There are many benefits to be obtained from sprouting, with sprouts representing the point of greatest vitality in the life cycle of a plant. The vitamin and enzyme content of a plant is increased dramatically during sprouting whilst at the same time the plant undergoes a huge conversion process. The sprouting process “pre-digests” the nutrients of the seeds making them easier for our bodies to use them as fuel and to metabolise them. Some of the conversions that take placeare, starch turns into simple sugar, protein breaks down to it’s amino acid and peptone components and crude fat is broken down into free fatty acids. All of this break-down and pre-digestion provides us with the explanation for why sprouted grains and legumes, which are common allergens, don’t cause any problems to sensitive people when they are consumed in the sprouted form.
SPROUTING & OUR METABOLISM
Sprouted seeds and grains, despite what you might think, should be consumed with caution in some cases. It is recommended that a person who is frail, weak and suffering from weak digestion and loose stools, would be better off avoiding cold, raw sprouts but instead would benefit from cooking their sprouts, such as I have suggested in the sprouted seed bread or in stir-fries.
The person who would benefit most from raw sprouts because of their “cooling” nature is the strong robust person, along with people with a thick tongue coating and a ruddy complexion. From a chinese medicine perspective, sprouts are a specific remedy for stagnant liver qi (with signs such as swellings and lumps, mental depression, frustration, swollen abdomen and chest, purple-tinged or dark tongue).
For better digestion for every type of person, large grain and legume sprouts such as lentil, corn, green peas, garbanzo and wheat can be lightly steamed and are still vital and energising. They need to be simmered, sautéed or steamed long though for the frail person with weak digestion.
Alfalfa is rich in minerals which are more nutritionally concentrated than other sprouts. I find this fact amazing – a tiny alfalfa seed produces sprout roots that can grow 30 metres into the ground!! This is astounding , but also, here they have access to trace elements and minerals untouched by other plants. The arabs refer to alfalfa as the “father of all foods’ and it has proven a very effective tonic for our intestines, kidney and bladder functions. Alfalfa removes harmful acids from the body making it a very cheap and effective alkalizer for the person with an acidic system. From an iridology point of view I refer to this as an “acid wash”, where a blue eye in particular, will appear white/milky instead of clear blue.
Classic uses for Alfalfa include
· Weight loss
· Bladder stones
· Plantar warts
· Chronic sore throat
· Gas pains
· Peptic ulcers
· Drug and alcohol recovery
Alfalfa is an excellent stimulant for increasing breast milk production in the nursing mother.
There are eight enzymes contained in alfalfa and these help us to digest and utilize our proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Alfalfa is safe for children and is rich in the nutrients carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, sodium, sulphur, silicon, chlorine, cobalt and zinc as well as Vitamin K and abundant chlorophyll.
Two or three cups of alfalfa tea a day make by steeping one tablespoon of alfalfa seeds or 50 grams of dried alfalfa in boiling water will make a perfect remedy.
Caution: Alfalfa sprouts and seeds, rich sources of the amino acid canavanine, should be avoided in rheumatoid diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis an systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) as it can ignite inflammations in these conditions. Alfalfa leafhowever, is fine,even in rheumatoid diseases, as it is not a source of canavanine.
HOW TO MAKE SPROUTS
Place seeds in a large wide-mouth jar or container, preferably 2 litre or more.
Seed Water amount Soak time Days to Sprout
2 tbsp alfalfa or red clover 6 tbsp 6 hours 5 – 6 days
¼ cup radish or mustard ¾ cup 6 hours 5 – 6 days
½ cup lentils or fenugreek 1 ½ cups 8 hours 3 days
½ cup mung beans 1 ½ cups 8 hours 3 – 5 days
1 cup wheat or rye 3 cups 12 hours 3 days
1 cup garbanzos, soy, or 3 cups 12 hours 3 – 5 days
other legumes or grains
2 cups sunflower seeds 6 cups 12 hours 2 days
· Cover the mouth of the mouth of the jar with a plastic or stainless steel sprouting screen or cheesecloth, muslin, which is tied on or secured with a rubber band (you can get cheesecloth or muslin from places like Spotlight in the dress fabric section). After soaking seeds, drain well and keep in a warm (18C) dark place – they can be covered with a cloth or bag. Sprouting time increases with more light and cooler conditions.
· Rinse twice a day, ideally morning and evening. An exception is soy, which may rot if not rinsed four times daily. Keep jar tilted mouth down for better drainage. A dish drainer works well for this. Thorough rinsing and complete draining improve sprout flavour.
· After three days place alfalfa, red clover, radish, and mustard sprouts in a cool place with indirect sunlight to induce chlorophyll. Continue rinsing twice daily until sprouts are ready.
· Radish and mustard seed sprouts exhibit biting pungency, which adds a delightful zesty quality when mixed with other sprouts or in various dishes. During the sprouting process, the hulls on certain seeds slough off. It is important to remove hulls from alfalfa and radish sprouts since these easily rot. Hulls from mung, aduki and fenugreek are often removed for a lighter-tasting quality, although they can be eaten and provide fibre.
· To remove the loose hulls from sprouts, place them in a large bowl of water and agitate them, further loosening and brushing them aside. Gently reach under the sprouts and lift them out of the water, without disturbing sunken hulls, which can then be discarded. Drain sprouts well. If refrigerated, they keep up to one week in a plastic bag or covered glass jar.
Note: Alfalfa may not sprout in polluted tap water. Use distilled or spring water or sprout with other seeds (mung, lentil, fenugreek) in the same jar. You will have a delicious salad. Save all rinse water for cooking, animal or plants.
Date posted: 2014-08-19 | posted by: debras