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Get Sprouted

Julia Bainbridge
Food Editor
January 13, 2014

Sarah Britton is a Toronto-born, Copenhagen-based holistic nutritionist. Her blog, My New Roots, has earned her the title of Quinoa Queen, but as we learned when talking to her for our new year’s health series, Britton’s knowledge goes way beyond ancient grains. And no, we’re not going to talk about kale, either.

Photo credit: Getty Images

You’ve seen those little plastic boxes at the grocery store, packed with white, tadpole-like bits of vegetable that have green nubs growing on their tails. They’re sprouts, and they’re the most super of superfoods.

“Once sprouted, grains, seeds and beans have 15 to 30 percent more protein, up to 10 times the B-vitamins, more vitamin C, vitamin E and K, beta-carotene, calcium, phosphorus and iron,” says nutritionist Sarah Britton. She also says they’re something you can absolutely grow at home. Here’s how: 

Put one to four tablespoons of seeds (“chickpea, alfalfa, sunflower, lentil, wheat, quinoa, mung bean, adzuki bean, clover and radish are just a few of the protein- and vitamin-rich sprouts of many possible seeds, grains and beans”) in a quart- or gallon-sized wide-mouth jar. Cover with some kind of netting—such as an old pair of nylons, cheesecloth, or screening from a hardware store—and secure with a rubber band. Add water, swirl, and drain. Fill the jar with cool water and soak for eight hours or overnight. Then drain.

Twice a day, for three to six days (or until the sprouts are one to two inches long), refill jar with cool water, swirl, and drain. Afterwards, invert the jar and prop it in sink or bowl to let it rest at a new angle each time you change the water.

Once your seeds have sprouted, either cover jar with plastic and a rubber band, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. The sprouts will be good on sandwiches and salads for seven to 10 days.

Check out My New Roots for more on sprouting