Especially in the time of winter in a lot of regions it can be difficult to get nutrient-rich food. Either it has travelled long distances or it has been in storage for quite a while. Both are not very helpful to have a lot of nutrients in your food. There is a fun way, which is also simple, to boost the nutrients in your food – sprouts.
The advantages of sprouts
Sprouts are very nutrient-rich. They contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. The seed of a plant holds a highly concentrated nutritive tissue stored for the growth phase. During the process of germination, the nutritive tissue is activated. Now, the concentration of protein, fat, carbohydrates and fibers is highest, as well as the concentration of vitamins and minerals.
Growing your own sprouts in your apartment
You can grow your own sprouts in your apartment. You do not need a garden. And you do not need a lot of space. You only need a bit of equipment in which you cultivate the seedlings. I like to use a sprouting jar. This is a glass with a lid, whereas the lid is a sieve out of stainless steel. During the seeding this jar is placed on a holding device on which it is in a diagonal top down position. You can put the whole thing on your windowsill or on a shelf or any other spot, where the seeds get some light.
How to grow your own sprouts
- In a first step the seeds need to be soaked in water. You can do this already in the sprouting jar or in a separate glass or bowl. Depending on the kind of seed this takes several minutes to several hours.
- After the soaking rinse the seeds thoroughly. If you had soaked them in a glass or bowl, put them into a sieve and rinse them with water in the sieve. Afterwards put them into the sprouting jar. If you had soaked them directly in the sprouting jar, rinse them in the jar. I do the latter one about 3 to 4 times. Afterwards place the jar on the holding device.
- The germination time takes 1 day to about 2 weeks depending on several items as the type of seed, your preferences, light intensity, and temperature. The sprouts taste different during the germination process. And the amount of nutrients is different during the seeding. They contain the highest amount of vitamins, when they have developed into a young plant with stems, small leaves and fine roots.
- During the sprouting it is very important to rinse the seedlings thoroughly 2 to 3 times per day. Each time I rinse them for about 3 times.
- When I rinse the sprouts and before eating them, I like to detect the scent. If they smell funny, I throw them away. So far this happened only rarely and usually only if I tried something new.
I like to use buckwheat and fenugreek for my muesli, and lentils and lupins for salads or as topping for a lot of other dishes. I prefer about 2 days of sprouting for the buckwheat and fenugreek, and about 3 to 5 days for the lentils and lupins.
There are a lot of other types that can be used as adzuki beans, mustard, chickpeas, broccoli, mung beans, radish and so on. I prefer to use seeds that are not too small. If they are too small, the sprouting jar does not work very well, as the seeds block the sieve during rinsing. There are other devices you can use for smaller seeds. Somehow, they did not work so well for me either. These are my examples, when the sprouts smelled funny and I threw them away. So, if you have any tips, how I can also grow smaller seeds properly, let me know.
Photo by Iwona Kisiel