Soaking and Sprouting
If you are new to live raw foods, you probably never considered soaking or sprouting. There are many different pages out there that can teach you how to do this. This is how I soak and sprout my beans, grains, nuts and seeds.
I would definitely recommend learning how to soak and sprout as much of your food as possible. If you do you will see how healthy and really how economical it really is. Sprouting takes very little time, they are always fresh and you know there are no chemicals or pesticides added. Sprouts are easy on the digestive system, and are rich sources of oxygen, enzymes, vitamins, and essential minerals.
In general, all raw nuts need only to be soaked 12 hours before they are ready to use. All seeds, grains and beans can be used after they have soaked and sprouted according to the chart included on this page. When you sprout small seeds like alfalfa and clover they will produce two green leaves, rich in chlorophyll, after four or five days of sprouting.
Guidelines for Sprouting
- Dry storage: store your raw nuts, seeds and grains and beans in sealed containers in a cool, dry location. The refrigerator is the best place to store them. This will lengthen their life.
- Soaking: all raw nuts, seeds, grains, and beans are brought to life when placed in water, which dissolves their enzyme inhibitors. Unless otherwise specified, purified room temperature water is the best. I only use steamed distilled water, I never use tap water due to the chemicals in the water for treatment. Please look at the chart for more information on how long to soak your nuts, seeds, grains, and beans. The soaking should be done in a nonmetal container—I like to use glass jars so that I can watch the sprouts grow. I cover the jar with a nylon screen, wire mesh or cotton cheesecloth held in place by a rubber band. This makes rinsing them very easy. All soaked items should be rinsed every 6-8 hours and new water added.
Germination: after soaking, the seeds, grains and beans drain them and rinse well, put back in their containers. At this point, it is important to understand that they need to be kept moist but not wet, they must be able to breathe, which the screen, mesh or cheesecloth will allow them to do. Now you will want to keep them in a dark place (as if they are planted in the ground) at a comfortable room temperature. A closet, under a towel, or in a covered box are just some examples. During this stage, it’s important to rinse your “babies” twice a day. I usually do this in the morning when I wake up and in the evening before I go to bed.
Everything except the small seeds (alfalfa, clover, radish, cabbage, etc) are ready to harvest when sprout becomes as long as the seed out of which it grew. This usually happens within one to four days. These “ripe” sprouts can then be washed and drained well one last time before they join the nuts in the refrigerator.
- Greening: the final stage for the small seeds begins when you see the first sign of two small leaves appearing. At this point, place them in direct light so that they can begin the greening process, producing the chlorophyll that is so healing to us. Caring for them at this stage is the same as during germination: rinse and drain well every 12 yours.
After one or two days, the leaves on the sprouts turn green and they are ready to be harvested. At this point, you may want to put them in a bowl and wash away the hulls that have separated from the sprouts. This keeps the sprouts fresher for a longer period of time in your refrigerator. After you’ve rinsed the sprouts, be sure to drain them very well before you put them in the refrigerator for storage.
Most sprouts will last for a least a week in the refrigerator, especially if they are rinsed and drained well every three days.
These wonderful soaked and sprouted truly living foods have so many healthy uses that will benefit your body. Soaked nuts and seeds are wonderful to use in making delicious nut milks, pates, salad dressings, dehydrated snacks and pie crusts. Sprouted grains are great in nut milks, dehydrated breads and crackers, and also as a cereal. Sprouted beans add great nutrition and distinct quality to your salads, casseroles, and breads. And the green sprouts from the small seeds with their inherent life force are great salad toppers, or wonderful healthy part a sprouted wheat bread organic vegetable sandwich. They can also be used in your daily raw vegetable juicing.
The more you experiment with these true living foods, the more you will feel their vitality filling your mind and body with their wonderful energies. Enjoy the delight that they provide.