an intro to sprouting

an intro to sprouting

I get a lot of satisfaction out of sprouting. Taking a tiny seed and watching it double in size as it swells with water and then observing the plant break free from its seed and gradually realise a curl of new life. While most of the things I prepare in the kitchen are exceptionally simple they require an element of forethought and often a lot of patience. You’re on mother nature’s schedule when it comes to sprouting. 

I got into sprouting less because of the health benefits, and there are many, but because I preferred the taste and texture when it came to making certain recipes. For the most part I dislike the taste and smell of tinned chickpeas and if I go to the trouble of pre-soaking dried ones I feel I might as well sprout them. I also love the texture of toasted sprouted buckwheat in granola. I sprout these chickpeas and buckwheat are the seeds I sprout the most often and I will post recipes for using both kinds of sprouts plus a few others.

You can sprout most nuts, seeds, grains and legumes provided they haven't been eradicated. I’ve only ever had a seed not sprout once before so I think it’s fairly uncommon but buying organic is generally fail safe. Nuts are often pre-soaked (activated) for making milks, wheat free grains or even seeds can be sprouted to make gluten free breads and cereals, sprouted legumes and beans are favourable for raw diets and all of the above make a great additions to salads and breakfast bowls.

The Process

I use a very rudimental process to make it more accessible. If you don’t have a sprouter any plastic/glass container will do provided you have a lid for it. You’ll also need a sieve or colander. 

Buckwheat soaks for 30mins and can often sprout within a day.
Chickpeas need to soak overnight (8-12hrs) and sprout in about 2-3days.

A simple google search will give you the soak time for any other seed you wish to sprout.

Step 1

Soak your chosen nut, seed, grain or legume for the indicated time.

Step 2

Rinse well and drain through a sieve, do your best to remove as much water as possible. Place the soaked seeds in your container, put the lid on but do not seal completely the sprouts need air. Store in a cool place out of direct sunlight. 

Step 3

Rinse the sprouts once in the morning and once in the evening and drain thoroughly (this is the perfect activity to pass the time while you wait for the kettle to boil) . Repeat daily until small shoots emerge from the seeds.

Store in the fridge to stop the sprouting process, they will last up to one week. Check out our recipe for sprouted chickpea falafels.