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Successful Sprouting 

Sprouting 2


SPROUTING HINTS from an Indoor (and Outdoor) Farmer:

Common reasons why seeds rot but do not germinate:

1) Old seed!  Use fresh seed; buy from a store that sells a high volume of seed specifically for sprouting.

2) Chlorine in the rinse water! Take a hint from amateur aquarists: draw gallon jars of cold water and let the water sit for several days before you use it for rinsing and draining your sprouts.

3) Inappropriate use of light! Start seeds in low light; only for the last two or three days do they need daylight.

4) Failure to rinse *and drain* your sprouts at least twice daily. Once a day is not enough for taking vitamins, brushing teeth or rinsing sprouts.

More hints at

Copyright C 2004 and prior years by Andrew W. Saul.

A Little Bit About Sprouts
(I have slightly edited the following useful, dittoed handout from a natural health fair in Brockport, New York way back in 1976. Author unknown.)

Of the vegetables we buy today, not only do most of them have lacking nutritive requirements, but they need more energy to get them into your home then they will ever return in calories, protein, or vitamins.

Processed vegetables like frozen broccoli need energy for planting, harvesting, processing, packaging, storage and shipping. All the while, they are losing vital enzymes and vitamins. Even fresh spinach looses 80% of its vitamin C with 2 days of home storage.

There is an alternative. Good tasting, inexpensive, quick to grow, and easy to prepare bean, grain and spice sprouts are that alternative. You eat them in Chinese food, and the Chinese have known about the medicinal and nutritive values of sprouts for thousands of years. The ancient Chinese used sprouts for, among other things, a laxative, inflammation reducer, counter vinous agent (counteracting alcohol), and antifebrile (fever reducing) substances. They are also known to be peptic, stomachic, lenitive (pain reducing), demulcent and expectorant. Sprouts have saved entire populations from famine and scurvy.

Very simply, a sprout is a seed that is allowed to germinate in water instead of soil. While the seeds themselves contain much natural food value, their nutritive value increases several fold when allowed the three to five days it takes them to sprout. Niacin multiplies three times in most bean sprouts. Riboflavin at least doubles. The vitamin C content of one serving of sprouts equals the minimum daily adult requirement. The vitamin and protein content of good tasting sprouts rivals meat, fish, citrus fruits and other vegetables.


1. Soak your favorite seed or bean in a large mouth jar overnight in water. (tap water will do)

2. Pour off soak water in the morning and rinse the sprouts. Let all excess water drain off. (You are no longer soaking the sprouts, but just keeping them moist!)

3. Rinse the sprouts 2 or 3 times a day.

4. The sprouts will be ready to eat in 4 to 5 days.


1. Find a suitable location with a fairly constant temperature, about 70°, such as a kitchen shelf.

2. Obtain some wide mouth jars, (quart or half gallon). These jars may be obtained free from restaurants or food service organizations. Also purchase some cheese cloth (available at a supermarket, drug store, or fabric store). Lastly dig up some heavy duty rubber bands and use them to secure a swatch of cloth over the mouth of the jar.

3. When soaking the seeds/beans, use enough water to keep them covered. The seeds/beans will expand at least 2 times.

4. You may want to expose the sprouts to the sun so they can develop their chlorophyll. The sprouts are at the peak of their nutritional value and will be at this optimum for the next 3-4 days. Sprouts taste best when they are the most nutritious. Refrigeration will help them keep. If you choose to refrigerate, rinsing is no longer necessary.

5. Use soak water as a stock for soups!! It has much nutritional value.

6. 1/4 cup seeds/beans yields 1 QUART sprouts. This ratio is constant.

7. Seed/beans can be purchased at your neighborhood health food store, your neighborhood food co-op, and occasionally at supermarkets.

8. Easy sprouts to start with:
Alfalfa seeds
Radish seed (untreated)
Mung beans
Wheat berries (this is what flour comes from)

FESTIVITY SAUCE (for sprouts)

1-1/2 cup hulled sunflower seeds 3 cups water 1 medium peeled beet (diced) (or 2-4 small beets) 1 cup chopped red or green cabbage to taste: 3 cloves garlic, 2 lemons (6 ounces), 3 oz. soy sauce

Makes 5 cups and may be refrigerated up to 7 days.

Place seeds in blender, run until finely ground, shut off. Add 1 c. water, blend on high until sauce thickens, slowly pour in another cup, let thicken again. Continue adding liquid, final product should be the consistency of very heavy cream. Add garlic, cabbage and beets, and blend in the color. Add lemon and soy sauce to taste. Serve of mung, lentil, alfalfa sprouts and greed salad.

Variations: replace seed with avocado, beets w/spinach or parsley, celery, lettuce or comfrey. DURING WINTER may use hot water, add cayenne pepper, blend in celery, spinach, sprouts - makes delicious hot soup for the coldest days.

Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )

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Andrew W. Saul


AN IMPORTANT NOTE:  This page is not in any way offered as prescription, diagnosis nor treatment for any disease, illness, infirmity or physical condition.  Any form of self-treatment or alternative health program necessarily must involve an individual's acceptance of some risk, and no one should assume otherwise.  Persons needing medical care should obtain it from a physician.  Consult your doctor before making any health decision. 

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