Leave it to the Sweds to finally kick our interest in sprouting to life! We could hardly believe it when we found this beautiful ceramic sprouting tray in the IKEA catalog online. The Anvandbar Sprouter is designed by Studio Ganszyniec and so beautiful we expect it to become a staple on hippie-chic countertops across LA.

Sprouting is one of the simplest, cheapest ways to provide yourself with incredible home-grown nutrition in your own kitchen – maybe even easier than fermenting. We’re calling out sprouting as the wellness hobby of 2017, so we advise you to get in on it now! Of course, if the nutritional perks are more of a priority than a pretty countertop, all you really need is a simple glass jar and some cheesecloth. Get our instructions for it below, or swipe up this tiered chic ceramic tray set and alter the instructions slightly for the same results.

Most seeds, grains and beans can be sprouted in just a few days, start to finish. What you’ll end up with are nutritionally evolved versions of each, brimming with plant-protein and essential vitamins. Toss them into a sandwich, salad or straight into a bowl – the options are endless and the pay-off is major!

We’re refreshing our knowledge on sprouts and sprouting with integrative medicine practitioner, Dr. Elson Haas, who wrote the book on the healing powers of natural food (really, it’s called Staying Healthy With Nutrition). Keep scrolling for four reasons why sprouts should be a diet staple if they’re not already, plus three simple steps to start sprouting at home…

Sprouting at home + why bother

What to sprout: Any seed, grain or bean that has the potential to be a plant is sprout-able. This includes: lentils, soybeans, mung beans, garbanzo beans, alfalfa, oats, barley, and peas – just to name a few of many! As most of these ingredients are sold dried, they’re readily available and generally inexpensive to buy in bulk. They can also be sprouted at any time of the year, offering a massive variety of powerful plant-based nutrition, regardless of the season.

Plant protein: When a seed is sprouted, most of the would-be-adult-plant’s nutrients transfer to the shoots, one of which is protein. While seeds, grains and beans are inherently high in protein, sprouting increases their content between 15% and 30%, depending on the plant. The nutritional qualities of sprouted grains are highly bioavailable to the body.

Belly Benefits: Sprouts are living foods and – as with others like kombucha and kimchi – they’re great for our guts. The sprouting process increases certain naturally-occurring active enzymes, which helps improve digestion. These enzymes also assist in assimilating vitamins and minerals into our systems.

Vitamins + Minerals Galore: Sprouts offer a dense nutrition boost without much bulk. According to Dr. Haas, “with sprouting, most of the B vitamins are greatly increased, some more than tenfold. Niacin and riboflavin are in particularly good amounts. The vitamin C level is greatly enhanced in sprouts compared with the dry seeds. Beta-carotene, the vitamin A precursor increases with sprouting, as do vitamins E and K, calcium, phosphorus and iron, though mineral content is not as greatly affected as that of the vitamins. “

How to Sprout At Home:

Soak: Select a seed, grain or bean to sprout. Place them in a glass jar and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for 24 hours (out of direct sunlight), rinsing once or twice between.

Rinse: Rinse and drain 2 or 3 times a day, everyday, until they sprout. Be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight.

Repeat: Once they have sprouted, move the jar to a place with more light. Continue rinsing and draining 2 to 3 times a day for the next few days. The sprouts are ready to eat when the tail is about the same length as the original seed, grain or bean.

*Note: Sprouting can be a delicate process. It’s important to rinse, store and check your sprouts properly to avoid them spoiling! 

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