This article was originally published by Tess Pennington at Ready Gardens
While many of us are awakening to the dangers (ahem chemicals) that are in our food sources, not enough awareness is being made about some of the dangers that lie in over-the-counter vitamins. That’s right, some of your vitamins could be doing more harm than good.
Finding the right supplements can be a tricky endeavor. But, what if I told you it’s really not? In fact, you could easily grow your own vitamins naturally from the convenience of your kitchen window. What am I talking about? I’m talking about sprouts.
Sprouts are Power Packed
Sprouts are nature’s multivitamin and provide the highest amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and enzymes of any of food per unit of calorie. They are commonly referred to as a complete food because they are packed with high levels of complete proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and extraordinary amounts of protein.
How Do Spouts Benefit the Body?
- Assists in healing the body
- Cleanse the body
- Prevents diseases
- Enhances the general functioning of bodily organs
- Aids in digestion
- Removes gas from the stomach
Some of our favorites are:
How To Get Started
You’re going to love this – almost anything can be made into a sprout (except for nightshade varieties like tomatoes and eggplants). The most common types of seeds to sprout include alfalfa, grains, peas, lentils, radish, broccoli, cabbage, mustard seed, garbanzos, quinoa, nuts, and red clover. Sprouts can be grown every week for continuous staggered batches. In fact, there are sprout kits available to help you expand your sprouting palate.
- First, you need something to let your seeds sprout in. If you have a large mason jar, that would work. We like adding a sprouting lid like this one to the top of our Mason Jar Sprouts to help with easy rinsing. If you plan on sprouting different varieties of sprouts, you may want to invest in a low-cost 4 tray sprouting kit like this one. For large seeds, like beans and legumes, consider adding them to a large wide-mouth jar. When beans begin to sprout, they will quickly take up a lot of room. For smaller seeds, using a quart-sized jar or the sprouting tray would work well.
- Next, you need to right kind of seeds. For optimum nutrition, I prefer to purchase sprouting seeds that are non-GMO and organic varieties.
- Now that you have your vessel and seeds picked out, it’s time to start sprouting. Simply add a tablespoon or two of seeds in a jar and fill it about ¾ full with cool water. Swish the seeds around and allow the water to drain from the jar or sprouting tray. Once the water has drained, cover with a mesh lid or cloth, secured with a rubber band, to allow air flow. Sprouting Tip: For larger beans like garbanzo or mung beans, allow them to soak overnight and then drain the water in the morning. Repeat the rinsing step twice a day for 3-4 days.
- Set sprouts in an area in the kitchen where it receives indirect sunlight. Ideally, sprouts prefer a temperature of about 65-80ºF. If the temperature is warmer with increased humidity, rinse sprouts more frequently.
- When sprouts are ready and have grown to the desired size, do a final rinse and drain them completely. They can be eaten immediately or transferred to a glass or plastic container and stored in the refrigerator for a few days. As a precaution, make sure the sprouts have drained completely before storing.
One of the biggest drawbacks to sprouting is their very short shelf life. Unlike other fresh produce, seeds and beans need warm and humid conditions to sprout and grow. These conditions are also ideal for the growth of bacteria, including Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli. Not to cause concern, but since 1996, there have been at least 30 reported outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with different types of raw and lightly cooked sprouts. Most of these outbreaks were caused by Salmonella and E. coli and occurred at growing facilities. The bacterias are usually present in or on the seed, and the bacteria can grow to high levels during sprouting, even under sanitary conditions at home.
To prevent this health issue, you can follow these safety steps:
- Wash all sprouts thoroughly with filtered water before eating them.
- If you’ve purchased sprouts at the grocery store, look for the International Sprout Growers Association seal on the package or if you are buying bulk, ask your grocer if the sprouts are ISGA-approved.
- If the sprouts are pre-packaged, only purchase if the sell-by date is current or even a few days ahead.
- Examine the sprouts to make sure the roots are clean. If the stem color is not white or creamy, do not purchase them. Do not purchase sprouts if the buds are no longer attached if they are dark in color or have a musty smell.
- Smell the sprouts to be sure that they have a clean, fresh odor.
- Keep the sprouts refrigerated.
- After 2 days, compost them rather than consuming them yourself.
- If you’re buying in bulk, ask your grocer about the sell-by date.
- If you are sprouting seeds at home, follow the same guidelines described above. Learn about the source of your seeds, their ISGA-certification, and either have your grocer confirm high-quality standards for seed production or obtain contact information for the seed source and contact that company yourself.
- Follow the above guidelines regardless of the type of seeds you are sprouting, i.e., apply the guidelines to mung, alfalfa, radish, broccoli, lentil, sunflower and all other types of sprouts.
Since the shelf life is around 2 days before the sprouts begin to break down, take advantage of having them and add them to salads, sandwiches, soups, and even bread for added nutrition.
It’s that easy, folks! Sprouts are what Mother Nature intended for us in terms of additional nutrition. They are low cost, easy to grow and can give you ample dietary nutrition on a daily basis.
“Sprouts are what Mother Nature intended for us in terms of additional nutrition.”
I used to sprout alfalfa until people got sick and if I recall, some died.
Nutritional yeast (Brewer’s yeast) is a better multivitamin in my humble opinion. Mostly B vitamins and 50% protein.
In other news, here is part 1, rewritten.
Part 2, next Saturday, hopefully.
Overnight it came.
Wind speed instruments were blown away so we have no idea of actual wind speed but estimates put it at 130-150mph, with tornadoes spinning off at 190mph.
Over 48 hours we got 36” of rain.
In the morning, you’re on your own.
One version of a shtf event.
This was different that what we usually prep for.
Unlike the armageddon/EMP/Nuke type disaster which can happen instantly and without warning, in this situation we knew a week in advance it was coming. And with the right shelter we’d get through this, and that this isn’t The End.
But the collapse was very real.
No electricity, water, phone.
No doctors, no hospitals, nor ambulances or emergency services. Everyone is cut off.
No internet, no radio stations broadcasting, not even emergency channels.
There are no stores open. If one is, it’s on generator power, but you can’t get to it if you tried. The roads are blocked with downed trees, landslides, abandoned vehicles, and are impassable.
We sheltered in a concrete block basement dug halfway into a hillside for 26 hours. An excellent shelter.
Have things to keep yourself occupied: books, hobby work, games, playing cards, music.
In the days leading up to the storm’s arrival, we did not need to grocery shop as we’d had a hurricane pass nearby 2 weeks before and we were ready.
But in any last minute, last chance shopping, you want fresh vegetables and fruits; things like cabbages, potatoes, onions, garlic and similar items that will store awhile.
Obviously fruits will not keep as long but you’ll want all you can get because you never know when those items will be back- days, weeks, months?
Of course, you already have a full pantry, and more, of long term canned foods so try to secure those fresh items while you can.
The first day..
You know you need to do things but what’s first? Water, food, security/defense?
As a prepared person, you’ve thought about this before..
Stop, slow down, think things through before jumping into action.
Whatever you need to do immediately will come to mind.
Remember, there are no doctors now so you must stay injury free as much as possible.
We saw so much destruction in our area that it was hard to take it all in. You’re stunned and overwhelmed, in slow motion, as if the brain has slowed the input of images. It’s sensory overload.
Those with you, whether family or friends, will be in shock. Maybe you, too. If not now, probably soon.
Recognizing it will help you deal with it.
You need to stay focused, so if you see symptoms in those with you, be patient and if necessary, assign a small chore rather than a big one.
Organize living conditions…
With no electricity, I got the generator running as soon as it was safe to go outside. I ran two extension cords (made with Romex household wire) to two different areas of the house prior to this storm. It is the next best thing to a transfer switch (direct to house panel) as it helps organize extension cords inside the house.
We stored 40 gallons of gasoline and with a fuel efficient generator it will last several weeks. It is run several hours during the day and is shut off at night.
In the past gas and diesel have been readily available after hurricanes and storms in this area. This time was different. Transportation by fuel trucks will be nearly impossible for weeks. More on that later.
If we run our of fuel, we run out. We have a small solar array (now doubled- just under 1,000 watts) and it provides AC power for the basics.
Meant to say extension cords to the house are wired to the typical 3 prong outlets inside.
Ketchup, thanks and good luck.
Interesting story Ketchupondemand. I’ve been through various aspects of what you described including a hurricane (Isabel was only a Cat 1 though still creepy the way the wind moans) but not all at once for weeks upon weeks. I can relate to what you’re saying about being prepared in hurricane season. The Mid-Atlantic doesn’t get slammed with a hurricane very often but slow moving Nor-Easters can certainly slow down the pace of life along with inflicting damage.
I’m interested in the basement shelter dug into the hill, too. How did you make it safe for this type of weather event? Or was nothing more necessary beyond not having doors/windows pointed windward.
Also, what kind of lighting did you use to read and so on? I presume no one did any cooking until the storm passed.
The house is entirely cinder block and concrete, so building into the hillside was easy once the excavator did it’s job.
Roof is 2×6 framing with plywood and steel overlay. That is the weakest point but everything held up well. No damage.
To clarify, the basement ceiling (roof) is 5″ thick concrete which becomes the floor for upper rooms (BR/LR). Like a bank vault almost.
Thanks for the insights.
Careful re nutritional yeast. But you already know what I’m going to say.
Many contain hazardous levels of lead.
Many contain fortified B nutrients way beyond the tolerable upper limits.
Some contain the unhealthy source of folic acid.
Gotta love these INFROMERCIALS. Mac, I hope you’re getting a 50% cut off this broad.
Click my link to Amazon so I make a commission off you.
Better than sprouts, and easier to do, grow your dark green and dark red leafy greens indoors/outdoors, and never worry about killing yourself by Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli…….. but I have no link to Amazon to make 10% off of you.