Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Love Me Some Sprouting and How I Do It

In my quest for stronger and healthier teeth; which by the way is a whole other, very long story.. I have begun sprouting beans & legumes and some grains that we eat.  There is this thing called phytic acid that exists in food and it can keep your body from absorbing all the potential goodness in those nuts, beans, legumes and grains.  By soaking and sprouting you are neutralizing the phytic acid giving your body the nutrients it needs to run properly; not to mention bringing all sorts of good stuff to the surface that wasn't there before, like vitamin C and enzymes.  Once sprouted, we COOK the bean, legume or grain.  ** UPDATE: Raw kidney beans are toxic, so do NOT eat raw soaked or sprouted kidney beans **

I want to take a moment and let you know about a well-researched book called, "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon.  If you are at all interested in food and health, this book is full of information. I have found great fermentation recipes, sprouting information and how to properly make a good stock. Gut health is so important and this book is helping me get there.  She also discusses the benefits of sprouting.

Eventually I am going to figure out the grain thing; which could be it's own post.  I just haven't had the will power to cut all non-sprouted grains yet.  Life without bread?  Seriously? Although.. there is this sprouted wheat berry and apricot flatbread that could quench my cravings. You can find the recipe in, "Flatbreads & Flavors" by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid.  It is perfect with a smudge of goat cheese with tea in the morning.  Mmm.. thinking about it makes me want to get a batch of wheat berries sprouting.  Okay, back to sprouting.


You Will Need:

* BEAN, LEGUME or GRAIN to sprout

I wanted to share the sprouting setup that is working great for us.  Ikea's FINTROP dish drainer is what I found and for $11.99 I am pretty happy with it.  It is a manageable size, so doesn't take up as much counter space.  I mean, who wants one more thing to move around on the already cluttered surface?  Hah!  You can sit four half gallon jars straight up OR the three jars if you prefer to tilt them.  There is this nifty groove in the middle that makes this very easy to do.  The metal tray removes easily enough, so you don't have to have standing water in the tray once sprouts are finished dripping excess water.  All-in-all perfect for the amount of sprouting we do.

Thursday nights here is taco night.  This Thursday I wanted to sprout some black beans.  It just takes a little planning to be able to utilize the benefits of sprouting food.  I started the sprouting process for beans four days ahead.  Black beans seem to take a little longer to sprout than other beans, so I wanted to allow plenty of time.  In any jar, you can typically fill it with dry bean, legume or grain up to 1/3 the size of jar.  That is why I use half gallon size, I can easily sprout 2 cups of beans. Once sprouted, will keep in the fridge for a bit.

Add your beans to the jar and fill it up with filtered water.  Typically, I do this before I go to bed.  When I wake-up, I turn the jar over  and drain the water out with the appropriate sprout lid screwed on, rinse and then drain again.  Set it on the dish drainer and that's that.  Rinse & drain  2 to 3 times a day.  You basically don't want the seeds to be too wet or too dry.  I have been washing the black beans 4 times a day.  They seem to dry out a bit quicker.

Once the intended seed has sprouted, I will cook it.  Sprouted lentils are a great addition to a soup.  Maybe try spouted garbanzos for hummus?  You can sprout buckwheat groats and then roast them at the lowest temperature your oven will go or better yet, in a dehydrator.  We love buckwheat (Kasha) and sweet potato with an egg on top for breakfast, slathered with fermented hot sauce. Whatever you sprout, it is certain to be tasty. One thing to know when cooking your sprouted goodness, it won't take quite as long to cook or need as much liquid.  I just cook less and add a little bit less liquid.

Now what are you waiting on? Go get your sprout on!   Until the next...

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