Food Friday: Sprouting 101

Happy Friday fellow health nuts! It's the long weekend! Im off to celebrate a beloved friend's wedding this weekend and it is going to be beautiful. What are you getting up to?

Lately I have been experimenting with new food prep techniques and making a lot of whole foods myself. What a thrill when you know exactly how your food is made/prepared, hence know exactly what you are putting in your body. I just recently started sprouting because of the ease and the nutritional benefits. Thanks to Costal Healing and Whole Life Nutrition for the inspiration!

Why sprouts?

There are several reasons why choosing to make your own sprouts is beneficial.

  • First of all it is very easy and cheap! You just have to remember to rinse them a couple times a day. Having an at home garden makes me think my green thumb is improving. :)
  • They are very nutritious. Since beans sprout from just adding water, they are packed full of important nutrients that the plant will need in its initial few days. Therefore they are very nutrient dense, with little calories. Other examples of nutrient dense foods are liver, eggs, lamb, leafy greens (especially baby greens).
  • Sprouts have many health benefits. Because of their packed storehouse of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and fibre they can help battle conditions such as digestive and bowel issues, blood pressure and cholesterol issues, a poor immune system, skin name it!
  • Broccoli sprouts contain sulforaphane. This is a powerful antioxidant and detoxification chemical. These sprouts can take a little longer to start sprouting so be patient. 

What you will need:

  • 1-L wide-mouth mason jar - You can pick a pack up at Canadian Tire, find at thrift stores or buy a couple at Michaels. 
  • Plastic needlework canvas - You can find this at Michaels for 99 cents (or any craft store). The finer canvas works best for smaller sprouting seeds. (Sprouting lids are available online for a cost, but it is very easy to make your own.)
  • Sprouting seeds - Mung and alfalfa are typically the easiest to start with but broccoli sprouts are even more nutritious. You can find seeds at places like Halifax Seed. 

How to sprout:

  • To make the sprouting lid, trace the metal lid on the needlework canvas. Cut the circle out and insert into the mason jar lid ring (without the inner circle). Voila!
  • Place 2 tbsp of sprouting seeds in the mason jar. Cover with a few inches of water, screw lid on, and let soak overnight in a warm dark place. After 6-10 hours, drain the water. 
  • Rinse the seeds with water twice a day, draining the jar completely each time. Store in a warm dark place, tilted at an angle in a bowl, so any excess water drains out. The sprouts should be moist but not sitting in water. 
  • Once the sprouts have grown a few centimeters and have defined yellow leaves, place the jar in a bright place to be exposed to sunlight to green. Continue to rinse to ensure they do not dry out. 
  • Store sprouts in the refrigerator for up to a week. Enjoy on salads, sandwiches or as a snack. 

Any other at home garden tips?

In health & happiness,

Dr. Karen

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