Yes, we are now sprouters. Meaning we sprout. And we are enthusiastic sprouters, at that. What you see above, in case you don't already know, are sprouted wheat berries. Harvested fresh this morning from our kitchen window sill. To date, we have sprouted mung beans, garbanzo beans and wheat berries.
My friend, Kristy, turned me on to sprouting a couple of summers ago when we were visiting her and her sweet family at their home in Vermont. She sent us home with a green plastic sprouting lid that fits on a standard mason jar - and I looked at it a hundred times before deciding to jump into the strange and whimsical world of sprouting.
Upon researching, I came across the following basic facts about sprouting:
1. Sprouts are considered wonder foods. They rank as the freshest and most nutritious of all vegetables available to the human diet. By a process of natural transmutation, sprouted food acquires vastly improved digestibility and nutritional qualities when compared to non-sprouted embryo from which it derives.
2. Sprouted foods have been part of the diet of many ancient races for thousands of years. Even to this day, the Chinese retain their fame for delicious mung bean sprouts. Sprouts provide all the essential vitamins and minerals. They should form a vital component of our diet. All edible grains, seeds and legumes can be sprouted.
3. Medicinally and nutritionally, sprouts have a long history. It has been written that the Ancient Chinese physicians recognized and prescribed sprouts for curing many disorders over 5,000 years ago. Sprouts have continued to be a main staple in the diets of Americans of Oriental descent. Although accounts of sprouting appear in the Bible in the Book of Daniel, it took centuries for the West to fully realize its nutrition merits.
4. There is an amazing increase in nutrients in sprouted foods when compared to their dried embryo. In the process of sprouting, the vitamins, minerals and protein increase substantially with corresponding decrease in calories and carbohydrate content.
5. The increase in protein availability is of great significance. It is a valuable indicator of the enhanced nutritional value of a food when sprouted. The simultaneous reduction in carbohydrate content indicates that many carbohydrate molecules are broken down during sprouting to allow an absorption of atmospheric nitrogen and reforming into amino-acids. The resultant protein is the most easily digestible of all proteins available in foods.
6. Sprouts are an extremely inexpensive method of obtaining a concentration of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. They have in them all the constituent nutrients of fruits and vegetables and are ‘live’ foods.
Naturally, after reading about the many benefits of sprouts, I was eager to give it a try. And we have found that sprouting is simple, fun, and extremely rewarding. Not to mention the sprouts themselves are beautiful. For everything you wish to know about sprouting, visit sproutpeople.com. They are a wonderful resource and seem like good folks. Happy Sprouting!
Sprout facts found on www.isga-sprouts.org.