The Joy of Sprouts
In the worship of Demeter, goddess of the corn, the ancient Greeks
beheld the mysteries of life itself in the simplicity of the single grain
of wheat. They understood the incredible potential of the tiny seed. In
it lies the power to sustain, nourish and satisfy. In the germination and
sprouting process is contained the vital energies which transform the seed
into a tall strong plant which can ultimately reproduce itself many times
And so today we are rediscovering, in our own homes, these very
mysteries. Sprouted seeds and legumes are being eaten and enjoyed in
unprecedented quantities in the 21st century. Sprouting provides fresh
salad ingredients any time of the year and is a fun thing to do with even
very young children. Growing your own organic food is accessible to anyone
who can put together an old jam jar, a sieve, some seeds and some water -
it's as simple as that!
Nutritionally, sprouted seeds contain vitamins, minerals, enzymes,
oxygen and proteins in an absorbable form which most sophisticated
supplements cannot rival. Starches become simple natural sugars, splitting
long-chain amino acids and converting saturated fats into free fatty acids,
providing more nutrients - grain for grain - than any other natural food
The secret is in the chlorophyll, the 'blood' of the plant - the
protein which gives it its distinctive green or purple colour. When
compared to a molecule of haemoglobin - the oxygen-carrier in human blood -
chlorophyll is virtually identical. Without sufficient oxygen in our
blood, we develop symptoms of low energy, sluggish digestion and reduced
metabolism. Poor digestion, in turn, means reduced absorption of nutrients
and a compromised immune system.
A century ago, plant chlorophyll was researched and identified as a
natural powerhouse of healing. Scientific analysis explained the
effectiveness of folk remedies using grasses for external as well as
internal benefits. Wheat grass in particular can be crushed to make an
antiseptic poultice for cuts, burns, rashes and insect bites. When juiced
the extract can be as a skin food - nutrients can be absorbed into the
blood stream - and, as a hair conditioner, it mends damaged hair and
soothes itchy scalps. Some of those 'old wives' were pretty smart!
However, since chlorophyll in its extracted form is highly unstable,
commercial and technological pressures after World War 2 favoured the use
of faster-acting antibiotics and chemical antiseptics which could be
patented and mass produced. Culturally, the tide was turning against self-
help and home-grown remedies and the natural food movement itself
regenerated - against all odds.
Sprouting easily satisfies the needs of the21st century
sustainability - it's cheap, it's fast and it doesn't take up much space
and, hey, it's even FUN - on top of even being SO completely good for you!
Here are some tips to get you started! -
- soak almonds, hazels, sunflower seeds, etc. This is sufficient
to improve digestibility and flavour; add them to salads or to cooked rice.
- 24 hours
- keep the water from your first soaking of wheat grain. This now
contains enzymes which can be used in place of an acidophilus supplement to
help create healthy intestinal flora. Using two cups of grain to one litre
of water, the liquid, known as rejuvelac, can be sipped as needed
throughout the day.
- 3-5 days
- Following a simple soaking and rinsing system, alfalfa seeds,
lentils and beans will produce succulent shoots, providing a little salad
patch in the tiniest corner of your own kitchen. In a jar with a muslin or
mesh cover, simply soak a handful overnight, drain off the water (which you
can re-use for watering your plants - with excellent effect!) and leave to
sprout. After another 12 hours rinse and drain the seeds. Repeat this
until the sprouts start to form little green leaves - there's your
There are plenty of books available providing more
technical details and there is an ever increasing array of sprouting
equipment to improve your yield.
whether you are taking the correct supplements?
you were less stressed?
with motivation to keep with your diet?