How to Sprout Seeds
for Maximum Nutrition
Seeds and nuts contain enzyme inhibitors that must be broken down before the seed will germinate. In nature this commonly occurs in the spring time, as the weather gets warmer and the soil is nice and damp. The purpose of the enzyme inhibitors is to ensure the seed or nut only begins to sprout when the weather conditions are favorable. By soaking seeds and nuts in the warmth of your home, their enzyme inhibitors are broken down, and they become more nutritious and easier to digest.
Many seeds and nuts such as hulled sunflowers, pumpkin seeds, and almonds do not really sprout, but still benefit from being soaked in water.
When seeds and nuts are soaked their fat content decreases, and they become a better source of easily digestible protein.
It's important that the nuts or seeds you use for sprouting are raw and not roasted or salted.
How to sprout hulled sunflower seed
Hulled sunflower seed is the kernel of the seed with its shell removed. Before soaking pick out any chipped or damaged seeds.
- Place the desired amount of sunflower seed in a bowl or jar.
- Cover them with twice the amount of water, and gently encourage any floating on the top to sink. If some seeds continue to float it may mean they are damaged or rancid and are best removed.
- Leave to soak in a warm place for 1 to 4 hours, or overnight in the fridge.
- Rinse them gently until the water runs clean. Either use a sieve or a clean hand to stop them escaping down the drain.
- Enjoy these sunflower sprouts just as they are, sprinkled onto salads, added to smoothies and puddings, or used to make great raw pâtés and pestos.
Stored in fresh water they will keep in the fridge for 24 hours.
How to sprout almonds
Lovely juicy plump almonds. These are one of my favorite sprouts.
- Place one cup of almonds in bowl or sprouting jar and cover with two cups of water.
- Leave to soak somewhere warm for 8-12 hours or overnight.
- Rinse well.
- The almonds should now be large and plump. They will not grow a sprout and can be eaten just as they are.
- Soaked almonds make great snacks, nut milks, and pâtés. They are a tasty addition to salads too.
- Soaked almonds keep well, and can be stored covered with fresh water in a container in your fridge. If you change the water every day they will keep for 3-5 days.
Soaked almonds taste and store better with their brown skins removed. Depending on how long the almonds have been soaked for the almond skins may come off easily with your fingers - one of those things that gets easier with practice! If the skins seem on tight then you can blanch the almonds in hot water for about 10 seconds. Don't leave them too long or they'll cook! The skins should then be easier to remove. Damaged or rancid almonds contain green or brown rather than pure white, and are softer than healthy nuts.
If I'm snacking on the almonds or adding them to salads then I like to remove their skins, and if I'm making almond milk I leave them on.
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