Life Giving Sprouts

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It’s that time of year when many people are trying to eat lighter and be healthier. The days are longer with the warm sun shining overhead. Naturally, we are more active when the spring bug starts to bite. Typically the more active we are, the better we want to feed our bodies with food that is healthy and easy to digest.
Here’s a tip for the health conscious that are struggling to squeeze in your “five a day”. We’ve all heard that dynamite comes in small packages and the nutrient dense powerhouse of sprouts certainly falls into that category. Always thought of as a “health food”, they are now being called nature’s most beneficial food, proving themselves to have additional benefits – like curative abilities.
In a recent study, 1 oz. of broccoli sprouts had the same cancer-fighting power as over 1½ pounds of broccoli. Sprouts like alfalfa, broccoli, clover, radish, and soybeans contain concentrated amounts of plant compounds called phytochemicals that have disease fighting properties. Most phytochemicals have the antioxidant activity that protect our cells and reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer. They are also a wonderful source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, many B vitamins, and exogenous enzymes.
Sun loving chlorophyll is another bonus of sprouts. It is easy to imagine the vibrant energy filling their leaves just waiting to work their magic in your body knowing that plants soak up their energy directly from the sun, unlike humans and animals.
The best part about this perfect food is that it’s one of the easiest to grow and can be done anywhere year round with simple supplies. It can also be done very inexpensively and in your own home. There are many different methods of sprouting. You should consider your budget and time allowance for this new hobby. I am a huge fan of sprouting jars and I’m not referring to those expensive ones you can purchase in stores. A tried and tested method in my home is a wide-mouth jar — important so I can reach my hand all the way in – covered with some type of non-toxic material that will allow proper air circulation, easy watering and drainage.
You can cover the top with cheese cloth and a rubber band but I prefer the mesh screens that can be found at craft stores. If you turn the jar upside down and trace the mouth, you can cut and secure in place with the ring that would normally hold the lid on. To me, these are the best homemade home sprouters that won’t take up hardly any room at all.
A living enzyme is activated when a grain, nut, or seed is sprouted. If you truly believe the old saying, “you are what you eat,” then add some life to your plate by sprinkling on a handful of these handy dandy little babies.
What you choose to start sprouting first should depend on your uses for them. For example, if you strictly want to increase the nutritive value of your daily sandwich or salad then sunflower or alfalfa seeds might be great beginning options. The uses for sprouts are endless, from breads to cereals to making your own nut milk. Some take two days and others take up to a week before sprouts are at full maturity.
Just a little FYI about setting up your kitchen for sprouting: your friends may say your kitchen looks like a science experiment with jars and bowls scattered about, but the rewards of eating life-giving food will far outlast the wise cracks.

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