So the other day my kids had a lesson on the food guide pyramid complete with art project. Really. I had nothing to do with it. They sat down at the table - the two younglings on one side and the older "teacher" on the other - and they had a lesson. I was here, working on the computer, and listening [occasionally throwing a comment or two in]. It was decided by the teacher that they would do one food group every day this week. Today they did grains. What does this have to do with my established Make It Do series you might be asking...
recipe with sprouted quinoa so they were already on my mind a bit. And then I remembered that Mom gave us a sprouter for Christmas last year. Awesome. So here I am. A sprouter [as of three days ago]!
Did you know there are pages and pages of information/research touting the benefits of sprouts? For example, did you know that there are 10 to 100 times more enzymes in germinated grains and beans than in raw fruits and vegetables? Sprouts abound with antioxidants, they are full of protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. When a seed sprouts, stored food & enzymes needed for growth of the mature plant are mobilized. Protein, carbohydrate & fat is broken down (pre-digested) to free amino acids, simple sugars & soluble compounds. Vitamins, including A, B-complex (B-12), C, E & K, increase to meet the growth needs of a young plant. For example, B-complex in wheat increases 600 percent, vitamin E triples & vitamin C increases six-fold. Vitamin C in a 100 gram serving of peas goes from 0 to 69 mg. in 48 hours! Essential minerals - calcium, magnesium, iron & zinc are supplied in organic form, "chelated" for better assimilation.
So now I'm asking myself, "why haven't I been eating/feeding my kids sprouts all along?" I think I thought it was complicated. Apparently it isn't.
This is the sprouter I have. Three days ago I put in 1/4 c quinoa [that's quinoa - pronounced keen'wah - in the first photo] and filled it up with very warm water to soak for 3 hours [I set a timer because I knew I would forget]. When the beeper beeped, I emptied the water, put on the lid and sat it on the counter. It's called the EasySprout and it's supposed to speed up the process. 24 hours later this is what they looked like [I put some in a jar so you could see them better + I love the photos you'll see in the link below. I wanted some of my own]. My kids love them. I want to try beans next. I love bean sprouts in stirfry.
Don't have a sprouter? Here's a great link to a very simple + kid friendly sprout project. All you need is a mason jar, breatheable fabric [like cheesecloth or a piece of a pair of old nylons], a mason jar ring and, of course, seeds. But not the kind you buy for the garden. Those typically have stuff on them.
In comparison the only real difference is time. With the jar you have to rinse the sprouts 1-2 times per day while the sprouter claims the airflow is such that it's not necessary to rinse at all. It also claims that my quinoa sprouts will be ready in 12-24 hrs, but Whole Living says quinoa takes 2 days in a jar. I suppose there is one more difference: You probably have everything you need to start sprouting in your house right now [wheat berries/lentils/black eyed peas/pinto beans, etc], but you would have to order a sprouter if you wanted one - there are endless options available.
What does one do with sprouts anyway?
•Add to tossed salads
•Use in coleslaw
•Try in wraps and roll-ups
•Stir-fry with other vegetables
•Blend with vegetable juices
•Stir into soups or stews when serving
•Top omelet or scrambled eggs
•Add to sushi [because, you know, we eat that all the time :)]
ps. Want to know more? Here's a great link with tons of info about sprouting at home.
pss. the photo above shows the stage we ate them in. I read somewhere that the most nutritional stage is 1/4 roots. I'm not convinced that what I'm seeing is roots. I'm working on doing more research to see how to go about getting them into the bigger great on a sandwich stage. The sprouting at home link in the postscript is the place to learn it I think. Just a matter of time.