Food For Life – Sprouting and Health Pt II

When it is time to harvest and use your sprouts, a little time and care will increase your eating pleasure. Adzuki, alfalfa, cabbage, clover, fenugreek, mung, and radish taste better with their hulls removed. The sprouts can be put into a sink filled halfway with cool water, then agitated gently with your fingers to remove the hulls, which will either fall to the bottom of the sink or begin to float. Push the floating hulls to one corner of the sink, and then gently remove the sprouts, being careful to not stir up the hulls on the bottom of the sink. The harvested sprouts can be transferred to a covered clean glass jar or placed in a sealable plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator. The sprouts will continue to grow slowly in the refrigerator until use.

Although this is an easy process, sometimes things can go wrong. The most common problem is spoilage. Contributing to spoilage may be one of the following factors: bad or cracked seeds, inconsistent rinsing—remember this removes the seeds’ waste, too much heat, and inadequate ventilation. So be sure to inspect your seeds for cracked seed, rinse on a regular basis, monitor the temperature and rinse more often if needed, and, lastly, use a fan to circulate the air. One other thing that can affect the enjoyment of your sprouts is poor texture or a bitter taste. This can be avoided by following the sprouting chart* carefully—do not over soak and do not grow the sprouts too long.

Sprouts can be used in salads; on bread; in bread recipes, dried breads, and crackers; blended to make spreads or juice; in loafs and dressings; in milks, cereals, and soups. Begin your sprouting journey and see where it takes you. Enjoy better health as you add sprouts into your diet.

*For a copy of the sprouting chart, e-mail your request to:, or refer to The Sprouting Book, by Ann Wigmore, Avery Publishing Group Inc., Wayne, New Jersey, 1986.