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Apsley Backroads

April 2016

Sprouting, How and Why

By: Cathy Nesbitt

Is there really a global food shortage? Some sources claim that we are in eminent danger of running out of food unless we embrace the practice of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to produce more abundant crops. Others suggest organic is the way to go and if we stop harming the soil with chemical fertilizers, our farms will produce more food naturally. The truth is that there is actually more than enough food to feed the world. The problem is getting nutrient rich food to where it is most needed. The availability of healthy food is becoming critical not only in the poorer regions of the world but also right here within developed nations. It will come as no surprise to many people that processed food available at the grocery stores these days lacks the nutritional value of food most of us grew up eating.

Hunger was once measured by the amount of calories consumed. Most people get enough calories, more than enough in many places where obesity rates have risen. However, calories do not necessarily take into account nutrient content in food.

Frances Moore Lappe & Joseph Collins in their book World Hunger 10 Myths, chronicle a world of nutritional deprivation. They describe our modern society as being so deprived of healthy nutrients in food that our health is suffering. Their answer to this nutritional deficit: Sprouts. Sprouts are one of the healthiest most nutrient rich foods available on the planet.

Look throughout the internet, there are new sites sprouting up daily (pun intended) proclaiming the health benefits of eating sprouts. Many health food stores and regular grocery stores will have whole sections dedicated to sprouts. You can easily buy packages of pre-sprouted beans for a few dollars or to save some money and ensure freshness you can simply sprout your own.
There are many ways to sprout including paper towels, jars or by investing in a sprout system. One of the most important elements of sprouting is cleanliness. Bacteria can grow very quickly so keep your beans and seeds clean by rinsing your sprouts twice a day. Some sprouters suggest a once-a-day rinse will be fine but to keep on top of any unwanted microbes, we recommend changing the water twice a day; in the morning and again at night. The problem is, when using jars, paper towels or even complicated multi-level sprouting systems, rinsing the beans can be a time consuming chore. People may tire of sprouting if it becomes too cumbersome. This problem was the genesis of the design for the Super Simple Sprouter.

The Super Simple Sprouter is a new design in sprout growing that is fast, easy and very effective. In this new grower the beans are spread out across the mesh and not crammed together as in a jar. This allows the sprouts to germinate faster. It also makes the sprouter simple to use and easy to rinse and clean. 7 seconds in the morning and 7 seconds at night is all that is required for clean healthy sprouts. The heat and humidity of the Super Simple Sprouter make it so effective. Mung beans are the fastest germinating and are often ready is 24 hours!

Most information about sprouting suggests that to be successful beans and seeds must be soaked. With the Super Simple Sprouter, no soaking is required. The greenhouse design keeps the sprouts in a humid atmosphere.

As sprouting is done for health benefits, it is essential that good quality beans are used. We recommend using certified organic beans or seeds, if possible. In our experience regular beans or seeds do not always germinate. The cost difference between a batch of organic vs conventional beans works out to pennies per day.

Did you sprout more than you need? Did you know that most sprouts can be frozen for later use? Once frozen, sprouts are best used in cooked dishes. For a quick, delicious meal, store a couple of cups of sprouted beans (eg. Lentils, chickpeas) in the freezer. Thaw quickly to add to soups, stews and stir-fries.


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Cathy's Crawly Composters

Bradford, Ontario
Local: (905) 775-9495
Toll Free: 1-888-775-9495