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Sprouting your own Sprouts

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Picture of Sprouting your own Sprouts
A diet of seeds will give you scurvy. A diet of sprouted seeds will give you better nutrition than you have now. Yachties, survivalists, and Mormons count on sprouts as a way to thrive on cheap stored food.
There's not much to it. Soak the seeds or beans for a day, then rinse and drain them once a day.
After the first day they've magically become fresh vegetables.
Mung beans and lentils are the easiest to find and sprout.

Eat them quick! They'll keep growing and you'll have too much.
Here's a jarfull of mung I sprouted in the cab of my truck while driving south, camping and building my going-to-Cuba canoe on the way. Some sprouts are better grown in the dark. When exposed to light they start making green leaves. These are fine.

That's all you really need to know.
That and the fact that a lot of your food is contaminated with poison.
So you better find a source of safe water and switch to a diet of sprouts.

Step 1: Your Basic Mung Beans

Picture of Your Basic Mung Beans
Here are some dry mung beans I got at an Indian grocery store for $1 a pound or so. The broken ones won't sprout, but the others will. Mung and plain old regular lentils germinate with more vigor than adzuki, chickpeas, soybeans, or any other of the seeds I've tried. That makes it easy because dead seeds want to spoil. When there are no dead seeds your sprouts will stay good longer and require less rinsing.
 
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A good source for certified Organic Beans, Grains and Seeds is SunOrganic Farm. Great pricing and delivery to your door.

www.SunOrganic.com

startree2 years ago
I was just going to comment what a great post this was and well written to boot, and howglad i was to find it etc, and scrolled down to see I'd already made the same kinda comment at some previous time. Now I'm off to write an instructable on how to go senile gracefully.

Brilliant, lol.

Greensprouts9 months ago

I have a question. I just started a lentil sprout first time. After the lentils were soaked overnight I started the first rinse and found some skin/husk floating in the water. Are these harmful to sprouting? I read on some of the comments that broken or dead seeds should be removed as they spoil. Will the loose skin/husk spoil?

blodefood6 years ago
Sprouting is wonderful! It's a great way to supplement your fresh veggies, especially in the winter. DIY is way cheaper than buying sprouts. If you don't have a lot of space, you get to do some quickie gardening on your kitchen counter in a very small space.

You can sprout almost any bean or seed you can buy dry in the grocery store. Dried chick peas, green peas and lentils make a tasty combination for salads, and soup. You can do the same with wheat and rye grains. You can buy packages of seeds at your health food store that have other seeds, beans and grains. These have soaking instructions on them which is usually 6 to 10 hours. Try sunflower or clover. In 3 to 5 days you have some yummy, supernutritious sprouts.

This instructable was great, because I didn't think of using a yoghurt container. I bought one of those sprouter containers that set me back $20. One thing though, I rinse my sprouts twice a day . I use a mason jar with a screen lid now where I can watch the progress of the sprouts and then put it in the light to green up the leafy ones.

There are some sees like amaranth and teff which are very tiny and should not be soaked. Use a mist sprayer. Other seeds like broccoli and flax should not be soaked, but laid out on paper towel as they form a gelatinous mass from their seed coats. Use a mist sprayer to water.

Do not eat tomato or potato sprouts as they are poisonous. Do not use lawn seed as this has been specially treated for lawn use.
Wikipedia says that Kidney bean sprouts are also poisonous. I was pretty miffed, that's the only kind I have at home at the moment.
blodefood shooby11 months ago
Kidney beans, black turtle beans, romano beans, pinto beans and similar should be cooked. They are not poisonous, but just hard to digest. When they sprout tails they are ready for cooking.
Thanks for all the info! I wouldn't have known about the broccoli and flax seed sprouting tip.

I see Wikipedia says "All the sprouts of the solanaceae (tomato, potato, paprika, aubergine or eggplant) and rhubarb cannot be eaten as sprouts, either cooked or raw, as they can be poisonous."
celalboz3 years ago
to everyone who reads this, author says he obtained these monk beans from Indian grocery , is this beans may not be organic as in mice duds tainted which can give icola virus?
I also see that he has no health problem so can we assume, once you rinse them it is ok to sprout them? I would like an answer by anyone please..
thanks
If mice "duds" are a possible problem with the seeds you have, it is ok to soak them with a diluted bleach solution for a time. Depending on the delicacy of the seed, some Internet articles mention 1:19 or even 1:9 dilution ratios using plain household bleach and water. Soaking times mentioned range from a few minutes to a few hours. The general consensus appeared to be that diluted bleach kills fungus, molds, bacteria, and surface virus contamination without harming the seed. Only be sure not to germinate them in bleach solution. I hope these anecdotal clues help you in your search for answers.
Thank you for your helpfull explanations.
It's advised to rinse the sprouts before you soak them overnight to initiate their sprouting. But I think you should research the specific sprout you want to start a little before starting with it.
jackcday5 years ago
there are a lot of mormons on this site! :D
That other guys comment sure did not sound nice! (But maybe since he's been there, he's got some point... somwhere... ah, I can't find his point. Can you?)
Well I read about sprouting seeds somewhere, and since I started the whole process a few days ago and wanted to post how pretty my seeds are now I came across your great instructable!

I just used a random plastic food container I had and some plastic mosquito netting we bought the other day for our windows, secured with a rubber band. I sprouted lentils (after letting them soak overnight and rinsing them each day) and this is how they look on the third day!

Now I found an asian-type recipe I'll try (from Allrecipes). Thanks for the instructable!
IMG_1319.jpg
Im assuming by your plastic growing container that these don't require any light? Would light dry them out at all?
The Wikipedia page on Edible Sprouts says that yes, you can sprout some sprouts in the dark and others in some light (not direct light as this can dry out the seeds). But generally speaking the ones sprouted in the light are more nutritious (were able to photosynthesise) but the ones sprouted in the dark are sometimes more crunchy (and white, if you prefer that look). You can apparently also get more crunchy sprouts by putting a bit of a weight on top of them (not too heavy as you don't want to squish the sprouts).

Anyway, go read the Wikipedia page if you want, it's got a lot of interesting info :)
Actually there are two sprouting methods. One is the cupboard method where you put the seeds in a inclosed area and the other is on the counter top. Either way the seeds wll sprout. I hear the only diff is seeds in the cupboard don't taste as 'strong'.
Foaly74 years ago
Which of the two types of sprouts in this instructable is better?
Foaly7 Foaly74 years ago
And also, do you just sprout more when you eat all of your jar of them? (Probably a dumb question)
Foaly7 Foaly74 years ago
I know I'm asking a lot of questions about this, but I'm getting ready to try this kind of stuff, and this should be my last question on this instructable. Could you still sprout the seeds if you store the unsprouted ones with this "Alvin" vacuum canning thing? 
Okay, I know you asked this two years ago, but I was interested and did some research.

Here are the links to the USDA's nutrient database for Lentil Sprouts and Mung Bean Sprouts as well as their data on the Nutrition Data website (lentil sprouts, mung bean sprouts) which gives you nice graphs about how filling and nutritious they are. (I think the Nutrition Data site is the better of the two)

All in all it looks like lentils are definitely the more calorific of the two (106 vs 30 kcal).  Mung bean sprouts have a higher "completeness" (spectrum of minerals) and "amino acid score" (spectrum of amino acids) than lentil sprouts (notably lentil sprouts have no tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid for humans).  Lentil sprouts have a bit higher vitamin C and more thiamin and folate than mung bean sprouts, but mung bean sprouts have much more vitamin K.

I would think either of them are great, mung beans might be a bit better though, and you shouldn't live on a diet of only lentils as you'll have a lack of tryptophan in your diet (but who lives on only one food source?) Anyways, have a look at those pages and you can draw your own conclusions too :)

As for your second question, when your sprouts are ready you can keep them for a few days in the refrigerator (like the instructable says - this slows down or stops their metabolic activity) or you can eat them all and start a new batch.  You can have several batches running at the same time (started a day after each other) to ensure you always have fresh sprouts.

For your third question:  I would think storing unsprouted seeds in a vacuum container would not damage them at all - I don't think they need air to stay in quiescence (their dormant state) as their dormancy is supposed to protect the seed until it gets the environmental signals that lets it know that it's safe to start growing.  For safety's sake I would try to use the seeds before their "Best before" date, but that said...

Once I threw out an old packet of lentils in the hopes that the birds would eat it.  It rained the next day and as all the beans were lying in water I thought they'd go off, so I threw them into the garden to serve as mulch.  Lo and behold, a few days later there were lentil sprouts *everywhere*.  So if the packet is old the seeds might still sprout, I'd just advise removing those that don't sprout as the dead seeds can spoil the rest.
loppy961 year ago
Ive been growing my sprouts in starbucks cups
oneaustin3 years ago
I was just looking for a cheap way to grow sprouts but got a few good laughs too!
aluce13 years ago
Okay, trying this with alfalfa and buckwheat. hey, it's what I got on hand at the moment. I might have some lentils somewhere in my food storage. (you don't have to be mormon to be awake, you know) I'll post how this goes with the buckwheat. it might give another option.
popcorn man5 years ago
I once read something online about sprouting brown rice, it mentioned something about soaking the rice in strong green tea rather than water. Apparently it stops the water turning "nasty" and hugely increases the nutritional value; perhaps it would also be applicable here.
cww popcorn man3 years ago
Brown rice has to be soaked for anywhere between 16 and 70hrs in warm water before being able to sprout like this. There is an instructable about it if you do a search.
Capohanf5 years ago
As far as I can find out you can 'sprout' ANY plant. As to wheather some are bad to eat, I think all that are normally thought of as food are safe. I wonder if anyone has sprouted Pot? Some seeds need to be roughed up though. ie. rubbed between fine sandpaper to make it easier for the water to enter and start the process.
cww Capohanf3 years ago
I've heard you should not eat sprouted tomato seeds and someone on another instructable said no seeds that become fruits.
wakojako3 years ago
You can even sprout in ziplock bags.
lentils and things don't seem to mind
startree4 years ago
oh you are funny! and a cool instructable too :)
vrkelley6 years ago
Reporting back. after trying this for 9MO! Great success! Thank you!

Back in Dec, I bought a pouch of mung seeds from theHindi store. The sprouts take a week and they do not look like the bean sprouts that you buy in the store (or the picture). What is the brand of mung pictured? I'd like to grow some that look like the bean sprouts they use in chow mein???

What worked well: Our grocery and health food stores have a section of canisters for sprouting. Expensive by the lb but a little lasts a long time. Their alfalpha and mixes taste and work better.
Kaldea vrkelley5 years ago
If you want the ones like in the picture I bought these and they looked the same http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=20530103
pleabargain5 years ago
You're a poet philosopher. Or a philosopher poet?
solo.card5 years ago
So once you've got your sprouts growing in the jar, can you eat the bean/seed too, or do you just pull them off and let it do its thing again... ?
If I remember my botany classes, that is a no on that one. Seeds have only one set of leaves, a root, and shoot inside to germinate given the right environment. The cotyledons are the very first leaves that come out of a plant holding all the nutrients it needs until it's true leaves form to preform photosynthesis. The plumules are the shoot that starts to pop out along with the root in the sprouting. If you took this all away, there would be nothing to help the cotyledons open. In other words, a dead plant. Best thing to do would be to eat the whole thing, because it won't be growing again.
Sorry for no image the first time.
LegFruBIODLab.jpg
Three days later, I have sprouts! Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for.
Aaronicus5 years ago
I'm ex-Mormon and I understand the HUMOR in bringing up Mormons whenever you're talking about survivalist and food storage stuff. If you'd wake up and stop seeing the world around you through the BoM filter, you'd realize that the rest of the world sees you as: polygamists (possibly with horns) and survivalist/food storage nerds whose women know how to can, bottle, and preserve. By the way, you can scale up this sprouting plan using those great 3 gallon buckets with the wide mouths that cat litter comes in at Sam's Club. So you Mormons with eighteen kids and four wives take note. :)
Penny5 years ago
If you want ideas on other things you can sprout, these folks have a lot of good information (they also *conveniently* sell sprouting materials!): http://www.sproutpeople.com/
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