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Even if you don't have an inch of outdoor space, you can still grow your own nutritious, sprout and sprout greens right in your home.


Why sprout

Sprouting enhances the nutritional value

The sprouting process breaks down of stored proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids into simpler forms increasing the bioavailability of nutrients. Typically 5 days after sprouting, the sprouts will have the highest concentration and bioavailability of nutrients.

Reduces phytic acid

Phytic acid present in all seeds blocks absorption of nutrients, sprouting releases an enzyme which breaks down phytic acid.

Quality over quantity

As you increase your intake of high nutrient food (increased quality) the desire for low quality nutrient processed food diminishes. The greater the quality of food the less quantity you require - good for you and the planet.

Easy & inexpensive to grow.

All you need are seeds, water a jar and some net/mesh

Easy storage of food

Dried grains, beans & seeds are all relatively easy to store until you sprout them into nutrition power houses. Most could, if hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, last up to ten years.

Low energy input

Seeds are an energy efficient way to store and prepare food

NB  The water used in sprouting can be used to water potted plants


All edible grains, seeds (with the exception of the deadly nightshade family – tomatoes, aubergine, potatoes and peppers) and legumes (with the exception of kidney beans) can be sprouted.

There are so many varieties of seeds to choose from, try to grow a variety including fenugreek, sunflower, kale, lentil, broccoli, red clover, and radish. Favourites of mine are:

Alfalfa originated in central Asia & the middle East. The Arabs found it a highly strengthening food for themselves and their horses and named it al-fal-fa, which means father of all foods. Alfalfa sprouts clean and tone the intestine and support the health of the blood.


Broccoli has become a popular sprout because of its delicious flavor. In 1998 Johns Hopkins University declared broccoli sprouts and other crucifer sprouts to be particularly high in sulforaphane, which belongs to the isothiocyanate class of phytonutrients. Sulforaphane has many health benefits including anti cancer activity.


Red clover sprouts are very similar to alfalfa sprouts, clover originated in Europe and has been used for over 2,000 years as a cover crop to improve soil. Clover sprouts contain the most significant dietary sources of isoflavons of any sprout variety. Traditionally used to reduce menopause symptoms and improving bone mineral density.


Mung bean sprouts have been cultivated in the orient for thousands of years. Mung bean sprouts, are a good source of protein, fiber and vitamin C.


Lentils(green or brown) are very easy to sprout and especially nutritious. Pound for pound they contain as much protein as red meat but in a totally digestible form without the fat and cholesterol.

High in potassium, iron, vitamin A, folic acid and fibre.


How to sprout seeds

Quarter fill a jar (1 litre is a good size) with your chosen seeds. Cover generously with chlorine free water.  Fit a mesh filter lid or fasten a piece of muslin over the top. Soak for at least 8 hours, some larger seeds may need longer. Soak until the seeds have doubled in size.

After soaking for the appropriate time, pour off the soak water and rinse well in cool water and drain again.   Turn the jar upside down and let it drain.  Place the jar on its side in a warm place, away from direct sunlight. A temperature of about 65 - 80F is ideal. Rinse the sprouts morning and evening.  It is important to keep them moist, warm and well drained until the desired sprout length is reached. Once the sprouts are ready rinse in a colander, wash thoroughly, drain, put in a bowl, cover and store in the fridge.

Sprout greens

Whilst sprouted seeds have been shown to have a wealth of health giving properties, allowing seeds to grow to the next stage of their development gives additional benefits.
Sprouts encouraged to grow leaves will provide a wonderful fresh source of chlorophyll that is renowned for its cleansing, anti-inflammatory and rejuvenating properties. In addition sprout greens

have an increased level of soluble fibre and additional phytonutrients.


Green pea greens high in fibre, protein, carbohydrates, iron, potassium, vitamin A, thiamine and riboflavin  provide excellent nutrition. The high chlorophyl content supports the liver, builds the blood and helps with digestion. They contain plenty of bioactive lecithin that helps to reduce the plaque inside arteries.


Sunflower greens are a good source of protein. They are rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc and vitamins A, B & E.


Buckwheat greens are rich in rutin, this is apparent by the pink stalk of the sprout. Buckwheat  greens are also rich in lecithin. They contain plenty of B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, and selenium.



How to grow sprout greens

Soak unhulled seeds for 12 - 18  hours, rinse well
Line a seed tray with moistened paper towel or a reusable fine cloth. Fill the tray 3/4 full of moist seed growing soil. Generously sprinkle seeds over the soil and press in lightly. Lightly water using a spray bottle, to prevent dislodging the seeds.
Place in a light place but not direct sunlight.
Water regularly to keep moist - do not allow to dry out but don't overwater!
When they are ready to harvest use scissors to cut stems just above the soil
Remove any husks rinse and enjoy.


Wheat grass can also be grown in the same way but to use the grass it needs to be juiced. The juice is a rich source of vitamin A and vitamin C, it contains a balanced range of B vitamins and provides iron essential in making hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells. These red blood cells help carry oxygen throughout your body.


by Daphne Lambert

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