WHY USE SPROUTS?
by James Talmage Stevens
© 2009 Making the Best of Basics ––Family Preparedness Handbook
See our Food Storage Sprouting Kit
Reasons for using sprouts are so plentiful and so important it’s usually only a matter of listing them to convince you to try this very special kind of in-home gardening––accomplished in the comfort of your own kitchen. Increasing numbers of families find sprouting nutritious, delicious, and far less expensive than store prices. This information is a digest version of the Kitchen Gardening chapter, to be released in the revised 11th edition of Making the Best of Basics––Family Preparedness Handbook.
The Benefits of Sprouting
In this day and age, many people are searching for a way to get healthy, lower their food costs and increase their preparedness in case of a major emergency or natural disaster. Starting your own in-home garden and growing your own sprouts is a great way to accomplish all of these goals in one fell swoop. Sprouts are incredibly affordable, easy to grow, delicious and nutritious, and offer long term survival potential in case of an emergency or national disaster.
Sprouting is one Key to Disaster Preparedness
It can be difficult to contemplate what we might do in case of a major disaster, but taking the time to cultivate emergency preparedness could save your life and the lives of those you love. Learning about disaster preparedness is never something that you will regret doing, but in case of an emergency, you could regret not doing it. Begin cultivating emergency disaster preparedness now, and ensure you and your family will be safe in the future.
There are many of things to take into account when practicing emergency preparedness. It is incredibly crucial to make sure that you will have adequate water supply, proper shelter, the right tools, and a solid amount of food in storage in order to survive a major disaster. Many people stock up on canned and dry items such as rice, beans, soups, and vegetables, but unless there is a large amount of storage space, which most families do not have, it can be difficult to keep enough on hand for a longer term emergency. One 15 oz. can of beans might feed a family of three for one meal, but because of their potential to expand as they grow, 15 oz. of sprouts could feed that same family for much longer, and offer healthy nutritional benefits as well. It would be difficult to keep enough fresh vegetables in storage to sustain a family during an emergency situation, but because of their low volume and easy storage potential, it is possible to keep enough sprouting seeds in storage to feed your family for a year or more.
In the interest of emergency preparedness, it is important to use correct storage techniques in order to keep your sprouts healthy. Having adequate storage space and the proper supplies ready could mean the difference between life and death in a major disaster, and if an emergency does occur, you will likely not have the time to do what you need to do, especially if the disaster has halted shipments of food to stores in your area. Making sure that the storage area is free of mice and insect infestation will help to preserve your sprouting seeds and other food stock. Inspect your storage area and look for signs of mold and rot, and use tightly sealed containers to ensure an adequate storage of emergency food supply that can last for months or even years. Keeping extra containers in storage is also a good idea in case your need to rely on sprouts as a food source suddenly increases.
If possible, design your in-home storage space so that it has plenty of room for sprouts and other food items, and use an outside storage shed or facility for non-essential items. This sort of disaster preparedness may seem like overkill to some, but if an emergency occurs you will be very thankful to have a nearby storage space filled with what you need to survive. The nature of some disasters may prevent you from going outside, so an in-home storage center is very helpful.
In hot weather, it is advisable to refrigerate your sprouts after they have been growing for three days, but since the power is likely to be out after a major disaster, simply eat the sprouts as they become ready to avoid problems with mold or spoilage.
Sprouts Are Easy and Fun to Grow
When facing a major emergency, the last thing you will want to worry about is making food. The same goes for your everyday life. Many people wish to add more healthy foods to their diet but don't have the time to make complicated meals. If you would like to increase your family's healthy eating potential without adding stress to your already busy schedule, sprouting is the answer for you. All that is required in order to grow healthy sprouts is a handful of seeds, a few glass jars, a bit of cheesecloth or nylon, rubber bands, (see our sprouting jar strainer lids) water, and time. Sprouting jars and kits are also available to make the process a bit easier, but are by no means necessary. Out of all the foods you could possibly grow, sprouts require the fewest resources. It takes less than four minutes of work per day to complete the sprouting process, and unlike regular gardening, sprouts require no fertilizer, no weeding, and no pest control. Simply soak, rinse, water, and repeat, and after approximately three days you will have a healthy and delicious food to add to salads, stir fry, or soups.
Sprouts Provide Healthy Nutritional Advantages
Cooked grains, seeds, and legumes pale in comparison to their sprouted counterparts. Sprouts are incredibly healthy, providing a higher amount of nutrition than any other food source. When a seed sprouts, vitamins and minerals are released in order to keep the plant healthy and aid in its growth, and a number of more harmful compounds, such as tannins and oligosaccharides, are neutralized. The sprouting process is the healthiest phase in a plant's life cycle, offering nutrients such as Vitamin A, C, E, and B complex, sometimes in amounts ten times or greater than they were in the original seed.
Another key factor in the healthy benefits of sprouting is protein. Much like vitamins and minerals, the protein in beans, seeds and legumes becomes more bioavailable after the sprouting process has begun. Sprouts are a living food, meaning that when eaten they transfer healthy energy into the body, as well as enzymes, which aid in the digestion of other foods and can possibly slow down the aging process. Sprouting provides you with an excellent source of healthy organic fiber, and they are low in cholesterol, carbohydrates and fat, making them great for people who are watching their weight.
Sprouting for Amazing Savings
Not only is sprouting incredibly healthy, easy, and the best way to ensure preparedness in case of an emergency, but it can also save you money! Sprouts cost nothing to grow, and a supply of sprouting seeds is usually quite affordable, especially if you buy in bulk. Having a storage space ready where you can keep plenty of food will allow you to purchase bulk sprouts whenever you come across a good deal.
About the Author
James Talmage Stevens is a master of disaster preparedness. He is the author of "Making the Best of Basics, a Family Preparedness Handbook," one of the best selling publications in the disaster preparedness industry. He wrote the book in 1974, and since then there have been over 760,000 copies in print, with the 11th edition currently about to come out. James has been practicing disaster preparedness ever since he was a child, and he currently continues to do so from his residence in a rural community just outside of San Antonio, Texas.
For a free guide to sprouting, visit www.wheatgrasskits.com/basic_sprouting_guide.pdf. There you will find instructions on different sprouting methods, charts, directories, and healthy recipe ideas that you and your family are sure to enjoy.
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