What's the best to sprout?
Which grains are the best to sprout depends on your experience, individual taste and physiological particularities (for example, not everyone can absorb well vegetable proteins from bean sprouts). You can experiment, trying different sprouts at various stages of germination, the body itself will let you know what it needs most at the moment.
Wheat, rye, oats, lentils and mung are unpretentious and grow very quickly. Flax and rice have stronger character: they take longer to sprout and require constant attention. The most delicious are oats, wheat and sunflower sprouts. Sesame and amaranth are slightly bitter.
There are sprouts that are good for everyone: buckwheat is one good example. Some other sprouts should be used with caution. Milk thistle is a powerful cleanser of liver, it is contraindicated for people with gallstones. Cereals sprouts are forbidden with gluten intolerance.
Where to store sprouted grain?
On the top shelf of the fridge, at + 2-5 degrees C, not longer than for 1-2 days. The sprouts feel best in a glass jar under a lid not tightly closed. Before eating, remember to rinse the sprouts with clean drinking water.
When are the sprouts ready to use?
The sprouts reach the maximum value at the beginning of germination, when the sprouts reach a length of 4-5 mm. This occurs when the visible part of the sprout has a length of 2-3 mm, while still hiding a half inside the grain. If you sprout the grain longer, as some authors recommend, it will have, on the one hand, more vitamins and phytic acid, but on the other hand, will lose part of its energy reserve during this growth. If the sprout is longer than the length of the grain, it would not have such nutritional value for the synthesis of new cells. In addition, this grain will not be able to restore our intestinal flora better than the one properly sprouted. In other words, the most delicious and useful are grains and legumes with 1-3 mm sprouts.
How to eat sprouts?
You should chew your serving of sprouts very carefully and for a long time so that the saliva could turn this food into the excellent healing product: "wheat milk". First, it is essential because the salivation is connected reflexively with the release of digestive juices, which in turn is the basis of the physiologically normal digestion. Second, the salivary glands secrete lysozyme which disinfects food. Besides, the longer we chew the sprouts, the more clean energy we get saving at the same time our own efforts. Therefore, the energy of the plant is preserved in raw, unprocessed food, and transfers into our body without losses.
It is important to accustom yourself to sprouts gradually. Put 1-2 teaspoons in your muesli, smoothies, fruit and vegetable salads and mashes, mix with cheese and yogurt. Chew carefully, wash down with a juice or tea. It's better to mix two different kinds of sprouts (say, green buckwheat and lentils, sesame and wheat) and change this mix once every two months.
Thus you gradually increase your portions of sprouts to several tablespoons per day if your body has such a need (for example, you are an athlete or on a raw vegan diet). Do not add the spouts to the hot dishes: the heat greatly diminishes their nutritional value. Your dishes (such as porridges, soups, ragouts) must be cool.
The sprouts is a morning food. If you eat them in the evening or before going to bed, you may have insomnia because of their strong stimulating effect.
What's the nutritional value of the spouts of different kinds?
Wheat and rye sprouts: proteins, carbohydrates, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, manganese, calcium, zinc, iron, selenium, copper, vanadium and others, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, E, F, biotin. Contribute to the normal operation of the brain and heart, eliminate the effects of stress, improve skin and hair, slow down the aging process.
Buckwheat sprouts: proteins, carbohydrates, lots of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, cobalt, manganese and calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, boron, iodine, nickel, vitamins B1, B2, B3, rutin (anti-sclerotic vitamin). Increase the level of hemoglobin, strengthen blood vessel walls, reduce capillary fragility and permeability, prevent hemorrhages in the retina. Prescribed with coronary heart disease and hypertension, diabetes, anemia and chronic stress, the treatment of bronchitis and sore throat.
Sprouted pumpkin seeds: high-quality proteins, fats, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, cobalt, vitamins B1, C, E, carotene. Especially rich in zinc (needed for normal brain operation).
Sprouted sunflower seeds: high-quality proteins and fats, lecithin, plenty of magnesium, calcium, iron and iodine, manganese, copper, fluorine, cobalt, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, D, E, F, biotin, carotene. Normalize acid-base balance in the body, strengthen the nervous system, help preserve good vision, improve skin, slow the aging process.
Sesame sprouts: rich in quality proteins and fats. Contain more calcium than any other plant food, as well as magnesium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B, carotene. Strengthen skeleton, teeth and nails, help prevent osteoporosis. Prescribed in cases of eyesight deterioration, fractures, and especially useful for children during the change of teeth and intense growth, for women after 45 years.
Lentils sprouts: high quality proteins, plenty of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium and copper, vitamins C, E, F, B1, B3, B6, B9. Promote blood creation, accelerate the healing processes. Particularly useful for weak and sickly children and adults, at anemia and blood loss, also to prevent pneumonia and bronchitis, after sore throats and colds.
Soybean sprouts: high-quality proteins and fats, fiber, lecithin, plenty of calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, selenium, and phosphorus, manganese, fluoride, copper, cobalt, vitamins C, B1, B2, B3, carotene.
What's the recommended/maximum daily portion of sprouts?
The minimal, starting portion of the sprouted grains for an adult is 20g per day (a tablespoon), for a child from 8 to 14 – 10g per day (a dessert spoon), for a child from 5 до 8 – 5g per day (a teaspoon). It's not recomended to increase these portions for children, and the adults may very slowly increase the daily portion to 70g. Based on these numbers you can calculate how much sprouts you need for the family and how much dry grains you need so that everyone received their recommended portion.
Gradually you may increase the amount of the grains you eat daily to several tablespoons a day if your body so desires (for example, your are an athlete or on the raw vegan diet). To get 100g wheat sprouts, you'll need 70g of dry grains (this is approx. 3.5 tablespoons).
In which cases the sprouted grain is not recommended?
Sprouts of cereals are not suited for people with gluten intolerance. Cereals that contain gluten: wheat, rye, barley, oat. In case of gluten intolerance you can sprout buckwheat, rice, maize, quinoa, amaranth, sorghum, and all kinds of beans and nuts.
Sprouts should be very carefully added to ration of children under 12.
Fiber content in whole sprouts negatively affects the gastrointestinal tract during ulcers.
Use of sprouts may bring some pain as a result of flatulence or therapeutic effects associated with the release of kidney sand and gall stones.
Use with milk products results in excessive gas formation in the intestines (flatulence).
Purine compounds contained in the bean sprouts contraindicated in gout, kidney stones, they are also not recommended in cases of acute gastritis, nephritis and inflammation in the colon.
What does "naked grain" mean?
The word "naked" is used to denote a special variety of crop culture when the grain is not covered with husk. Conventional oats and barley belong to the hulled grain crops where the seed is covered with a dense shell. Before eating, these cereals undergo a peeling process and during this process they lose their ability to sprout. That is why spelt (the grains of which are also covered with a dense shell) does not generally sprout uniformly and not as good as wheat.
However, the naked barley and oats do not have husks, as well as rye and wheat, so these varieties sprout well, and the grains can be eaten completely, they have no hard shell.
How to choose grains for sprouting?
It's better to purchase the grains for sprouting at specialized stores as the seeds for sowing are treated with pesticides, so their use may damage your health. When buying grain please pay attention to the contamination of cereals by the seeds of weeds and stones; it is better not to purchase such grain. There should be no green, immature, and thus inadequate grains; they should be whole, with no black spots, not infected by fungi and other pests, not rotten, not overdried. The grain that has been stored for a year sprouts well, and much worse if two years or more.
Grains that surfaced after thorough mixing (sometimes the grains would not sink because they have air bubbles attached, not because they are empty) is not suitable for sprouting, it is either dead or defective, it must go with the water. If more than 2% of the soaked grain surfaces, it means the grain has low vitality, and the whole batch is not suitable for sprouting.
Do not eat grain that couldn't sprout, it is either stricken or lacks life force.
For sprouting purposes, use only live, untreated grain which has embryo intact and which was not treated thermally or chemically. It is recommended to keep all seeds before sprouting in a cool dry place, freezing does not affect germination.
How to disinfect the grain before sprouting?
During the harvesting and threshing grains are mixed with earth and dust which contain a large variety of microorganisms. Multiple rinsing with running and even filtered water will not help getting rid of them, and the sprouting conditions (room temperature, high humidity) are optimal for their reproduction. Sprouts may mold, the product loses quality. It's better to disinfect the seeds by the pink solution of potassium permanganate. Prepare the potassium permanganate solution in a separate container, preferably in a glass jar, dissolving the crystals in boiled water. Pour the seeds into the solution, stir carefully and leave for 3-5 minutes. Then drain the pink solution and rinse the grain three time with pure water to wash out potassium permanganate.
Western experts advise to disinfect grain with water diluted with lemon juice and apple cider vinegar (soak for 10 minutes and then rinse). Additionally, rinse several times with pure water.
Another method of disinfection is to soak the seeds in salted water for 15-30 minutes (1 tablespoon of salt per 1 liter of water).
Also, you can use "dead" water for disinfection which you can get easily in a water activator. As practice shows, the disinfection of seeds with "dead" water with subsequent soaking in "live" water has an extremely positive effect on the process of sprouting and subsequent storage of sprouts.
Can I eat oats if I have intolerance to gluten?
Oats contain gluten, but there is one part of it missing, the gliadin protein which is often the cause of gluten intolerance.
Some oat varieties contain a little amount of gluten in a natural way. For example, oats is often sown on the fields where previously other cereals which contained gluten (wheat, rye, barley) grew. A number of plants from the previous year would grow from the lost seeds on such fields. Hence, the harvest of oats will include some amount of gluten containing grain.
Even if oats are just grown near the crops of wheat, barley, rye, the pollination of oats is possible by pollen from those grains. When harvesting, further pollution is made because the oats, and wheat, and other grains are collected by the same machines.
On the factories which produce oatmeal flakes, flour, and siftings, more gluten is added because the same equipment is used to produce flour, siftings and flakes from other cereals.
Therefore, only the manufacturers of the final product who guarantee (using laboratory methods) the absence of gluten in oats may label the produce "gluten free."
You should also remember that oats contain avenyn, a gluten-line substance. It is often the case that guten intolerant people are also avenyn intolerant. Even if they don't have obvious physical symptoms after oatmeal, tests may show intestines inflammation, which was observed during studies.
More information on this topic can be found in an article on the website of the Ukrainian Association of Celiac Desease.
Which sprouts are gluten-free?
Gluten is a vegetable protein contained in cereal plants such as wheat, rye, barley and oats. In Latin, gluten is glue; it is because of gluten the flour, diluted with water, becomes elastic and flexible, turns into dough.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1% of people in the world suffer from the celiac disease, a hereditary intolerance to gluten (allergic to gluten), which requires strict adherence to a gluten-free diet. However, experts of the University of Maryland Medical Center engaged in Celiac Study believe that many more people have mild intolerance to gluten. It can manifest itself as abdominal pain, flatulence or heaviness in the stomach after eating flour products. Intolerance cannot be determined by standard tests, and the symptoms are so nonspecific that most people do not have an idea about their intolerance.
Gluten is contained in the following cereals: wheat and wheat derivatives: durum (hard wheat), Emmerich (spelt), spelled wheat (rye), "Farro" wheat variety, KAMUT® – a brand of Khorasan wheat, monograin rye, oats (not marked as "gluten-free"), rye, barley, triticale (a species crossbred from wheat and rye) and, thus, the sprouts of these cereals.
Gluten content per 100 grams of product:
- Wheat: 80%
- Rye: 15.7%
- Barley: 22.5%
- Oats: 21%