Sprout Seeds for Cheap Nutrition!

by Rita Bingham

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My years of nutrition research have taught me that the best foods are not the most expensive ones. People who spend more on their groceries are most often paying for convenience and convenience foods are nearly always full of calories but decidedly devoid of the nutrients our bodies need to heal and grow.

Besides, it's a proven fact that most of our behavior problems are often nutrition related! According to Dr. Barbara Reed Stitt, author of Food & Behavior, youth and adults assigned to correctional facilities are nearly always undernourished, a direct result of eating too much white flour, white sugar, fatty foods, and way too much meat and dairy.

What's the best way to get super nutrition?

Did you know that your body doesn't crave calories...it craves nutritious foods! When you eat nutrient-dense foods like whole grains, legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables, your body quickly gets what it needs to burn for fuel and to build healthy cells, signaling you to stop eating long before you've eaten enough to make you full. But what if there are no fresh fruits and vegetables? What if you get caught without any way of cooking your food? Would you like to know what to store that doesn't require any cooking?

Especially during periods of hot weather, wouldn't you just love to know that you could serve your family a nutritious meal you didn't have to cook? Just think no dirty pots and pans, and no more standing over a hot stove!

It takes only 2 days to grow a fresh supply of food - the most nutritious food on earth! According to Gary Harrison, Ready Foods 2000, sprouted broccoli seed has 10 times the nutrition of the plant. That means I can get the nutrients I need from far less food....and from far fewer calories. It could be the next miracle weight-loss program... The Emergency Slim-Down Diet!

Sprouts to the rescue!

"Sprouts grow practically anywhere; flourish in any climate, during any season of the year; need neither soil nor sunshine; are ready for harvest in 2-5 days; taste delicious raw or cooked; have no waste; and are so nutritious that they are one of the most complete foods known to man, rivaling meat in protein and citrus fruits in vitamin C at a fraction of the cost." (Northrup King Co., Consumer Products Division)

Growing a "garden" of sprouts requires much less effort than traditional outdoor or window gardens. Rinsing and draining several different kinds of sprouts takes only about 15 minutes a day and can provide a large variety of fresh vegetables not available in markets...and all for just pennies a day. So, stock up now and get ready for a deliciously unique experience.

Why sprout?

Sprouts add enzymes and enzymes heal the body, aid in digestion, and take the gas out of beans!

Sprouts are valuable sources of vitamins, minerals and proteins. Vitamins and minerals increase from 13-600% during sprouting.

Leafy green sprouts contain cancer-fighting chlorophyll, as well as Vitamin A and protein.

Sprouts are low in calories. Nutrients increase as sprouts grow in bulk, but calories remain the same.

Sprouts are a low-calorie source of fiber, an important factor in avoiding colon cancer and many other diseases.

Sprouts provide cheap food! A 15-ounce can of cooked beans contains about 4 oz. of dry beans. Sprouting 4 oz. yields over 1 1/2 pounds!

How much to store?

The Benson Institute at Brigham Young University, in their booklet Having Your Food Storage and Eating It, Too, suggests that 370 quarts of pickled, canned, or bottled fruits and vegetables should be stored for one person for one year. (BYU Press, Provo, Utah, 84602) This is roughly 1 lb. per day per person. Does this sound like a lot? It is! For a family of 5, this would amount to 1,850 quart jars of produce each year! Few people have access to that much produce, let alone that much storage space.

Because the volume of dry beans, peas, lentils and other seeds increases at least three to four times during the soaking and sprouting process, you would only need to store 125 pounds per person of a variety of seeds that can be sprouted and eaten raw, for fresh salads and greens, or cooked.

If you're one of the lucky few who has a fairly good supply of canned, bottled or dehydrated fruits and vegetables stored, then consider storing the following amounts for variety and better nutrition and essential enzymes:

40 pounds per person of seeds to be used in salads or as salad greens (sunflower, pumpkin, pea, alfalfa, barley, clover, buckwheat, lentil, radish, adzuki, garbanzo, quinoa, wheat, oat, and mung bean)

40 lbs. per person of seeds to sprout and use in cooking (mung, lentil, garbanzo, pinto, pink, black, kidney, small white, navy, lima, soy, etc.)

It is important to try a wide variety of sprouts and the experiment with different methods of preparing them so you will know what types your family enjoys and which ones to store. Because sprouts are such a good source of nutrition, I use them to supply necessary nutrients and consider most of the rest of our foods merely enjoyable "bulk."

In addition to bottled and dehydrated fruits and vegetables, I store the following quantities of seeds for sprouts to be eaten raw:

  • sprouting barley - 25 lbs.
  • rye - 15 lbs.
  • mung beans - 30 lbs.
  • quinoa - 20 lbs.
  • whole oats - 10 lbs.
  • alfalfa - 15 lbs.
  • peas - 10 lbs.
  • lentils - 30 lbs.
  • clover - 20 lbs.
  • sunflower - 60 lbs.
  • whole buckwheat - 35 lbs.

For sprouts to be cooked, I store:

  • Lentils - 30 lbs.
  • Garbanzo Beans - 50 lbs.
  • Pinto Beans - 50 lbs.
  • Navy or Small White Beans - 50 lbs.
  • Soy Beans - 25 lbs.
  • Mung Beans - 40 lbs.
  • Kidney Beans - 20 lbs.

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Storing seeds

Seeds should be frozen or stored in a cool, dry place in air-tight containers. Vacuum sealed or nitrogen treated seeds store the longest, with a shelf life of up to 15 years. Do not use tomato or potato sprouts, or any treated seeds (usually found in the gardening section), as they are extremely poisonous. Use only untreated seeds intended for human consumption.

How long to store seeds

There is a controversy raging about how to best store sprouting seeds. Some say "sprouting seeds need to 'breathe.' If they are stored too long in an oxygen-free environment they smother because they create their own carbon dioxide." How long is too long to store seeds without oxygen? Some people say 2 years is too long.

Recently, I tested 30-year old wheat that was stored using the dry ice method of eliminating oxygen. At the same time, I also tested 15-year old lentils packed with nitrogen. That's a long time without oxygen! The wheat and lentils both sprouted in only 2 days, with almost 100% germination!

However, I was unsuccessful in sprouting seeds stored in a glass jar for only 3 years. The key seems to be whether or not the seed will sprout when it is first purchased. To be safe, buy a small amount and test the seed before purchasing and storing large quantities.

What about bugs?

One reason for taking out the air in stored foods is to prevent weevil and other crawley things from living in them and eating more than their share so that you end up with only hulls and carcasses.

The safest, most effective pest control for grains and small seeds that will be used for sprouting is to add diatomaceous earth (2 1/2 Tbsp. per gallon) while filling containers to distribute evenly and coat ALL the seeds. Merely pouring the powder on top and trying to stir it in does not work.

Diatomaceous earth is a white, powdery substance made up of the interior spiny skeleton of small marine creatures whose soft body parts have decomposed, leaving the remaining skeletons that accumulate on the ocean floor over thousands of years. Geological processes bring these layers to the surface where they can be mined and used for filtering systems and pest control.

It does not produce a change in taste and it is not nutritionally harmful. Besides, all traces of this fine powder are eliminated in the soaking and rinsing process of sprouting. (In fact, it is an ingredient in many toothpastes.) (The Sense of Survival, by J. Allan South) A 5 lb. bag containing about 40 cups of diatomaceous earth costs only about $25.

Seed Sources:

Ready 2000 Foods
7300 NW Expressway, Suite 126
Oklahoma City, OK 73132
(405) 373 2855
Sprouting Seeds, Wheatgrass Kits, Sprouting Trays and Bags

Life Sprouts
745 W. 8300 S.
Paradise, UT 84328
Sprouting Seeds, Sprouting Trays, Diatomaceous Earth

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