuum sealed or nitrogen treated seeds store the longest, with a shelf life of up to 15 years. Do not use tomato or potato sprouts, or any treated seeds (usually found in the gardening section), as they are extremely poisonous. Use only untreated seeds intended for human consumption.

How long to store seeds

There is a controversy raging about how to best store sprouting seeds. Some say "sprouting seeds need to 'breathe.' If they are stored too long in an oxygen-free environment they smother because they create their own carbon dioxide." How long is too long to store seeds without oxygen? Some people say 2 years is too long.

Recently, I tested 30-year old wheat that was stored using the dry ice method of eliminating oxygen. At the same time, I also tested 15-year old lentils packed with nitrogen. That's a long time without oxygen! The wheat and lentils both sprouted in only 2 days, with almost 100% germination!

However, I was unsuccessful in sprouting seeds stored in a glass jar for only 3 years. The key seems to be whether or not the seed will sprout when it is first purchased. To be safe, buy a small amount and test the seed before purchasing and storing large quantities.

What about bugs?

One reason for taking out the air in stored foods is to prevent weevil and other crawley things from living in them and eating more than their share so that you end up with only hulls and carcasses.

The safest, most effective pest control for grains and small seeds that will be used for sprouting is to add diatomaceous earth (2 1/2 Tbsp. per gallon) while filling containers to distribute evenly and coat ALL the seeds. Merely pouring the powder on top and trying to stir it in does not work.

Diatomaceous earth is a white, powdery substance made up of the interior spiny skeleton of small marine creatures whose soft body parts have decomposed, leaving the remaining skeletons that accumulate on the ocean floor over thousands of years. Geological processes bring these layers to the surface where they can be mined and used for filtering systems and pest control.

It does not produce a change in taste and it is not nutritionally harmful. Besides, all traces of this fine powder are eliminated in the soaking and rinsing process of sprouting. (In fact, it is an ingredient in many toothpastes.) (The Sense of Survival, by J. Allan South) A 5 lb. bag containing about 40 cups of diatomaceous earth costs only about $15. The cost of this valuable protection is only about 20¢ per 6-gallon bucket and about 4¢ per gallon!

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