Sprouting Seeds..Which ones do I buy,and how much?

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I've looked at a few websites,and the variety is confusing,as I have never sprouted a sprout...some are alfalfa,broccoli,canola,kale,onion,radish,wheat,etc...are there any which are more nutritious than others? Are some spicy,some fairly bland? I'm ordering that Biosphere growing thing,as it seems the most sensible contraption for a beginner like me.. these sprouting seeds are being sold by the 1/4 lb,1/2 lb,1 lb,and on up..how much would I need to order for a year? Any and all suggestions,please,I'd appreciate anything..to save room on this Forum,you can email me at home,this is my real address..thanks,Cynthia

-- Cynthia Yanicko (yanicko@infonline.net), April 25, 1999


Cynthia : I've just started back doing srpouts again after a several year break. The best luck I've had is with broccoli and alfalfa. I dont use any fancy devices for sprouting, I have two 1 gal. glass jars, 2 pieces of cheesecloth (6'x6') and 2 stout rubber bands. I add 3/4 teaspoon of seeds to the jar and 1 cup of warm water, cover the jar opening with the cheesecloth and hold in place with the rubberband. Dump off water after about 3 hours ,through the cloth without removing it from the jar. Then add water through the cloth and swish it around then drain. Do this twice a day. In about 4 days you will have about 3 cups of sprouts ready to eat. Using 2 jars starting one every 2 days , you will have fresh sprouts all the time.....good luck..

-- Capt Dennis (souza@ptialaska.nrt), April 25, 1999.

yum yum yum ... and can live off these! No heat, no cooking, no odors to alert your neighbors that you are alive in there and have food.

Sprouts -- the perfect Y2K sustenance solution!~


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-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), April 25, 1999.

answers so quickly,thanks!! Leska,I have printed out the sheet on sprouts..it lists Mung beans and Adzuki beans...are these the sprouts that are common in those Chinese restaurants,or the salad bars,simply labeled "bean sprouts" ? My twins love those,if thats what they are I'll order a ton...Cynthia

-- Cynthia Yanicko (yanick2@infonline.net), April 25, 1999.

Cynthia, you still have time to buy just a cupful of each type of sprout and experiment first, before you decide which ones you really want to load up on ;^)

Right now Ashton is building a wild & weird sprouting tower -- he's an artist & carpenter, and this thing has more swirls and curly-cues than any steeple gargoyle ;^)

We have innumerable blenders & juicers for feeding hospice & stroke patients who have difficulty swallowing, and found that sprouts blended into their soft semi-liquid diets kept them healthy.

We've even done the whole wheatgrass trip, but one caution -- wheat grass juice is extremely healthy and purifying and is NOT compatible with chocolate! So don't go that route unless you've already established a very pure diet and like the raw garden healthful way of living :-)

Sunflower seeds are very easy to sprout, quick, tasty, familiar. Do those for sure. Mung bean sprouts are found in many Chinese dishes and are sold already sprouted in many grocery stores, so you probably have seen and tasted those. Crunchy, pale, juicy.

Triticale is chewy & good. Broccoli has a tang and fights off cancer. Quinoa is wonderful -- be sure to rinse thoroughly first. Green pea is fat and has good texture. Chick peas shed their skin and are chock-full of protein. Haven't had any sprouts we haven't liked.

To get used to them, try sprinkling some on salad. Experiment. Remember that sometimes a couple seeds won't sprout, so chew carefully so as not to chip a tooth on something hard.

Every morning Ashton makes smoothies with sprouts for maximum nutrition. He is very healthy! I am gradually coming back around to the raw food super-fresh-pure diet too, after enjoying the convenient tasty plethora of foods (always vegetarian) that certain nearby natural food stores had waiting  ;^)  Fun while it lasted.

We're already gearing our lifestyle and diet for next year. We went the entire Winter without turning on the heat, to get acclimatized. Gonna be hard to forego the hot showers come January :(

We'd survive if it weren't for other people. Just last night we saw the upstairs neighbors packing mucho guns into their car trunk -- uh oh. They're, um, young punky violent kids, very unfriendly. Sigh. Just as long as death is quick and painless. Too bad the punks won't have a clue what to do with the sprouting seeds/nuts/grains/legumes. Bummer.

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-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), April 25, 1999.


-- jeanne (jeanne@hurry.now), April 25, 1999.

Leska: Tell me how you store your sprouting seeds? I just got twelve and a half pounds of alfalfa seeds - can I use my foodsaver vacuum and divide the seeds into small packets w/o a problem???? Do the seeds actually need oxygen in storage? Doesn't seem logical to me.

-- jeanne (jeanne@hurry.now), April 25, 1999.

jeanne..thats the reason I posted here this morning...you asked the other half of my question! Leska..are these things nutritious just cold,or raw,or can you put them in soups? Would the heat destroy anything? Cynthia

-- Cynthia Yanicko (yanicko@infonline.net), April 25, 1999.

Jeanne, we buy our sprouting seeds/nuts/grains/legumes from Bob's Red Mill. We've had success just refrigerating plastic bags full, and sprouting as desired. For Y2K, Ashton sorta went all-out and we bought bags from Bob's Red Mill and took them to the Mormon Cannery and used #10 cans with the little oxygen absorption packets. That may not have been the best way to do it, but we had an appt there, last Non-Mormons allowed in, so we just went whole hog. We've been sprouting those and it has worked, but I would agree that sprouts, although dormant, are still alive.

One reason Ashton opted for the metal cans was that he did not want rats chewing their way into cloth or plastic containers. We have never seen a rodent where we are, but just imagine if the garbage isn't collected for a few weeks ...  And being in Cascadia, there are wetlands and streams and rivers close by.

The #10 cans come 6 to a cardboard box for easy storage. Don't want to put the cans where they will rust or overheat. We've had gardener patients who had seeds in their attics from decades previous which sprouted just fine. Some were rolled up in newspapers! WWII headlines! I'd have to do some research to find out the *best* way to store sprouting stuff. We did ours in a rush, but at least we have them safe & sound (knock knock).

In Cascadia, where it is @ 25-400 during the winter, without any sunlight, just a few hours of cloudy rainy creamy grey gloom, a concern with the sprouts is preventing them from molding while they sprout. We're doing OK this year. Hope the water is running next year, for easy rinsing. But we've also stored water, yet not nearly enough -- humanimals need LOTS of water!

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-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), April 25, 1999.

Cynthia, yes, heat will kill the enzymes. Sprouts are best room temperature. For soup, when the bowl is cool enough to eat, you can sprinkle sprouts on the top. Living crackers! Some ppl make delicious manna breads from sprouts. We don't, but have bought these and they are really good. You'd have to look up some recipes. We never heat our sprouts because we want them ALIVE for maximum nutrition when we eat them.

We drink the smoothies immediately after blending. Try milk, pitted fresh raw dates, banana, vanilla, cinammon, cardamom, and a handful of sunflower sprouts -- ambrosia!

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-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), April 25, 1999.

Just starting this years "crop" of wheatgrass :o) Like sprouting except in soil. Here is a list of links for sprouting
 < a href="http://www.easygreen.com/info/intro-index.htm">

Sprout Information Index (Sol Azoulay) 

Raw foods links 

Sprouting Information 

Growing and Using Sprouts 

Index of raw foods Elist (Good)

Sprouts; G88-886-A 

Sprouts and nut milk

-- Brian (imager@ampsc.com), April 25, 1999.

One bean I have not seen mentioned is the small lima bean. It is delicious sprouted! I went to a grain mill warehouse and bought the lima's at $7 for 25 LBS.

Also delicious is dried green peas and garbanzo beans. Also at $7 per 25LBS. The peas taste just like fresh picked out of the garden! All you Y2K preparers MUST buy and learn to sprout seeds! If all you eat is mostly canned food, you will get sick! Getting sick during Y2K you MUST avoid at all cost!

-- freddie (freddie@thefreeloader.com), April 25, 1999.

On another board I read that there was a danger of samonilla (sp?) with alfalfa even if you sprouted them yourself. I didn't quite believe it, but did a search on the web and sure enough...

Too bad because I had just started sprouting again and we were all really enjoying those. We like broccoli sprouts too, so we'll just have to stick with those on our sandwiches.

Anyway, check this out for yourselves. Samonilla poisoning as a result of trying to stay healthy would really be a bummer!

-- Linda (xxx@xxx.xxx), April 25, 1999.

Linda, re alfalfa sprouts and salmonella:

Why Alfalfa Sprouts are still Safe and Healthy
By Steve Meyerowitz, author of Sprouts the Miracle Food

In its January 1999 issue, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) describes two incidences of Salmonella contamination from alfalfa sprouts that took place in 1995. A few comments follow.

These were the first such incidents in the (then) 35 year history of the sprout industry. There were no fatalities.

Both incidents were traced to a single source of contaminated seed imported from the Netherlands.

All alfalfa seeds since 1995 have been subject to strict scrutiny and purification. The sprout industry today is in full compliance with the CDC and USDA.

Sprout contamination makes sensational news for the following reasons.

a) Prior to 1995, the tiny sprout industry was virtually unknown to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). It attracted great attention because it was new and undiscovered.

b) The USDA and CDC took a greater interest in sprouts, because the growing conditions for seeds are also favorable growing conditions for bacteria and because as a raw food, sprouts do not benefit from sterilization by cooking.

c) Sprouts are famous as legendary health foods. The incidence of salmonella is especially newsworthy because of the irony of a health food causing ill health.

Unlike other industries, such as meat, poultry, and tobacco, the tiny $250 million dollar sprout industry has no public relations firm or Washington lobbyists to defend itself. Thus, the public only knows a small part of the story.

The risk factor for contracting salmonella from eating sprouts is far less than that of other common foods.

According to the U.S.D.A., each year, salmonella contamination from foods such as poultry, meat, eggs and fresh produce sickens 4 million people annually in the U.S. The two 1995 sprout incidents reached an estimated 20,000.

According to the FDA, 93% of all bacterial illnesses from human and animal pathogens come from meat, poultry and dairy. In 1995, the CDC documented 15 fatalities caused by reactions to foods such as peanuts, milk, eggs and shellfish. Every year, there are an estimated 9,000 deaths and 81 million illnesses due to unsafe foods. (Wall Street Journal 8/21/98)

In 1997, Cox Newspapers analyzed a USDA computerized database of meat and poultry inspection records for 1996 and found 138,593 instances in which inspectors said food being prepared in packing plants was "certain" to sicken consumers. The database was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Our food supply is not the only source of bacterial infection. Each year, about 2 million people acquire infections while under care in U.S. hospitals and nearly 90,000 die of them, according William Jarvis of the CDC. (Based on a 1998 survey of 265 U.S. hospitals).

Sprouts are a nutritionally concentrated, pesticide-free, locally grown, fresh produce available year round. It is easily available to populations where fresh foods distribution is too expensive or impractical.

Eating alfalfa sprouts is statistically safer and healthier than eating meat, dairy or poultry. The U.S. food and water supply will never be free of harmful bacteria. Nevertheless, most Americans have confidence that their food is safe. Sprout growers are working closely with the CDC and USDA to produce safe, healthy, and delicious sprouts.

Sproutman Publications. PO Box 1100. Great Barrington, MA 01230. 413-528-5200x4. Fax 413-528-5201. Sproutman@Sproutman.com Or go to Sproutman.com

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I ordered some sprouting seeds from TLC Greenhouse (good outfit). With my order came a statement that the FDA recommends soaking the seeds prior to sprouting, for 5 minutes in warm water of pH 6-7, with household bleach at a concentration of 1-1/4 Tbsp. bleach to 1 quart of water (appx. 2000 PPM chlorine solution).

Sounds like overkill to me, but could make for peace of mind. Enjoy!

-- Debbie (dbspence@usa.net), April 26, 1999.

The above was at

http://w ww.easygreen.com/info/salmonellasproutman1.htm

-- Debbie (dbspence@usa.net), April 26, 1999.

Actually, I wouldn't use the chlorine at all! After all, chlorine itself is a toxin.

For killing nasties on fruits, veggies and meat, I use a highly dilute solution of grapefruit seed extract. Useful stuff; pick up a few bottles. (This is not a commercial plug, but this commercial site has lots of good info; please also do your own research!)


-- Debbie (dbspence@usa.net), April 26, 1999.

Has anyone had any experience in sprouting buckwheat. I've tried several times with no luck. I have been sprouting for years, but never with buckwheat. I do have 100 lbs of buckwheat, thats going to make a lot of pancakes.

-- thinkIcan (thinkIcan@make.it), April 27, 1999.

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