Jump to Section:
Have You Had Your Sprouts Today?
In the 1940s, Cornell University’s Dr. Clive McCay referred to sprouts as “A live vegetable that will grow in any climate, rival meat in nutritional value (and tomatoes in vitamin C), matures in three to five days, may be planted any day of the year, requires neither soil nor sunshine, can be eaten raw.”
turns whole natural seeds, beans, grains and nuts into fresh ready-to-eat food in record time and in practical quantities, even while traveling. Sprouts are as varied as the seeds chosen for sprouting and are delicious in countless ways, raw or cooked.
Enjoy NO RINSE SPROUTING
for most seeds, beans, grains, and nuts (two days or less, pound per batch). Except for Alfalfa, Radish, Broccoli and other salad types, once seeds are soaked and drained, no further rinsing is necessary. These salad types still benefit from three or four days of sprouting. See our SPROUT GUIDE
: Most seeds, beans and grains consumed throughout much of the world are subject to varying degrees of processing and cooking. Reliance on fresh fruits and vegetables produced thousands of miles away impacts everything from energy (for production, refrigerated transport and storage) to water resources (for irrigation). Fresh sprouts can be grown at the point-of-consumption and eaten with little or no cooking, so environmental impact is reduced.
: Sprouting increases enzymes, proteins, vitamins, minerals and unknown factors with minimal labor yet more economic benefits for those who grow their own sprouts. Properly stored seeds have a long shelf life and are much more likely to hold their value whether in the hands of farmers, distributors or consumers. The most important economic benefits remain hidden – the long-term effect on health and well-being of the individuals, societies and diverse eco-systems that share this planet.
Health & Nutrition
: Sprouting turns dry seeds into tiny dynamos of energy, rich in enzymes, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. Many scientists have pointed to “enzyme deficiency” as a factor in degenerative diseases. Other studies have found anti-cancer, fertility, and general vitality benefits from eating sprouts.
Sprouting delivers nutrient-dense fresh food with less food waste and less energy use. Finger-tip gardening at the point-of-consumption. Grow and eat sprouts – every day!
Return to top of page.
Nutritional Benefits of Sprouts
Seeds, before sprouting, are nutrient-bound, enzymes lie dormant. Seeds are soaked to start the sprouting cycle; enzymes are mobilized. Sprouts’ high enzyme activity is never surpassed at later stages of plant growth. Enzymes convert stored starch into simple sugars, split long-chain proteins into free amino acids, and convert fats into free fatty acids.
Enzymes and Nutrients Step Up with Sprouting
Vitamins, such as A, B vitamins, C, E, and K, increase to meet the growth needs of a young plant. While raw vegetables and fruits contain enzymes, they are low in enzyme content compared to sprouted grains and beans. In his book, Enzyme Nutrition, Dr. Edward Howell noted that sprouts have 10 to 100 times more enzymes than raw fruits and vegetables! Sprouting activates the enzymes needed to turn seeds into mature plants.
When seeds sprout, increases in proteins, vitamins, and minerals of 200% to 1200% are common. For some seeds, sprouting realizes even higher returns. The riboflavin (vitamin B2) content of Oats, for example, increases 1300%, and, if grown to leaf stage, achieves a 2000% increase. Vitamin C in sprouted wheat rises 600%, while vitamin B12 increases by 400% and vitamin E goes up by 300%. In Mung Beans, sprouting has been found to increase vitamin A by 285%, vitamin B1 (thiamin) by 208%, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) by 515%, and vitamin B3 (niacin) by 256%. When dried whole peas sprout, the vitamin C in a 100-gram serving (1/2 cup) has been found to increase from 0 to 69 mg. in 48 hours.
Sprouts supply essential minerals – calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc – in organic form, already chelated for immediate use by the body. Protein levels rise during sprouting, while the ratio of essential to non-essential amino acids changes to reflect what our bodies need. Nutritionist Dr. Frances Grba noted, “Sprouts become sources of complete protein, able to sustain human life without recourse to other foods. They contain the most assimilable vitamins available because they come wrapped with all the minerals, enzymes and still-unknown factors so necessary to the full utilization of our food. When they are added to other foods, they make the nutrients in these foods more usable to the body.”
Living sprouts and other whole foods contain phytonutrients, bio-active plant compounds. As antioxidants, phytonutrients trap harmful molecules in the body known as free radicals, cell-destroying compounds that can cause heart disease, cancer, and strokes. Raw and natural foods preserve phytonutrients; cooked and processed foods do not.
The Power of Enzymes
Enzymes support all living systems. Cooking destroys enzymes. When we eat cooked food, our bodies make a “withdrawal” from our enzyme stores to digest what we have eaten. But, when we eat living and raw foods, we preserve our bodies’ store of enzymes. Enzymes are biological catalysts that make every life process and bodily function work. Raw and living foods contain enzymes; cooked foods do not. Eating enzyme-rich foods spares the body from having to produce its own digestive enzymes; eating enzyme-deficient foods taxes the body’s enzyme stores.
Seeds are already full of all the nutrients they can deliver – once they are sprouted! Sprouting unleashes the enzymes and nutrients contained in seeds, beans, grains and nuts. Enzymes break down seed protein, carbohydrate, and fat into free amino acids, minerals, simple sugars and soluble compounds. New and existing vitamins increase dramatically and calcium, magnesium, iron, and other vital minerals become more assimilable after the seeds begin to sprout.
How important are enzymes to DNA? Chromosomes contain the long DNA molecules that carry genes. The tails at the ends of chromosomes, telomeres, protect the chromosomes. The enzyme telomerase builds telomeres. Cells age if telomeres shorten. But, if telomerase activity is high, cell aging is delayed. In 2009, Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Ph.D., Carol W. Greider, Ph.D., and Jack W. Szostak, Ph.D. were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this important discovery.
Return to top of page.
Spotlight on Lentil Sprouts
With EASY-SPROUT™ we enjoy "plant today - harvest tomorrow convenience" and a unique fresh vegetable loaded with nutrients. We always keep a sprouter or two of lentil sprouts in the refrigerator, ready to eat.
Use Lentil sprouts alone, or in combination with other sprouts - Alfalfa, Mung, Garbanzo, Sunflower, Pea, Peanut, Grains, etc. Serve them salad-bar style directly from the "mini-gardens" in which they're grown. (Pound-size batches!) Unlike traditional vegetables, Lentil sprouts are the ultimate convenience food - no cleaning, peeling, chopping or cooking! At mealtime, combine Lentil sprouts with other foods - soups, pasta dishes, deli foods, etc. Sprouts add a welcome touch of freshness and vitality to every meal!
No need to cook Lentil sprouts. They have a generous supply of the essential amino acid lysine. According to Nutritionist Catharyn Elwood in her book, Feel Like a Million, "we need larger amounts of lysine than of the other amino acids. Lack of it causes slow growth and leads to anemia, reproduction problems, pneumonia, and acidosis...it's dangerously low in many vegetable proteins and is destroyed in cooking and processing."
Fresh Lentil sprouts keep us trim and well-nourished! Their high nutrient-density, favorable protein/fat ratio and modest cost are pluses for health and food budgets.
How Easy Is It to Grow Lentil Sprouts?
Put 1½ cups (Dome-full) Lentils in EASY-SPROUT™. Fill sprouter with warm water. Soak 6-8 hours, drain and rinse with fresh warm water. Leave them undisturbed and they'll have ¼- to ½-inch sprouts (perfect!) in 24-36 hours. Refrigerate sprouts promptly (to slow growth) using the Vented Lid. (To "plump" and/or warm sprouts prior to use - soak the portion to be used for a meal a few minutes in cold or warm water.)
Easy Lentil Recipes - for those busy times.
1 dome/cup Lentil sprouts
1 or 2 green onions, or 2 slices red onion, cut-up.
Dress with lemon juice and olive oil.
(stuff it into pocket bread, or use as salad)
1 dome/cup Lentil sprouts
1 cup chopped iceberg lettuce (out of lettuce? - leave it out)
1 tomato, chopped
1 T., bacon flavored bits.
Add mayonnaise to taste.
Lentil-Stuffed Baked Potato
Return to top of page.
½ can condensed soup (cream of mushroom, etc.) + ¼ c. water. Heat. Then remove from heat and add:
1 Dome/cup Lentil sprouts or combination of sprouts (Lentil, Mung, Buckwheat, Radish, etc.) Spoon mixture into baked potato. If desired, garnish with chopped green onion, mushrooms, etc.
Variations - Use soup/lentil mixture on rice, oats, pasta or toast. Instead of soup, use salsa or picante sauce - top potato, etc. with Lentil sprouts and add salsa to taste. A delicious cold (or warm) salad can be made by combining Lentils with cut-up baked potato, thin-sliced red onion and choice of dressing.
Create Your Own Frozen Convenience Foods
Gene Monson, Inventor of EASY-SPROUT™ & Founder/President Sproutamo Corporation
Above – Peanut Butter Bar with Apple Slices. Grind together: 1 c. Sesame sprouts, frozen; ⅔ c. Barley sprouts, frozen; ⅔ c. Rye sprouts, frozen; and ⅔ c. raisins, frozen. Mix in 4 heaping T. peanut butter (also good without peanut butter!).
How can we adapt sprouts to modern, busy lifestyles? That question was answered through my efforts to modify sprouts for use by our children and grandchildren as young toddlers. It led to the discovery of a fast, simple way to sprout, preserve and process a diverse variety of live, germinated seeds, grains and nuts. What began as a solution to a "baby food problem" evolved into delicious, do-it-your-self, high-vitality, frozen convenience foods - breakfast & snack bars, gourmet sandwich fillings & cracker spreads, dips, no-bake cakes, etc.
The NO RINSE SPROUTING™ method, precise soaking and shorter sprouting cycles followed by prompt refrigeration and freezing are essential. Soak just long enough to soften the seeds, activate enzymes and neutralize inhibitors, followed by thorough drainage.
To get started: Soak unhulled Sesame seeds and hulled Sunflower one hour (two hours if combined with hulled grains). Soak hulled Barley, Millet & Oats 2-3 hours. Longer soak times (6-12 hours) are fine for whole grains (Kamut, Rye, Triticale, Wheat, etc.) and nuts (Almonds, Brazils, Filberts).
After soaking and thorough drainage, use short sprout cycles (12 hours or less) with Sesame, Sunflower, hulled Barley, Millet, Oats & Nuts. You won't get roots on hulled grains or nuts amd you don't want them on Sesame & Sunflower. There is more flexibility with the sproutable grains, but to avoid a "grassy" flavor I prefer the roots under ¼”. Refrigerate sprouter covered with Vented Lid. When seeds are cool, they can be transferred to tough plastic bags for freezing.
Pound batches of frozen sprouts can be ground in a Vita-Mix® (high speed) without destroying the heat-sensitive enzymes. For efficient processing, keep sprouts frozen. Since I use Vita-Mix® primarily for grinding frozen germinated seeds, grains & nuts - without liquid, I ordered an extra container, without the spigot. I grind many batches in rapid succession. Each batch requires about a minute - with several blade reversals in the last 30 seconds. For me it's a nuisance to use the "action dome" - but I'm very careful when I move any ingredients toward the blades with the handle of my big wooden spoon. For small test batches (¾ cup) an Osterizer® Mini-Blend jar is ideal.
Simply by varying the use of Sesame, Sunflower, Nuts, Grains, natural sweeteners (date fines, raisins, etc.) and various flavorings (cocoa, carob, coconut, peanut butter, Dijon mustard, onion, etc.) we're able to create and keep on hand in the freezer an endless variety of convenience foods - breakfast & snack bars, dips, spreads, no-bake cakes, sandwich fillings, etc. - our own convenient supply of fast food, with the freshness and vitality still intact.
This nutritionally and environmentally benign approach to the use of seeds, grains and nuts offers an exciting new direction in the realm of food. With minimal effort we can make wholesome, enzyme-rich, earth-friendly meals and snacks everyone can enjoy!
Return to top of page.