Sprouting with a Mason Jar
I have been “sprouting” on and off for years. I love them and my family loves them. However, it is imperative to make sure everyone understands the importance of beginning this process with clean utensils and to take proper care of your sprouts daily — rinsing, draining and observing, and draining some more! While your spouts are growing over the next 5 days, take some time to visit this sprout people link and get educated!
Here’s why my family loves sprouts and SPROUTING!
They taste amazing.
We believe they are extremely beneficial to our health.
They are beautiful.
It’s fun to grow them and so rewarding when they are included in our meals.
Here are some facts about the benefits of eating sprouts
1. Protein | The quality of the protein from beans, nuts, seed and grains is increased when sprouted. Specific amino acids, such as lysine, can be found in higher quantities in sprouts versus full-fledge plants, allowing our bodies to grow and repair while maintaining a healthy immune system.
2. Enzymes | Sprouts are estimated to have a hundredfold more enzymes than their raw, full-grown counterparts. Enzymes are proteins that help speed up biological functions and break down food.
3. Chlorophyll | All sprouts are an excellent source of chlorophyll, the substance that gives plants their green color. This green “plant blood” can detoxify and cleanse the body, oxygenating the blood. Chlorophyll can also fight and reverse protein-deficient anemia, treat skin disorders, and even protect against cancer. Chlorophyll can only be found in plant sources and is especially rich in sprouts.
4. Fiber | Fiber is known to be present in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains, but when sprouted the fiber content is increased. Fiber keeps the digestive system functioning normally while maintaining healthy weight. By eating more fiber, you can reduce your risk of developing Type II Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
5. Vitamins | You may have noticed a trend developing, but the vitamin content of plants is also at its peak during the sprouting phase. For example, the vitamin B2 content of mung beans increases more than 500% after sprouting! Vitamins A, C and E are also known to increase significantly in sprouted grains, beans, seeds, and nuts.
6. Minerals | The sprouting phase allows for minerals to merge together with the protein from the grain, seed, nut, etc., enhancing protein function and increasing the bioavailability of the protein and minerals, such as the electrolytes calcium and magnesium. This means that the nutrients are more easily absorbed into the body during digestion, making them more usable for maintaining healthy body function.
7. Fatty Acids | Sprouts are a great source of essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6. Fatty acids help with a variety of bodily functions, such as regulating blood pressure, blood clotting, liver function, and more. These essential fats cannot be produced by the human body and, therefore, must be consumed in food, resulting in most people being fatty acid deficient. Essential fatty acids are not always increased in sprouts as opposed to their un-sprouted or full-grown counterparts, but in some cases, like the omega-6 linoleic acid in lentil, is increased significantly when sprouted.
8. Antioxidants | The antioxidants content of sprouts is very high and has many health benefits. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals, which can damage cells and increase the risk of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease, and more.
9. What They Lack | Most of the benefits of eating sprouts are based on increases in nutrients; however, what sprouts lack in comparison to full grown plants is just as important! For example, sprouted whole grains contain less starch while offering more vitamin C, protein, and carotenoids.
10. Added Perks | Home-sprouting will ensure that there are no pesticides, additives, or chemical treatments used on your sprouts, reducing the amount of harmful toxins you consume!
1 Pint Jar | for the seeds we sent March 9th with CSA bags
RINSE / DRAIN
2-3 times per day | How often your seeds should be watered. Rinsing thoroughly and then draining as much water as possible are key components to growing great sprouts.
5 - 7 days | The time it takes to grow a finished Sprout, or other crop (Micro-Greens, Grass, Greens) from a dry Seed. Note: This "finished" sprout is our preference. You may grow them for as long as you want! In fact, we suggest that you taste them at every rinse to discover when you like them best.
Start Off Clean | This is the most important step! Sanitation is very important when sprouting seeds. Clean your jar and sprouting lid before each use. Wash jar with hot, soapy water & rinse & soak in water with a bit of Clorox for 3-5 minutes.
Rinse the Seeds | Add seeds to the pint Mason jar. Add a few inches of water and replace the lid. Swirl seeds for approximately 30-45 seconds, then drain water through the lid.
Overnight Soak | Using tap water or bottle water, completely cover with approximately 2-3 inches of warm water. Place the jar on the countertop to soak overnight (8-12 hours). Room temperature works fine for growing sprouts.
Strain and Rinse | Strain the water the next morning and remove the lid. Rinse the seeds thoroughly by adding fresh water and swirling the seeds for several seconds. Replace lid and drain, then set the jar back on the counter, without water this time.
Rinse and Repeat | Rinse and strain the seeds twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, until your sprouts have reached their desired size.
Harvest Time | After 3-7 days, the contents of the jar will sprout and the jar will start to fill up — it’s time to eat them! Add raw sprouts to salads and sandwiches, or toss into stir-fries and soups.
Storage | Store mature sprouts in the fridge in a small salad spinner with a basket insert to keep them from sitting in water. Sprouts will slow down growing in the fridge and last longer. Even so, eat your sprouts within 5 to 7 days for the best quality and health benefits.
*Full Disclosure | Sprouts have gotten some negative attention from time to time for their potential to carry bacteria and cause food borne illness. The bacteria that causes illness are often found on the seed itself. Proper preparation and sprouting methods can also help avoid problems. The seeds that were included in your CSA have tested negative for the presence of E. coli 0157 and Salmonella and they are USDA Certified Organic.