You know you make me wanna sprout

Procrastination.  It sucks.  Destroyer of dreams and goals, and responsible for hundreds of billions of deaths each year in the United States alone.

sprout face killa 218x300Worse, it has prevented me from sprouting beans and seeds for the past six months.  When I first read Brendan Brazier’s Thrive while on vacation last summer, I couldn’t wait to get home and start applying its principles to my diet and training.  Eating raw foods and lots of greens, eliminating harsh stimulants like caffeine, and sprouting my foods.  Sprouting everything — sprouting beans, sprouting wheat, sprouting seeds, perhaps even sprouting sprouts.

But I didn’t do it.  I started eating more raw foods and I cut down on coffee—though, in the spirit of transparency, I must admit I’m typing this very post in between sips of java.  But I never started sprouting.  I didn’t buy a sprouting kit, and assembling my own just seemed like too much work.  Not to mention I’d have to wait THREE DAYS before I could even eat my sprouts!

ThriveFitness 3d cmyk US 214x300Thankfully, the perfect storm came together.  First, iHerb.com approached me with an offer for a $50 shopping spree in their online health food store, and one to give away to you.  Of course I took them up on it, and I decided to use my 50 bucks to purchase all the ingredients from Thriveand the new Thrive Fitness that I couldn’t quite justify before.  So that got me back into the Thrive mindset.  Then my thoughtful sister, recognizing my powerlessness over procrastination, gave me a sprouting jar for my birthday, and the die was cast.

(By the way, I’ll give away that $50 shopping spree once I receive my stuff and write a full review of the products and iHerb.com.  In the meantime, you can take a look around iHerb.com use my code RAZ652 at checkout to get $5 off your first purchase.  Since a sprouting jar costs only $4.42 there, you could use it for that and pay nothing except shipping!   Plus, after you purchase, you’ll get your own $5-off code you can post on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or even hand out to friends, to earn commissions on sales.)

So I am officially a sprouter.  For my first batch, I started off with a half cup of dried mung beans:

mung beans photo 1024x768

Three days later, they looked like this:

sprouts day 3 photo 768x1024

Two more days, including one in the sun to get some chlorophyll, and look what I have now:

sprouts day 5 photo 768x1024

That’s right, a jar of bean sprouts the size of my head.  I think bean sprouts are more commonly used in stir-frys; seed sprouts are what people put on salads and sandwiches.  No matter—I made myself a nice little sprouts, veggies, and hummus pita for lunch today.  Stir-fry tonight, perhaps!  Up next: adzuki beans, chickpeas, quinoa, buckwheat, and whatever the hell else I want to put in the magic jar.

sprouts on pita photo 300x225In hopes that you won’t procrastinate as long as I did, here are the simple steps to doing your own sprouting.  Sprouts, in case you missed the memo, are nutritional powerhouses.  They’re alkalizing, easy to digest, and contain lots of amino and essential fatty acids.  And they’re dirt cheap: just look how much I got from a single half cup of dried beans!  You could buy them at the store, but they’re more expensive and notorious for harboring bacteria.  And there’s that quaint little story that they’re grown on feces, which I personally find to be a delightful image.

How to grow your own sprouts

  1. Place a small amount (two tablespoons of seeds or a half cup of beans/legumes) in a sprouting jar, and cover with three times as much water.  If your jar is small, start with less until you figure out how much your jar can hold.  If you don’t have a sprouting jar and don’t want to buy one, you can make your own by replacing the lid of any big jar with some cheesecloth, holding it in place with a rubber band.
  2. Let soak overnight.
  3. Drain the water by pouring through your strainer lid or cheesecloth) and rinse the seeds or beans.
  4. Leave in a dark place at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit for several days, rinsing twice per day, and laying the jar on its side so that the sprouts have room to grow.
  5. Once the sprouts are large (three days or so), place them in the sun for a day.
  6. Eat your sprouts, or store them for up to a week in a vented container in the refrigerator.

Happy sprouting!

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Comments

  1. Interesting. Whenever I sprout I soak the seeds for _X_ number of hours and then transfer them into the sprouting jar without having them sitting in any water. I angle the jar down so water drains and I rinse them every few hours to give them some more water. Now off to Einstein Bagels to get a Veg Out sandwich with sprouts (forgot my salad today).

    Enjoy the sprouting. I don’t do it near enough, but you have inspired me. I will probably start sprouting some sunflower seeds and buckwheat berries tonight.
    .-= Caleb´s last blog ..Simple but Tasty Raw Smoothie =-.

  2. Awesome post title, and amazing sprouts! Theyre like chia pets, only you can eat them.
    .-= Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn´s last blog ..The Non-Running Runner: Spin Class Kicks My Ass =-.

  3. Awesome! I have some mung beans, just sitting in my pantry. I’m gonna sprout!! Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. That is the best post title! LOL!

    Thank you for the sprouting tutorial. So interesting! I haven’t had many sprouts, but I might just have to try that!
    .-= Marisa (Loser for Life)´s last blog ..Breakin’ Out The Hammer =-.

  5. I’ve always wanted to try sprouting out but PROCRASTINATE too much!

    Knowing that all I need is a big jar, cheese cloth, rubber band, dried beans and H2O (all which I have at home) I think I can manage to finaly try this out.
    .-= Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather´s last blog ..Standing Ab Work =-.

  6. Thanks for the timely post. I’ve been thinking I need to restart my sprouting efforts. I did a good month of sprouting once…a year ago?…but stopped when we went on vacation and never did start again. Time to get back into it and really make it a habit now.
    .-= Nicholina´s last blog ..Book Review: Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix =-.

  7. ummmm I might have laughed out loud at your title!

  8. That’s so alien crazy cool. I have to admit, not only have I never thought of making my own, I don’t even know that I’ve eaten bean sprouts. Lame. I need to get on that
    .-= Evan Thomas´s last blog ..Good News For Fat =-.

  9. My roommate is going to think I am majorly weird, but I’m going to buy my own sprouting supplies right now. Hooray!

  10. This is quite interesting. I’ve never heard of people doing their own sprouting. Why should I be doing this? What’s the benefit of eating the sprout, rather than the mung bean in its original form?

    • Lily, I found myself wondering the same thing. Quoting from Thrive: “Throughout the sprout’s rapid growth phase, digestive enzyme inhibitors are expelled; proteins are converted to amino acids; and fats to essential fatty acids; and a form of pre-digestion occurs, making for a very efficient food. Power-packed with vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, and enzymes, sprouting greatly enhances the efficiency and nutrient value of the seed.”

      It seems strange that any significant change could happen since you’re not adding anything to the beans (except water and some sunlight), but I suppose that’s what plants are good at!

  11. Those look great. Thanks for the instructions, I am really considering trying this.
    .-= Robin´s last blog ..Goofy Challenge 2010 Race Report =-.

  12. That is awesome, I love bean sprouts. Thanks!
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Melt already! =-.

  13. Thank you for posting this! I have always been interested in sprouting but never really understood the process until this post. This looks really cool :) I bet those sprouts taste much better than the one in the grocery store too.
    .-= Whitney @ Lettuce Love´s last blog ..Zucchini and Broccoli Soup =-.

  14. hahahah- love that first picture ;) Sprouts are delicious. I should totally give doing this a try. What a sweet gifty from your sister too- very thoughtful. Hope you have a good night
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..Body Step Launch & Easy Vegetarian Mexican =-.

  15. Love how you are starting to sprout along with more raw foods :) Your sprouts looks amazing!!! I eat lots of raw foods and love Thrive’s concept, have sprouted a few times, but this makes me really want to get back into it. Thanks!
    .-= pure2raw twins´s last blog ..Nothing like being surprised =-.

  16. Thanks for the instructions. I used to grow my own sprouts when I was a hippie : ) many , many years ago.
    .-= kara´s last blog ..Training Schedule Redux =-.

  17. That sprout picture should be the cover of your book! :)

    How long do sprouts keep, btw?
    .-= Kara (@ Kara’s Marathon)´s last blog ..Menu planning and my very first award! =-.

  18. that pic is fantastic!

  19. Love the title and the pic! Sprouts are awesome-cheap, easy, fun, nutritious and delicious. What more you ask. Your sis is the best!
    .-= meatlessmama´s last blog ..Avocado and Red Pepper Soup =-.

  20. I love fresh sprouts. My mom has always done them my whole life and now I have my sprouting lid. hehe

  21. Guilty as charged! I haven’t made sprouts in months! I’m going to get the sprouter out of the cupboard this very minute.

  22. Hey Matt –

    Love following your blog and your friend Megan’s as well (runnerskitchen)! Inspirational for those of us who love to eat and run! I would really like to try this whole “grow your own sprouts” thing – but what is a sprouting jar? And where can I get one?

    Thanks!

  23. Thanks for the inspiration! I read your post, went to the local health food store, and they had the same sprouting jar for sale, as well as mung beans, so now my sprouting has begun! I failed miserably the first time I tried around a year ago using mason jars and cheese cloth, but I never tried it with mung beans and a nicer set-up like this. I’m guessing it’ll work fine this time!

    • Dave, hope the new jar works out! Yeah, mung beans are relatively easy to sprout. I’ve had more trouble with stuff like chickpeas; usually I let it go too long. Let me know how it goes.

  24. What a coincidence! I, too, procrastinated for years, though had always wanted to try my hand at sprouting. Finally, three days ago, I started the process with some dried mung beans. Just this morning, after three days of sprouting, I removed them from my cotton sprouting bag and put them in the frig. I didn’t know about the final step of letting them sit in the sun, though where we live in the northeast US, there is no hope of sun today, so I stuck them right in the frig. Thanks for the reminder that it was a good idea to sprout! Now, I can’t wait to make a sandwich with them for my lunch today!

  25. Great article, thank you! Can you do a mix of different seeds or grains together?

    • The only problem you might run into is that they’ll sprout at different times, and perhaps be finished at different times. And I don’t think you’d want to pick out all the sprouts of one kind and leave behind the others!

      But still, maybe worth a try.

      • Max Rekowski says:

        iherb.com has some different sprouting seed mixes that you can try out..not sure if they all sprout at different times though…wouldnt make sense for them to sell them together if they did.

  26. cool post! so i’ve always liked sprouts when they come in food, but I’ve never actually used them in my own cooking before–i’ve never even bought any before! the sprouting pics look really cool. I remember in first grade they showed us how to sprout a bean in a cotton ball, and I remember how fun that was; it reminded me of that. The sprouting pictures inspired me to do some sprouting and to eat more sprouts.
    I’m going to try to sprout my own sprouts, but I’m not sure if any of the beans I have in my pantry can be used for sprouting–do any beans work? I have pinto, black, navy, peruvian, lentils, and lima beans. I was thinking maybe sprouting some lentils. Would anyone know out there know, or know where I can go to on the net? thanks… :)

  27. Does any know where to buy mung beans for sprouting that don’t come from China? Thanks.

  28. Hey, I thought this was a really neat article! I came across your page through a google search for help for what a vegan should do when they run out of fruit at home. I found your 17 weirdest things article that lead me here. I have been cooking dried beans for the past 3 weeks, and I wanna say thanks for this! I am tight on money, and sprouting these beans is going to give me a lot more bang for my buck. :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Best part of the sandwich? The sprouts that I grew myself! Check out NoMeatAthlete’s blog for more info on home-sprouting. [...]

  2. [...] back in February I found a wonderful How To on No Meat Athlete’s Blog and bookmarked it.  So I was happy with my past self this week [...]

  3. [...] hummus, cucumbers, lettuce, sprouts, olives, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a whole-wheat or sprouted wrap or pita.  Other [...]

  4. [...] Sprouting goes a step farther in reducing the amounts of enzyme inhibitors, in addition to converting some of the starches into sugars, and proteins into amino acids.  Though some sprouts can be eaten raw, cooking them will eliminate more of the antinutrients.  For more on sprouting and related health issues (such as not eating toxic soybean and kidney bean sprouts), see a post from GrowYouthful.com. [...]

  5. [...] Sprouting goes a step farther in reducing the amounts of enzyme inhibitors, in addition to converting some of the starches into sugars, and proteins into amino acids.  Though some sprouts can be eaten raw, cooking them will eliminate more of the anti-nutrients.  For more on sprouting and related health issues (such as not eating toxic soybean and kidney bean sprouts), see a post from http://www.GrowYouthful.com on the topic. [...]

  6. […] Sprouting goes a step farther in reducing the amounts of enzyme inhibitors, in addition to converting some of the starches into sugars, and proteins into amino acids.  Though some sprouts can be eaten raw, cooking them will eliminate more of the antinutrients.  For more on sprouting and related health issues (such as not eating toxic soybean and kidney bean sprouts), see a post from GrowYouthful.com. […]

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