Wheat Berries and sunflower seeds in the soaking stage of sprouting.
Sprouting nuts, seeds, and grains yields a plethora of nutritional benefits. As an athlete, the biggest advantage of sprouting is the energy the sprouted nuts and seeds provide. Sprouting takes the seed out of a dormant state and releases all sorts of nutrients and beneficial enzymes that are only accessible through sprouting. The nutrients and enzymes released from sprouting vary depending on what you sprout.
In addition to being highly nutritious, sprouted nuts and seeds are more easily digested by the body, making the nutritional contents more usable by the body, thus how the provide an abundance of energy. The sprouted nuts, seeds and grains are best consumed raw. Heating them above 116 degrees begins to destroy the healthy enzymes and reduces the nutritional content.
Some seeds, such as sunflower, buckwheat, and pumpkin seeds yield a higher protein count when sprouted; making them an excellent source of protein for people with an active lifestyle. Consuming sprouts is easy. You can include them in a recipe, such as my raw granola recipe, or toss them in a salad. You can even season your seeds to make them more tasty.
Sprouting is very simple to do, it doesn’t take a small garden to accomplish, as I first thought when I heard about sprouting. You don’t need anything more than a mason jar and a sprouting lid, or something to cover the mouth of the jar, such as a fine cheese cloth.
Below are instructions on how to sprout seeds, nuts, and grains. In regards to nuts, almonds are the only nut that actually sprouts, but they typically have to be raw, organic, and unpasteurized, which is hard to find – but it is possible. Either way, soaking the nuts still makes them easier to digest, as with any nut. Almonds typically need to soak 8-12 hours. Most other nuts only need to soak for about two hours.
After sprouting seeds and grains, you will see tails grow on them, as pictured below. The length of the tail will depend on how long you soak them. Sunflower seeds will yield a small tail after just one day of sprouting, but if you sprout them for several days you will have a really long tail, making them a nice crunchy treat for salads. I prefer to keep my sunflower seed tails small though. It’s up to the person doing the sprouting how long they want the tails.
Sunflower seeds and wheat berries, "sprouting." Sunflower seeds take about one day to sprout. Wheat Berries take two days.
How to Sprout
- First you will need to soak your seeds (pictured above). Refer to the chart below for the time it takes to soak your seed or grain. Place them into a mason jar (half full, as the sprouts grow and expand) and fill with filtered water, just until they are fully covered. You may need to periodically add more water as they will soak up a lot of it.
- After your seeds have soaked for the appropriate amount of time, drain the sprouting jar and cover with a sprouting lid, or a fine cheese cloth (secured with a rubber band).
- Set the sprouting jars at an angle so excess water can drain from the jar. I usually place mine in a drying rack as pictured above. Let the seeds set for the amount of time indicated on the chart below. You will also need to periodically fill the jar back up with water and drain to keep the seeds wet.
- After your seeds are done sprouting place them in a dehydrator until thoroughly dry. If you don’t have a dehydrator you can leave them spread out to air dry. Store them in a mason jar inside your refrigerator for longer life.
- Optionally, you can season your seeds and, or nuts. I prefer to season my sunflower seeds. This is best done immediately after soaking. Just place them in a mixing bowl, toss in some seasoning, and mix away. Garlic and sea salt is one of my favorite flavors to season sunflower seeds with.
And there you have it. All the information you need to know for simple sprouting at home. So, have fun with it, do some google searches for recipes involving sprouted grains. I have seen many great recipes, both cooked and raw, but remember, consuming them raw is best.
Sprouted wheat berries. Notice the white tails?
Sprouted chickpeas after two days of sprouting. Nice looking tail, eh?
Have you ever tried sprouting? Do you currently sprout? Let us know what you think about sprouting in the comments.