The Benefits of sprouted Nuts, Seeds and Legumes.

Nuts, seeds and legumes can be nutritional powerhouses. They are high in protein, good fats and fiber. But eating them in their most common state can be short-changing your health.

Let me explain. Nuts, seeds and legumes are meant to grow into plants and trees. While they are dormant in seed form they are protected by certain toxins that keep them safe until that magical moment when, in the right conditions, they can finally sprout and grow into the tree they always wanted to be. Partly, the toxins are to prevent them from being eaten by pests -- present company included. 

Unfortunately, these toxins that are meant to keep them safe contain enzyme inhibitors that make them tough for us to digest. When we eat dormant seeds, nuts and legumes not only are we not getting all their nutrients, but they may be leaching nutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc from us! Sprouted foods have activated enzymes that make them easier to digest and metabolize. It's believed that the more enzymes you get from food the less you own body has to use its own and this will keep you younger, longer.

I trust that's enough to convince you to give sprouted foods a go. You can readily buy sprouted nuts and seeds at health food stores but they are expensive. Sprouted legumes are available at most supermarkets and are cheap but selection may be limited. It's also a whole lot less fun to buy them when you can grow them yourself.

[caption id="attachment_72307" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Activated nuts from the health food store are expensive. Activated nuts from the health food store are expensive.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_72308" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Sprouts from the supermarket are cheap. But it's funner to grow them yourself. Sprouts from the supermarket are cheap. But it's funner to grow them yourself.[/caption]

The process of sprouting nuts and seeds are a little different from sprouting legumes so I will discuss them separately.

I've been referring to them as sprouted nuts and seeds but it's more accurate to refer to them as activated nuts and seeds -- as they don't actually sprout. Activating them involves soaking the kernels overnight, them drying them out in the oven at a very low temperature for 12 to 24 hours. Once dried out, they are ready to eat. You'll find they are crunchier with a slight toasty-taste. Prepare them in bulk and you can store them in the freezer where they will keep well. You can even eat them directly taken from the freezer as they don't actually freeze. 

Sprouting legumes on the other hand is like farming. You actually get to grow little, cute plants you can eat fresh or lightly cook. This process is sometimes called kitchen-skin farming, I term I love. You can buy speciality equipment for this, or you can use a few simple and cheap items you likely already have lying around the house. Growing sprouts is a really fun and fulfilling activity -- and one that you can do with kids that will stimulate their curiosity and teach them about the wonders of the world.

In my next two posts I will outline my process for activating nuts and seeds and sprouting legumes. 

[caption id="attachment_72309" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]A bowl of my home-grown sprouts, ready to be munched. A bowl of my home-grown sprouts, ready to be munched.[/caption]

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