Sprouts eh? Yes sprouts. There are lots of interesting facts about sprouts:
"Seeds and grains contain a wonderful store of nutrients and are an excellent source of enzymes. Nature has protected the enzymes in dry seeds, nuts, grains and legumes by placing enzyme inhibitors in them. Enzyme inhibitors prevent the enzymes from being activated until the seed is germinated. Unfortunately this also prevents us from receiving the benefit of the plant enzymes to aid us in the digestion of the seeds. Germination neutralizes the inhibitors and releases the enzymes. Many people are sensitive to these inhibitors and display allergic reactions such as headaches. Some have difficulty digesting the seeds and nuts, grains or legumes and suffer indigestion. These digestive problems can be prevented by soaking the dry seed and beginning the germination process. Sprouting makes the vital enzymes fully available for our body's use and eliminates the possibility of allergic reactions to the enzyme inhibitors.
Many seeds also contain phytic acid which significantly reduces the absorption of calcium, iron, zinc and other minerals into the blood stream causing loss of important minerals. When the seeds are sprouted, such losses become insignificant. Several other important functions are served in sprouting. The nutritional value is greatly enhanced, even quadrupled in many cases. In addition, starches and proteins are converted into simple sugars and amino acids which are much more easily absorbed and utilized by the body. In the case of nuts and seeds, the fat content is reduced by as much as 30-40% as it is consumed or energy in growing the sprout or converted into fatty acids.
The high concentration of vitamins, minerals and amino acids (proteins), RNA and DNA in sprouted foods have a regenerative effect on the human body. This concentrated combination of nutrients is available only in the live cell food." (http://www.homeopathyone.com/live_sprouted_foods.htm)
The sprouter that we use, year-round, is an EasyGreen Automatic Sprouter.
as you can see, this sprouter has 5 trays, an automatic timer for the mister and the ability to mix and match your sprouts. some sprouts take 4-7 days, some a little longer.
here's a pic of about $40 worth of sprouts that lasted for almost 3yrs. that is some cheap, delicious food!
The EasyGreen sprouter is pretty expensive – however, if you are interested in purchasing an automatic sprouting machine – we highly recommend it! There are other smaller, automatic types out there as well – such as this one - and non-automatic models such as this one - . Those are just a few examples – I have done some searching on the net for sprouters and there are a bazillion different kinds – and in all price ranges.
What’s even better though is that I found a bazillion sites that talk about growing sprouts in mason jars! I like DIY’ers who figure out ways to do things on the cheap! Go here , or here, or here for more information. Just google sprouts and mason jars and you will find many, many more sites out there that can teach you the step-by-step basics of growing your own sprouts in mason jars – I haven’t tried it in mason jars but there are so many people out there doing it – it can’t be that hard right?
and sprouts are just so very good for you! ok - this IS a recipe blog so i will leave you with a few recipes:
Recipe 1: toss them on every salad you make.
Recipe 2: toss them on every sandwich you make.
Recipe 3: toss them onto a bowl of soup after you have served it - that way they keep their crunch. or throw all caution to the wind and toss them into the soup as you are cooking it.
Recipe 4: toss them onto stew, or into stew.
Recipe 5: eat them by the handful.
Recipe 6: make yourself a nice snack plate of cheese, kimchi, some crackers, some apple and, get ready for it - toss the sprouts on your plate.
you can get really crazy and put them in your ice-cream or bake a sprout pie - but hey - get creative! and get yourself some sprouts!!!