The Benefits of Soaking and Sprouting Beans, Nuts, Seeds and Grains

Feb, 16, 2021

We’re a family who loves all green vegetables. What is not to love? Green vegetables are superior when it comes to nutrition because they are alkalizing to your body, which is the cornerstone of a healthy body and immune system. One of our favorite vegetables, especially during winter when there is less produce naturally available, is sprouts. Besides how nutritious they are, the best part about sprouts is how inexpensive they are and how super easy they are to grow indoors. All you need are organic seeds and/or soil and a sprouting bag or sprouting jar. Sprouts are super foods but they do contain enzyme inhibitors that may cause problems in our digestive tract. By soaking these foods, these enzymes break down and neutralize the enzyme inhibitors present in dry grains, seeds and legumes, and start the production of numerous beneficial enzymes. It activates and multiplies nutrients (particularly Vitamins A, B, and C), neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, and encourages growth of important digestive enzymes.

Soaking beans, grains, nuts and seeds may seem like a lot of work; but really it’s not and, in comparison, the benefits are so many. Beans, nuts, seeds and grains are soaked and sprouted in pretty much the same way. The only difference is the length of time it takes to soak and sprout them.

· Nuts — Soaking time for nuts may depend on the density of the nut. Ideally, soaking should be done at room temperature. Place nuts in a bowl and cover withwater. Soak overnight, rinse well, then drain and dry on a sheet of paper towel.

· Grains — Soak at least overnight, preferably 12-20 hours, in warm water with an added splash of fresh whey, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar.  Rinse before cooking.

· Beans — Soak for 24 hours or longer, preferably, in warm water with an added splash of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.  Rinse before cooking.
· Seeds — Soak in fresh water overnight.  Rinse well.

How to grow sprouts in a sprout jar:

  • Hygiene is super important when handling sprouts, so make sure to clean your hands very well
    before starting.
  • Whether you grow sprouts in soil, in a bag or in jar, all seeds need to be soaked first. So begin by soaking about 1 tablespoon of one type of seeds in water overnight. The next day, rinse seeds or beans thoroughly.
  • Place the seeds in a sprouts jar. It can be a store bought sprouting jar or you can make your own very easily. You can find instructions for that
  • Set the jar upside down in a clean, cool spot in your kitchen area, preferably on a slight angle to allow excess water to drain off.
  • Rinse sprouts in cool water and then drain a couple of times a day. This will make sure they stay hydrated to keep the sprouting process going.
  • Harvest time depends on what kind of seed or beans are being used. I have found that alfalfa and broccoli sprouts take about 5 days, and beans sprouts a bit longer.

Using a sprout bag:

  • Place a tablespoon of seeds in the bag, then submerge the entire bag in a bowl of water overnight. In the morning, rinse and drain the seeds while still in the bag. Hang up the bag.
  • Rinse and drain a few times a day and then hang bag up again until sprouts are done.

Sprouting in soil:

  • Soak about 1 tablespoon of one type of seeds in water overnight. The next day, rinse seeds or beans
  • Spread seeds in organic vegetable soil in a pot.
  • Place in a window and water each day.
  • Once sprouts are mature, harvest by cutting them with scissors. Seeds will keep growing sprouts as long as you keep watering them.

Fredrika Syren

Fredrika Syren is an environmental activist and writer. In 2016, she founded the website Green-Mom.com where she shared her family’s journey of living zero waste. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband James and their children Bella, Noah, and Liam. Fredrika and her family were recently featured in the documentary Zero Time to Waste. Fredrika is also the author of Zero Waste for Families - A Practical Guidebook (which you can buy on this site)

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