Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sprouting

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"Sprouts provide up to 600 percent more vitamins than the full grown plant."  Researchers at the University of Ulster, UK have found. 

Let's say you have been living solely on your food storage for 3 months now and your supplies are dwindling.  If summer has come and gone there isn't time to plant a garden, and your family is going to need vegetables.  I know pirates are quite popular but many of them died of scurvy and I personally don't want to have that in common with them.  With limited options in a survival scenario, your solution is SPROUTING.  When a tiny little seed/grain, with all of its necessary vitamins and nutrients for growing packed inside, is sprouted it becomes a powerful super food!!  






"Sprouts are cheap, easily accessible and an unpolluted source of vitamin C, some protein, traces elements, and B Group vitamins. They are also a true organic food, if they are grown on your very own windowsill, without chemicals."


Sprouting could literally be a life saver.  I grow sprouts because they are so nutritious and also because my children eat them and don't know they are eating veggies.  


I buy sprouting seeds from Honeyville Grain, but the container above I bought at the Self Reliance Expo last year.  


They also come in smaller bags.  You don't need to buy a special bag of sprouting seeds.  There are many seeds and grains that can be sprouted.  Wheat, garbanzo, alfalfa, mung beans, barley, lentils, whole peas, and many more are all able to be sprouted.  Experiment with different seeds and grains and find which ones you prefer.  I really like the salad mix (above) because it tastes like those yummy garden fresh peas.  They just taste fresh and healthy. 


These are the two contraptions that I use to sprout.  The mason jar on the left is quite easy to use and the least expensive (under $5 for the lid).  Put in a tablespoon of sprouts, soak over night (the seeds are soaking in the picture), and just rinse twice a day until sprouts form, about 3-5 days. It can also be done without the plastic straining lid.  I started sprouting with a canning jar, cheese cloth and the canning lid ring.  The other option is a sprouter.  I really love the Victorio Seed Sprouter, on the right, because it pretty much does all the work for you.  You pour the sprouts on each layer (about 1/2-1 T), add 2 C of water twice a day, and it soaks, drains, and grows the sprouts.  There is no need for soaking and rinsing and draining.  With 3 different levels you can stagger your growing or grow different kinds of seed in each one. Remember that sprouts don't like the sunlight.  You can put them in the sun once sprouted to turn them green but they need a warm dark spot to grow.  It really is just that simple!!


We eat our sprouts fresh out of the sprouters, but they need to go in the fridge once they are big enough to eat. (when the sprout is the length of the seed you can eat it).  They should stay good for about 1 week in the fridge.  Mine never last that long because they get eaten.  Sprouts are great for salads, sandwiches, soups, muffins, breads, dinner casseroles, etc, etc.  They can be added to anything.  


If you and your family needed quick nutrition in an emergency, having sprouting seeds is the answer.  Gardening has its place but it can take months.  Sprouting takes only days and allows you to grow your own food storage.  Storing sprouting seeds takes up little space and they last for many years, in the right conditions (dark, cool environment), and are relatively inexpensive.  I don't think I will ever have enough storage space to store the recommended amount of wheat for 7 people, but I can store a years worth of sprouting seeds.  Think of how many sprouts you'll get out of 1lb of wheat, a lot!!  One tablespoon of wheat will create one full layer sprouts in the Victorio Sprouter.  That's quite the bang for your buck!!  This is one area of preparedness that everyone can do and should do today.  The health benefits alone are why everyone should be sprouting.

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