Wednesday, April 10, 2013


I'll admit it. I'm a health nut. I love learning all-things nutrition, food, etc. I also love food, trying new food, baking, cooking, etc. Yup, it's a past-time for me. I only work part-time and baking & cooking are one of things that help keep my sanity on my days off ;) That, along with reading Hellboy graphic novels, killing grubs & locusts in Gears of War 2 or attempting to contort my body into some yoga pose. Sorry...I digress...

Back to the topic at hand...

Sprouting beans/lentils is something I've attempted a few times with mixed results. I've decided to attempt it again and hoping this time it'll turn out for the better. It takes a few days. It's a slow process but I believe will be totally worth it. Why? Sprouting increases nutrient value of food, helps with digestion and really, sprouts do look cool. You're really eating something full of vitality and energy. That's my thought anyway.

My "bible" in this process:

"Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges
Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats" by Sally Fallon with
Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.
Right up alley cause I am constantly challenging politcally correct/goverment
directed nutrition ideas such as milk (don't get me started on my stance on drinking
cows milk. Hint: I don't drink it and not just because I'm lactose intolerant). Too long
of a caption for this photo? Whatevs. Get over it. Move on...
Fallon is awesome and gives a history lesson in her chapter on sprouting. Credit for discovering sprouting seeds is credited to the Chinese. These smarty-pants and, ultimately, nutrient savvy people carried mung beans with them on their ocean-going ships, sprouting them throughout the voyage. This was done apparently to prevent scurvy (much like the British giving their sailors limes. Hence the term "limey" being used to describe a British person). The Chinese figured out that vitamin C (plus a whole other host of nutrients) was missing from the non-sprouted seeds. You want more history? Go read Fallon's book.

That leads into the nutrition part of sprouting...

So, we know we get vitamin B. But what else? Fallon states the process of germination changes the composition of the grain/seed in NUMEROUS beneficial ways. B vitamin content is increased, carotene content goes up, etc. And remember when I mentioned it helps digestion? Yup, it sure does! How? It neutralizes this little thing called phytic acid (present in the bran of all grains). This acid is thought to inhibit absorption of the ever-important nutrients calcium, zinc, iron, & copper. Grains, seeds, etc. also have what are called enzyme inhibitors. We have enough issues with digestion in our society due to poor diet and eating processed "foods" and these enzyme inhibitors can inhibit our already tapped supply of digestive enzymes (and what happens? Food doesn't digestion properly.). Sprouting is believed to neutralize these enzyme inhibitors. Have I lost you yet? :p

It's super-easy to sprout and no, you don't need to run out and buy any special equipment. All I used was mason jars, cheese cloth and the metal rim from a mason jar. Here's what I've got growing in my kitchen:

A mason jar, mason jar rim, & cheesecloth. Lentils & kidney beans
starting the sprouting process.

How does this process work? So, after the lentils, beans, seeds or grains (whatever you'd like to sprout), is put into the jar (1/4 to 1/3 full. I realize mine might but a little over that. Shhhhhhhhush.......), you fill it with water (Fallon recommends filtered water but I don't have a water filter) and allow to soak overnight. After that, pour the water off, rinse the seeds (you probably won't have to remove the screen to do this), invert the jar and let it sit at an angle so it can drain and air can circulate. Depending what you're sprouting, it'll take one to four days. So, like I said, takes a bit of time, but totally worth it.

And just what am I going to do with these sprouts? Well, kids, that's for my next entry...

Until tomorrow (or whenever I have sprouts. We'll see how it goes...;) )...

Namaste :)

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