Why Sprout?!

GRAINS, LEGUMES, NUTS AND SEEDS! Yes you can sprout them all BUT why sprout?

So the goal when eating is to consume nutrient rich whole foods for optimal health, right? What if I told you that you aren't consuming all of the nutrients you can that a grain, legume, nut or seed contains? This is because just like other species; beans, seeds, grains and legumes all have a a defense mechanism for survival and that is a compound called physic acid. This compound is used to hault the full absorption of the grain, legume, bean or seeds nutrition so once decomposed of, it can then rejuvenate and grow. The cycle of life!

However that is not good for us, we want all the nutrients we can get! Physic acid blocks absorption of vitamins and minerals, and can cause poor digestions and disruptions of healthy gut bacteria. Sprouting helps increase an enzyme called phytase that helps break down physic acid and allows optimal absorption of nutrients. 

What's even better about sprouting is the increase in nutrients compared to un-sproutting. There is a increase in folate, vitamin C, vitamin A, B vitamins, protein content, amino acid content, and minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc are easier to absorb. Sprouting may even make the digestion of gluten easier for those who are intolerant, but I would consult your health practitioner before attempting to consume sprouted or soaked grains and do so with caution. 

I know I know,  just another thing you have to do to be "healthy" but honestly this is such a simple process of filling a jar full of quinoa with water and leaving it for a few days. You mainly just need patience!

Step 1: Take a mason jar, I used a 32 ounce jar just because I wanted to sprout more quinoa, but any size jar will do just fine. Fill jar with quinoa, remember you're going to want to completely cover your quinoa with water so keep that in mind with how much quinoa you add to the jar. The ration of water and quinoa doesn't matter because it is just used to soak the quinoa. 

Step 2: Let your quinoa soak in the water for about 4 to 8 hours, I usually do about 6. 

Step 3: After you have soaked your quinoa, you're now going to want to thoroughly rinse the quinoa. Pour out soaked water, rinse with new water until the water pour out clearly. If you have a sprouting jar than this process will be super easy but if you're using a strainer keep ringing until the water is clear. You will continue to rinse the quinoa about every 6 hours for 2 to 3 days. In this process you aren't leaving water in the jar you're just rinsing the quinoa, straining the water and then letting the clean strained quinoa sit for 6 hours before you rinse again. 

I don't have a sprouting jar but I have a mini strainer that I just attached to my mason jar with rubber bands. When I let my quinoa sit for 6 hours after straining, I do so upside down on a plate so excess liquid can strain out as well. The strainer separates the mason jar and plate so they aren't completely on top of each other, leaving room for the water to drain from mason jar, this gives the quinoa enough air circulation to grow.

Step 4: As the quinoa sprouts you will notice a tiny little sprout starting to emerge. This was such and exciting little experience for when, there is something really cool about growth and life and to be able to do it right your kitchen is amazing, Mini kitchen garden! IT takes quinoa to sprout about 2-3 days but you will know it's finished when the quinoa has a tail or have sprouted greens! 

Step 6: Wrap your quinoa in a mesh cheesecloth or nut milk bag and refrigerate, they last about 3-4 days. Sprouts can be eaten raw or you can cook them like un-sprouted quinoa, however keep in mind they are already hydrated so you will not need as much water or heat when cooking sprouted quinoa. 

Keep in mind sprouts are at risk for contamination with food illnesses and bacteria such as e. coli. This can be avoided by keeping your kitchen clean, hands washed, storing sprouts correctly and purchasing organic quinoa.

Much love & health,

Nia