Sprouting for Vitality and Health
Mar 31, 2011 11:08AM
By Walt Ingvoldstad
In today’s busy world, many people are seeking more energy, vitality, stamina, awareness and ability to focus throughout the day. Much of this is possible by shifting from a diet of cooked and “processed” foods to one that incorporates whole, living foods. One easy way to eat more living foods is through sprouting.
Sprouting is a method of soaking, draining and rinsing seeds until they germinate, or sprout, into baby plants that are eaten alone or used in salads, smoothies and other recipes. Sprouts are among the most nutrient-dense living foods available. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids (protein), enzymes, antioxidants and water . Sprouts are also biogenic—meaning they are alive—and they literally transfer their life energy to our bodies when we eat them.
Sprouts have much more nutrition per ounce than most foods purchased at local grocery stores. Grocery-store vegetables are plucked from their soil days or weeks before arriving on the dinner table, by which time their nutrients have degenerated. Sprouts, on the other hand, are connected daily to their liquid soil of water and minerals. When we eat kitchen-grown sprouts we digest fresh, highly energized, living food with all nutrients intact.
The experiences of many natural health clinics such as Tree of Life and The Hippocrates Institute show that sprouts are the most renewing and regenerative of foods because they are the most highly energetically charged foods. Their vitamins and proteins are in a composite form that encourages our bodies to renew, regenerate and create more physical and mental vitality while activating our immune functions and heightened wellness.
Sprouting is quickly and easily accomplished without purchasing any special equipment. Sprouts require only a small space to grow (a counter or corner of the table is ideal), minimal light and only minutes of time each day. To start sprouting, purchase high-quality, non-GMO seeds (available at health food and organic grocery stores and online). Use a non-metal container made of ceramic or glass, add spring or filtered water to cover the seeds .
Some growers like to use electrolyte minerals to add to the water to nourish and organically “fertilize” the germinating seeds. One such approach can use Himalayan sea salt, which has 84 minerals to help the growing sprouts.
Many kinds of vegetable seeds, grains, nuts and legumes can be used to grow tasty and healthful sprouts. Quinoa, buckwheat and alfalfa are great for beginners and grow with minimal effort. All three of these seeds will sprout and be ready to enjoy within three days. On the day before you want to eat the sprouts, add one-fourth of a cup of seeds to a clean glass jar and barely cover with water (about 16 ounces). If desired, add a teaspoon of liquid Himalayan sea salt. The seeds will sprout by the next day and be ready to enjoy.
Quinoa, which offers the highest plant-based protein content, is the fastest seed to sprout with the least amount of care and fuss. Just cover with water and it will germinate and sprout in three to five hours, although it is best to let it soak from evening until the next morning. For larger sprouts, continue soaking for an additional day or two. Rinse multiple times in a standard, thin-mesh strainer at least twice a day until the water is clear. Refrigerate after two days.
Buckwheat makes another tasty sprout. It is more likely to become water-logged than quinoa, however, and thus requires extra care. Cover the buckwheat seeds with water and let them sit overnight, then rinse and drain every morning and evening. Rinse multiple times until the water becomes clear. Buckwheat sprouts are ideal about two days after sprouting. In four days or so, when leaves emerge, expose the sprouts to indirect sunlight to produce chlorophyll for additional health and regenerative properties.
Alfalfa is an easy-sprouting legume that grows best in a jar. Rinse the sprouts two to three times a day and drain in a super-fine mesh. They will be ready to eat in three to five days.
Sprouting is a healthful adventure, and those who eat some sprouts every day will certainly begin to notice new energy and vitality.
Walt Ingvoldstad is a natural-health therapist and wellness coach who specializes in the transformation of body, mind and emotional and spiritual well-being through nutrition, exercise and lifestyle to empower people in their life journeys. He holds health, nutrition and cleansing classes at Solay Wellness Center in Skokie . For more information, call 773-709-5401 or email [email protected].