How to Grow Sprouts at Home…

From hair dressers to lawyers, dietitians and doctors, when I admit to being a vegan, the standard response is a furrowed brow, concerned eye contact and the question “What do you do about protein?” If I’m lucky, I might even get a pat on the shoulder or a squeeze of the elbow.

What is the biggest misconception since people thought the world was flat? Meat is protein and protein is meat. Since everyone says so, including your doctor, your mom, Carl Atkins and your Uncle Sam, it’s the Truth, by popular demand!

If you haven’t purchased The China Study, click and download it now. It offers the most comprehensive research of global nutrition ever conducted. More than 8000 statistically significant associations exist between various dietary factors and disease.  The correlations and conclusions are scientifically reputable, reproducible and revolutionary: People who eat plant based diets are the healthiest, and societies that eat more animal-based foods suffer more chronic diseases. According to the World Health Organization, we only need about 5 percent of our diet to be from protein, and they recommend consuming no more than 10 percent. Plants (grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds) not only provide more than enough protein, but also fiber, antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins and nutrients without all the fat and cholesterol that promotes disease. And if you doubt that, ask yourself how steer, buck, bison and pigs get so big…(they are vegan!)

Consider this: (p230)

Nutrient

Plant-Based Foods*

Animal-Based Foods**

Cholesterol (mg)

137

Fat (g)

4

36

Protein (g)

33

34

Beta-carotene (mg)

29,919

17

Dietary Fiber (g)

31

Vitamin C (mg)

293

4

Folate (mcg)

1168

19

Vitamin E (mg_ATE)

11

0.5

Iron (mg)

20

2

Magnesium (mg)

548

51

Calcium (mg)

545

252

* Equal parts of tomatoes, spinach, lima beans, peas, potatoes
**Equal parts of beef, pork, chicken, whole milk

One of my favorite sources of protein is sprouts. They have vitamins A, B, C, E, K, contain all of the essential amino acids (aka: complete protein), and provide more calcium than cow’s milk. They are a superfood, and you can add them to almost anything. I even put them in brownies. (Though for the first time ever, my kids said “no thanks” to dessert.) Whatever. More for me.

Sprouts go bad fairly quickly, and grocery stores have difficulty with quality control. Pregnant women are actually advised to avoid them due to e-coli and salmonella contamination, a risk that can be greatly reduced in a vegan kitchen where there are no meat, eggs or dairy products to feed the bacteria. If you’re ready to learn how to grow sprouts at home, it’s the easiest and the cheapest thing in the world!

Soak about 2 tbsp of seeds in water for 24 hours, and then place in the sprouting bag (or a bell jar with a screen for a lid) and rinse every 12 hours or so. I keep them next to my sink so I don’t forget. Within 4 days, you have spouts. Eat them raw or add to a stir-fry.

You can find many varieties of seeds and the bag/jar at any health food store. You can mix and match your favorite varieties for an original batch every few days. And you can reassure Grandma that you’re as healthy as a horse!