sprouts (also called sprouted seeds) are delicious! and nutritious! and a great way to keep eating live, healthy food during the winter. here are some 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)
pretty interesting stuff, eh?
back in the city, when jambaloney was doing regular garbage-picking on garbage days, and hitting all of the garage sales early in the morning, he found this beauty!
that's an EasyGreen Automatic Sprouter that had never been used and came with the manual, for $35 – he haggled the price down from $50. he also got the 5 trays that go with the sprouting machine - see below with seeds in them ready for sprouting:
sorry, that pic came in sideways?!?! and here's a pic of one full year's worth of seeds, that we had back in the city, that cost about $23 in total:
here is the sprouter doing it's thing - regularly and automatically misting the sprouts:
the EasyGreen sprouter that we got for such a bargain is a very expensive piece of equipment – 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.
here are the sprouts after 4 days - full of nutrition and ready to be eaten:
sprouts are great in sandwiches, soups and salads. however, we tend to just eat them by the handful! we love sprouts!
another thing 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?
our sprouter hadn't seen the light of day for a year now but we finally dug it out, cleaned it up and started using it! oh, and one last thing - any kind of seed that you may have laying around can be used for sprouting - you don't have to buy special "sprout" seeds. if you have old seeds - use them for sprouting! some seeds taste better sprouted than others, but you can be the judge of what seeds you like best!