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~ The Joy Factor

Sprouting Your Way to Vitality

The Benefits of Sprouts, Wheatgrass & Living Foods

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If you are into eating a living foods diet, then you probably are well acquainted with sprouts. These remarkable gifts of nature are pure, fresh, nutrient-rich, and alive with their vital force intact. If you’re interested in experiencing healing, optimum health, and vitality, then make sprouts — the food for the future — part of your healthy kitchen and lifestyle. (I talk about my passion for growing sprouts and using them to heal the body in this 2-part radio interview I did on the program Bloom Talk. Click HERE to listen.) Sprouts have been the cornerstone of my wellness program for over 40 years. Think about it this way: What food can you easily produce and enjoy whether you are three years old or 103, vegan or carnivore, or are living in an inner-city high-rise or on an isolated island? What food is grown indoors with no soil, is harvested in two to seven days, and is loved by children and adults alike? What can supply your family with fresh vegetables year-round, regardless of the season? What food is edible raw or cooked, and is delicious either eaten all by itself or included in an exciting array of recipes? The answer is SPROUTS. To listen to another interview I did on the wonderful world of sprouting, click the playbar below:

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Nature’s Little Miracle: You start with a small, dry, hard seed. Add warm air and a little water, and watch as new life emerges as if by magic from the dormant seed. Vibrant with life and bursting with energy, its tiny size belies the extraordinary activity that takes place while growing. In mere hours and at a cost to you of just pennies, its delicate shoot proceeds to provide the most vital food imaginable. Want to grow sprouts in your kitchen and purchase the best organic sprouting seeds and sprouting supplies? Interested in losing weight, looking younger, and boosting your energy and joie de vivre? If you answered yes, then make friends with my favorite sprouting company Handy Pantry. Contact: 1-800-735-0630 (US & Canada) or 801-491-8700 (intl), or visit: HandyPantry.com. 

 

As a teenager, my grandmother taught me how to grow sprouts and incorporate them into my diet. To this day, I have sprouts growing in my kitchen including wheatgrass, which is very detoxifying and rejuvenating to the body. Growing sprouts doesn't take up too much space; some of my favorites include red clover, alfalfa, lentils, garbanzo beans, almonds, fenugreek, French blue lentils, green peas, bean salad sprouts mix, protein powerhouse mix, red lentil, sunflower seeds, wheatgrass, mung beans, and broccoli sprouts. Below are a few of the reasons I enjoy growing sprouts and benefit from their superfood-ranking everyday. For detailed information on the ABCs of Growing Sprouts, please refer to my full-color recipe and nutrition book Recipes for Health Bliss: Using NatureFoods & Lifestyle Choices to Rejuvenate Your Body & Life, which has over 150 color photographs. Regarding this book, author and publisher Louise Hay says: "It's the most beautiful health book on the planet." The chapter on sprouting includes a Sprouting Chart so, at-a-glance, you will know the soaking times and when to harvest your delicious, nutritious sprouts. Kids love to participate in the sprouting process. And it only takes a few minutes each week.

  • Sprouts increase in nutritional content as they grow, and this increase proves to be truly remarkable. The vitamin C in sprouted peas increases eightfold in four days. The vitamin B-complex in sprouted wheat increases six fold, and vitamin E increases threefold, in four days of sprouting.
  • Increased nutritional value does not stop there. Many different minerals abound in sprouts, and in an assimilable form. Sprouts provide a storehouse of enzymes, and all vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and grains begin life as sprouts.
  • Homegrown sprouts are the freshest, most assuredly organic food available to you. Nothing compares with “picking your own” just before you eat them and knowing they're free from fungicides and insecticides. When you eat sprouts, you are receiving the plant’s peak nutrition, when nature has mobilized all of its nourishment to bring forth a mature plant.

Try this experiment. Assuming that almonds and sunflower seeds are already “delish” to your taste buds, soak them in filtered water for half a day, drain, and eat them as they are. If you agree that simply soaking improves their taste and digestibility, welcome to your new life as a gardener and sprout gourmet. Grains, beans, and seeds are easy to sprout and delectable to eat. They range in shape and color from the concave lens of the brown lentil to the oblong sphere of the golden alfalfa seed. Everyone knows mung bean sprouts from Chinese restaurants, but how about sprouted rice?

In a simple glass jar that requires neither sunlight nor soil, and with only a few minute’s work spread over three days, you can cultivate over thirty varieties of sprouts. You need not toil long and hard, sweating under the summer and fall sun, defending your crop from insects and weeds. Yet you are fully assured that your harvest is organically grown, absolutely fresh, and resoundingly cheap. And if you do not have the desire or inclination to do your own sprouting in the comfort of your kitchen, you can find freshly grown sprouts in most natural food stores as well as many supermarkets.

Botanically speaking, all nuts, grains, and beans are seeds of plants. Every seed can create a new plant, and that plant creates a thousand new seeds, and those seeds produce whole fields and forests. This occurs naturally enough in nature, but to imitate this process in your kitchen, you must learn to control the air, water, darkness, and warmth necessary for successful germination. As mentioned above, I devoted an entire chapter to “Sprouting Your Way to Vitality” in my book Recipes for Health Bliss, which is featured on the Homepage of my website. This chapter has a sprouting chart to show you how to sprout all of your favorites and make it really easy. Kids love to take over this job at home, too.

Two of the most-asked questions I get when I do radio and TV talk shows on the health benefits of raw foods and growing sprouts is often... "Where do you purchase your sprouting seeds and supplies and how does one get started?"

That's easy for me to answer. I always purchase my organic sprouting seeds from the Handy Pantry. They are a gold-star, family-run company — the best in the world — for all kinds of sprouting supplies from organic seeds to sprout-growing kits and sprouting jars, to wheatgrass kits, as well as DVDs and books on how to sprout, and so much more! Their website is really cool and they have the best selection of organic seeds and supplies that I have ever seen. Make friends with their website because it will change your life for the better and help you create vibrant health.

Also, you'll want to check out these links on the Handy Pantry homepage. I use all of these products and wouldn't be without them. I am passionate about growing sprouts as well as micro greens and wheatgrass every week. All of their products make healthy and much appreciated gifts, too. The gift of health is the best gift you can give.

To order organic seeds and any of their other sprouting supplies, products, and gifts, please call: 1-800-735-0630 (US & Canada) or 801-491-8700 (intl), or visit: HandyPantry.com. Their team of experts will help you with any of your sprouting questions and what to purchase to get you started or to upgrade your existing sprouting and micro greens adventures. There's a whole new world of delicious foods and vibrant health just waiting for you to discover and embrace in your healthy lifestyle.

Susan's Blog © 2011. All rights reserved.

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