We love our sprouts, literally. When we were out at sea, into our second month with not one fresh fruit or vegetable to be seen, we still had our beautiful bean sprouts in jars and trays. Growing greens in soil took weeks, growing hydroponically on a boat was just impractical. But sprouts were easy.
- Sprouts don’t take up much room. Any little corner on a kitchen counter would do. If you live in an urban environment, a small apartment or on a boat, sprouts aren’t space hogs.
- They don’t require much. They need a little bit of water to rinse them out 1-2 times a day, but they don’t need soil, or sunshine like most plants do.
- It’s easy to grow a lot and it’s cheap. If you start beans every 2-3 days, there’ll be a constant supply ready to eat. If one crop is ruined, another is ready within a week. 3-4 jars of sprouts yields more than two people could eat as an accompaniment to a couple of lunches and dinner. Beans are inexpensive to begin with and when bought in bulk works out very cost effective. Seeds are a little more costly, but again bulk orders make it reasonable.
- Sprouts are very nutritious. They are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, protein, iron, and other substances yet to be discovered and named. Mung beans are said to help people with estrogen related problems and broccoli sprouts have been shown to help with certain cancers. We encourage you to do your own research. We didn’t take any vitamins or supplements during our hundreds of days at sea and returned with no health problems.
- When you grow your own food, you establish an energetic connection to it. The happier you are when handling your sprouts, the happier they’ll grow for you. And let’s face it. Eating happy food gives you good feelings, which promotes a healthy state of being. It’s a cycle we can perpetuate from start to finish for our own benefit.
- Sprouts are not subject to season. Satisfy your inner gardener even if it is the middle of winter! They can be grown at any time of the year, in any weather, even in a mild drought, and they don’t get pests, because they’re grown inside.
- They are a living food. One may think a tomato from the store is a fresh food, but it’s been picked days ago. Sprouts are still alive when you eat them. Now that’s fresh!
- Sprouts agree with most diets. If you’re vegetarian, paleo, vegan, raw vegan, low sugar, low sodium, or gluten free, sprouts are still an “in” food. They’re even great to add to a green juice if you’re into juicing or to eat the lighter sprouts when coming off of a fast.
- Sprouts are a great alternative to lettuce. People think eating healthy means eating lots of leafy salads, but there are lots of variations on salads that don’t include leafy greens. A mix of sprouts with a tasty dressing makes a wonderful salad.
- There is an amazing variety of beans and seeds that can be sprouted and they all taste different. It’s a culinary adventure. Spicy radish, green broccoli, kale, collards, hearty mung beans, Asian tasting fenugreek, pumpkin seeds, amazing sunflower seeds, light and breezy clover, and starchy filling garbanzo beans can all be sprouted and eaten raw.
Here on the land, Reid and I still eat sprouts. We like to grow mung, lentils, clover, radish, and brassica blends. To start we soak about 2 tablespoons of seeds in a glass jar (tomato sauce jars are good) half filled with water overnight. Cover the jar with a piece of plastic screen secured with a rubber band and pour off the water in the morning. Rinse with cool water twice a day, storing partially overturned to allow good drainage and air flow. When a one inch root emerges, they are ready to be eaten and can be eaten until we find them too tough, about three or four days later. We like to add a dressing of balsamic vinegar and soy sauce with a good sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds or any other toasted seed like flax or pumpkin. It’s so good and so easy, we wonder why more people don’t grow their own sprouts!