Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How To Sprout On The Raw Food Diet

Sprouting is a process where you soak, drain and rinse nuts and or seeds in regular intervals until they germinate or sprout. Many nuts and or seeds have different sprouting times than others. Sprouts can be divided into two areas; those that are grown as small green plants (mainly eaten raw), and those that are grown to improve the nutritional qualities of seeds (mainly grains and beans). 

The main benefit of sprouting is to awaken raw nuts or seeds and bring them to life. During the sprouting process, newer and greater quality of nutrients and proteins are produced. This process enhances digestion. Sprouted foods contain a rich supply of enzymes which allow the body to easily utilize and metabolize food.

Another benefit of sprouting is that it removes enzyme inhibitors which can be harmful to the body. This can result in a host of problems such as gastrointestinal abnormalities and an enlarged pancreas. Enzyme inhibitors are chemicals in the nut and or seed designed to preserve the life force within the food. The inhibitors lay dormant until the plant or tree is ready. It is actually safer to consume a heated nut or seed than a raw, unsprouted nut or seed.

Best Conditions for Sprouting

Sprouting conditions are very important for longevity. The five most important conditions for sprouting are air, water, warmth, space and light.


Sprouts need air to breathe and flourish; therefore, it is important to NOT put them in sealed containers. Without proper ventilation, they will mold, rot and succumb.


Sprouts need purified water for soaking and rinsing. Two forms of good water are spring water and reverse osmosis water. Reverse osmosis is a filtration process that removes dissolved salts and metallic ions from water by forcing it through a semipermeable membrane. This process is highly effective in removing microbes from water. Sprouts need water every twelve hours at least, and more if it is hot and humid. It is important to not drown sprouts. If so, they will choke. If you let them dry, they will die.


Sprouts need to be kept warm to grow and germinate. The best temperatures vary between 70 to 75 degrees. Sprouts will lose vitality and die if they get too hot, and sprouts will limit the growth process if they get too cold.


Because sprouts can increase up to 30 times their size, it is important to give them space to grow. Cramming them in trays, bags or jars will force them to compete for light and air which can lead to death. Spread only a thin layer of seeds in trays and keep them mobile in bags and jars for optimal development.


Many sprouts cannot use light in the first few days of growth, and many never need it. Plants that produce leaves will eventually need light to GREEN. The only time to use direct sunlight to sprout is when it is cold, but most sprouts will be fine with indirect natural light.

Sprouting Containers

The most popular sprouting containers are sprouting jars, sprouting trays and sprouting bags.

Sprouting Jars

Sprouting jars (glass jars) are best used for sprouts that need very little light such as beans and grains. It is best not to cram or overfill jars to counter poor air circulation. The best method for sprouting in jars is to use a two to one method. For every one cup of sprouts, use two cups of water. You may use any kind of jar. You will need a SCREEN type lid to cover the jar. You can purchase sprouting jars with lids from local health food stores or you can make your own lids. A simple process of cutting pieces of mesh aided with a rubber band to secure the lid makes a perfect jar cover.

Once sprout soaking is completed, invert jar, drain water and rinse. Next, prop the jar at a forty five degree angle for water to continue to drain. Rinse seeds at least two to three times daily until ready, and always keep in angled position for drainage.

Sprouting Trays

Sprouting trays are ideal for sprouts that need light because they have a large surface area to grow naturally. The best type of food to sprout in trays are greens. To sprout, cover the bottom of the tray with a thin layer of soaked seeds. Make sure the tray is at least two inches high and has drainage holes smaller than the seeds. Any type of tray can be used for this method. Use mesh in the bottom of the tray so that new sprouting roots have something to attach to. The sprouts will grow better, and they will be easier to rinse and drain. Trays will need careful rinsing in the beginning as it helps to wash away mold. Try not to move sprouts around as they root. Once they are rooted, immerse them in water. This will help to remove the hulls from the seeds.

List of foods to sprout in trays; alfalfa, buckwheat, cabbage, red clover, fenugreek, garlic, mustard, radish, sunflower (in shell), wheatgrass, adzuki, barley, chickpea, lentil, kamut, oats, green peas and hulled sunflower.

Sprouting Bags

Sprouting bags are best for foods that do not need light. Sprouting bags naturally allow air into the sprouts for optimal breathing. The bags take up less space than sprouting jars, and they are easier to rinse and drain. Just dip the bag in purified water and drain. The best type of foods to sprout in bags are pulses, grains, nuts and beans.

You can make sprouting bags by using any material that allows water and air to move and breathe freely. It is best to use hemp or linen material because their porous skin allow sprouts to breathe easily. They also do not dry their contents too quickly. Put pre-soaked seeds into a moistened sprout bag. Dip the bag in purified water for a minute and then hang to drain. On each subsequent rinse, shuffle sprouts around in the bag to prevent rooting into the fabric. Remember, grains and beans expand by three times, so do not overfill.

Sprouting Overview

When sprouting, soak seeds for at least eight hours or overnight. Make sure to soak the seeds in purified water . Try to double the amount of water to seeds. Rinse the sprouts at least every 12 hours. Drain the sprouts well by tilting at a 45 degree angle. Place sprouts into a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator. Rinse them every three days or so. Most sprouts will keep at least three weeks or longer.

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