Tuesday, 25 October 2011

How to grow sprouts

Dried seeds, ready for sprouting
A while back I was having a read of Dr Gillian McKeith's book "You are what you eat" and I was impressed by the page on "What are Sprouts?".  If you have a copy of the book, it is on page 211.

McKeith talks about sprouts as being a real superfood with all kinds of benefits, so I just had to find out more, including how to grow them.

Firstly it was easy to buy some in Holland & Barrett - a well known health food chain in the UK.  Many independent whole food suppliers will stock these and probably many other kinds.  This is a mixture of Mung beans, Chick peas and Green lentils.

At 2 days
All you need to do is wash out an old jam jar and find a piece of muslin cloth.  I had to resort to raiding the garage for a soft car polishing cloth, without too much dried up polish on.  I rinsed out the jar and then tipped about 2cm of seeds in and rinsed a couple more times.  Stretch the muslin cloth over the top and hold it in place with a rubber band.  Then simply leave it in a dark place (I chose the airing cupboard) and forget it.  No don't forget it!  You need to rinse it out at least once a day (keeps it moist and clear from any mould).

I remember feeling quite excited when some of the seeds started to swell and sprout - and relieved as I am not known for my gardening skills, strangely enough.

Ready at 4 to 5 days
Then after about 4 or 5 days they'll be ready to eat.  At this stage it's best to keep them in a refrigerator to maintain them as they are.

They can be scoffed as they are (raw), or perhaps in a salad or a sandwich or perhaps used as an ingredient in cooking them in a Runner's Curry . Of course, to get the real benefit, they should be very fresh and raw.  Simple as that.

Taste-wise, they're filling and don't slip down without a good chew which all helps their digestion to release the wonderful enzymes.  Of course seeds like Alfalfa are much smaller and much easier to eat.

It's worth remembering what the benefits are with these sprouted seeds and to know what all the fuss is from those whole-food healthy types.  Here I go back to Dr Gillian McKeith's book.  Each sprouted seed is a concentration of proteins, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, fibre and enzymes in the most easily digestible form.

The pack I got from Holland & Barrett is an organic sprouting mix which contains the above mixture and a separate bag of Alfalfa seeds.  Weight for weight these foods must surely rank among the best for their nutritional value and I'm really pleased I've grown them.  Makes a change from buying those sprouted packs in Sainbury's for a costly amount.  Still cheaper than meat and they must be better for us.

Oh, before I forget, the seeds are Just Wholefoods, Cirencester, England. and worth checking out for other healthy things.

I would be really interested to hear how other people get on with growing sprouts.  What kinds do you grow?  Any comments about their healthy properties?


  1. Just put your sprouts in the fridge for you ...

  2. You can grow loads of different seeds as sprouts. Try it, you might like them and i think might suit you.

  3. We have just grown some chick peas (now waiting in the fridge and will be scoffed soon). We've got some alfalfa seeds, ages since we last had these and from memory I prefer the bigger more crunchy sprouts. I'm sure they're still nutritious though.