Thursday, August 7, 2008

How to Sprout ~ The Sprouting process!

I was never a salad person. The buffet table laid down with tons of salads never did attract me. I could probably pick at them, but never indulge myself over a bowl. At Pizza Hut, you will never catch me wandering towards the salad bar. 'Gosh you land in a pizza joint to lavish on pizzas right, so why bother on salads' was always my thought. If I wanted to eat salad, I might as well have stayed back and made one myself. Well that's me. I can always take the cucumber, onions, tomatoes or carrots on the side, in a daily meal, but that can never be a full meal on itself! Maybe our food habits and cultural attitude never prepared us to salad way of eating. While Dad and Hubby dear insist on salads before eating, we mostly try to manage with onions and carrots.

But changing times, we find ourselves getting accustomed to new ways of eating. And yes, I can now say, we have included salads and raw vegetables in some way or the other. Beginning of the year, saw us changing our food habits. We found we needed to have more energy to manage our work and family. So our food includes sprouts, nuts and raw vegetables. When you talk about sprouts, its always been Mung Bean sprout for us, the most commonly sprouted bean. You know Chinnu loves sprouts, and can snack on it, which I find very incredible. Since we have been eating moong sprouts for over months now, we thought we can try sprouting other beans too. Athamma is always keen on sprouting all beans.

Some Nutritional information about sprouts.

Sprouts are rich in digestible energy, bioavailable vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, beneficial enzymes and phytochemicals, as these are necessary for a germinating plant to grow[1] . These nutrients are essential for human health.

“The metabolic activity of resting seeds increases as soon as they are hydrated during soaking. Complex biochemical changes occur during hydration and subsequent sprouting. The reserve chemical constituents, such as protein, starch and lipids, are broken down by enzymes into simple compounds that are used to make new compounds.”

“Sprouting grains causes increased activities of hydrolytic enzymes, improvements in the contents of total proteins, fat, certain essential amino acids, total sugars, B-group vitamins, and a decrease in dry matter, starch and anti-nutrients. The increased contents of protein, fat, fibre and total ash are only apparent and attributable to the disappearance of starch. However, improvements in amino acid composition, B-group vitamins, sugars, protein and starch digestibilities, and decrease in phytates and protease inhibitors are the metabolic effects of the sprouting process.”

“When seeds are sprouted, minerals chelate or merge with protein, in a way that increases their function.”

Increases in Protein Quality
Increases in Essential Fatty Acids
Increases in Vitamin content

For more information please refer Wikipedia and the list of edible sprouts.

One important factor to remember is, certain sprouts are toxic when sprouted and consumed, like the Kidney Beans/ Rajma, so please read and confirm before sprouting a bean to know if its safe to sprout it for consumption.

Update

Thanks for reminding me Bee, I actually wanted to mention but missed it. Yes, the shorter the sprout, more nutrient it is. As it gets longer, it tends to become bitter and also the nutrient level goes down.


The Sprouting Process.

Take the bean that you are sprouting, wash well and soak it in water for 6 hours, then drain the beans from water, store it in a vessel or a muslin cloth. The sprouts starts coming out overnight.

If you are planning to make mixed bean or berry sprouts, then you got to know how long each one takes to sprout . It also depends on the climatic conditions of the place you reside. I am giving details based on our climatic conditions.

After sprouting Moong dal and enjoying it over months, we have now moved to sprouting other beans like Chick pea, Peas, Black Eye Pea, Wheat Berries.

We either eat them as such raw, or par boil it for few minutes and make a salad. You can even stir fry it to make it more edible. But my catch you, if you eat this regularly you will get used to it.

Sprouting time for Moong Dal, Peas, Black Eye Pea,


All these beans take about the same time to sprout. All these have to be sprouted separately. Wash the beans and soak in water for 6-8 hours. Then drain the water from the beans. Store these separately for about 6 hrs or overnight. By morning, you will find the sprouts, Store these in fridge to prevent further sprouting. When you store in fridge, the sprouting speed is reduced but not stopped.

Chick pea.

Follow the same process as above, but this takes few more hours extra for sprouting to start.

Wheat Berry

Wheat berries take the longest time to germinate. Soak the Wheat berries for 6 hours, then drain in and store in a vessel overnight, Next day you can again wash in water and drain and store for another 6 hrs.Totally it takes about 2 days for a Wheat Berry to sprout.


When you have all the beans sprouted, you can make a mixed sprout salad with or without adding vegetables. Since Moong dal, Peas and Black Eye pea are soft, they can be consumed raw. But you can parboil the chick pea and Wheat berries before eating them.

Also since these sprouts are rich in enzymes and mineral, its advisable to consume in small quantities.

I am sending this to my Ninja friend Divya from Dil Se, who is hosting the Weekend Herb Blogging. WHB, is an event started by the lovely Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen.

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32 comments :

bhagyashri said...

Nice write up on sprouts Srivalli. I usually sprout Moth beans to get Matki for the usal, moong also sometimes.

jayasree said...

Nice informative post. Even I have started storing sprouts in fridge so that i can use it anytime. I was under the impression all beans can be sprouted -never knew some beans become toxic on sprouting. Point noted.

Arundathi said...

lovely photos! great post, valli!

Divya said...

Great info about sprouts Valli..I too started having healthy food a.k.a sprouts and salads only recently.Try the cold veggie salad in Pizza hut..its yummy!!

Shreya said...

lovely pics, and great info. I could relate to your first para so much!:-) I still am that kind of a person. Infact, I hardly have raw vegetables after I started cooking on my own. My mother insisted on having sprouts once a week, and raw veggies (atleast carrots and cucumber and lettuce leaves) once a week. Now, I have lost the habit, and should start once again. Thanks for the sprouting process, will start soon:-)

Roma said...

Thanks for sharing these tips. I am supposed to be eating sprouts to control my cholesterol. After seeing these pics I think I might try my hand at this.

Jayashree said...

Nice pics, Valli...

RJ said...

Wow! Liked this post. You know I have a question, I sprout Moong dal many times, however not all the beans get sprouted. Half of them do and the rest half doesn't, I find it weird, any ideas why ? In fact when I soak them overnight half of it is fluffed up and rest is as is (no change).

Poonam said...

very informative post! I havent read cpmpletely yet, but will be back..

kamala said...

I too never had salads before Valli..But as you said We are changing..Nice information about sprouts.

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Hi....
This is a very useful information. Thank u...

Cham said...

I only prepare the moong sprout , love the way u do at home and feed the kids! Informative and useful post

FoodyGuru (Srimathi) said...

Sri, my sister just got me this fancy container to make the sprouts.I think it is mess free but I think your method is very easy. Nice write up.

Aabharan said...

Hey Valli,

Nice pics. Never knew that some sprouts could be dangerous! good info. I left a post on the prawn curry yesterday - its not showing. I am definitely trying that one as my hubby & I love Prawns!!

Uma said...

Love your tips on sprouting Srivalli! I'll definitely follow your instructions. Thanks. Great pics.

Divya Vikram said...

Valli am too happy you sent this my way for WHB..And that was a great useful post..I have never thought of making sprouts with anything other than moong..Great info!

Rajee said...

Very informative blog Srivalli. Now I have no excuse not to try it at home :-)

live2cook said...

Nice post. I love sprouts so much and can eat as is.

Kalyn said...

Very interesting post about sprouting. It got me thinking that when I was in college I used to eat sprouts all the time, but now I rarely do. They're nutritious and tasty too, so I plan to start eating more of them!

bee said...

did you know, the shorter the sprout, the more nutrient rich it is? i was surprised to learn that.

Ranjani said...

Nice:)

Kamini said...

Very nice writeup, Valli. I've never tried wheat berry sprouts - will do so now, as I am inspired by the yummy-looking photograph.

Kamini.

SMN said...

Valli thats a very nice read girl.. sprouts ae always nice to eat

Srivalli said...

Thank you all for your lovely comments. Never knew ppl will love sprouts..

RJ, I have never had this problem. Will look out to see if it happens..how do you sprout?

Srimathi, just sprouting them in closed vessel is enough, I have seen...

Aabharan, thanks for stopping by. Thats really weird, I didn't find your comment in the prawns post...glad you commented again!

notyet100 said...

nice post,..thnks a lotz..

Natashya said...

What a lot of great information about sprouting. I have only tried it once, with wheatberries, but am anxious to try it again.

Jude said...

I've mainly done sprouting to make breads.. Still a newbie with it. Thanks for this informative post!

Priya Narasimhan said...

valli, thank god i saw this post on time..(i came here from your pongal post)i am new to sprouting. :-) and i actually have soaked rajma for sprouting..thanks a lot for this post..very informative..

Andrew said...

I like to sprout urid beans and fenugreek seeds too. I have a tendency to sprout more than I need and it ends up becoming bird food.

Anonymous said...

when you store in a vessel,
do you keep it covered and out on the counter at room temp?

where do you buy this muslin cloth?
after sprouting do you throw away the cloth or wash it? do you tie the cloth up?

Srivalli said...

Anon Yes we keep it at room temp if we want it sprouted over night, else we store it in fridge.

Muslin cloth must be available in most shops. If not you can use any regular kitchen napkins also.
We normally use the cloth for couple of times before discarding, it actually depends on how it turns out. We normally just wrap the grains/grains in the cloth and store.

Mina Joshi said...

Really nice Post about sprouting. I tend to sprout a lot of seeds in the summer and then freeze them to use over the year. Frozen ones are good for curries and stir fries.

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