The Pyrenean Center’s Favorite Sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts. The most famous sprout. Alfalfa gets its name from the Arabic “alf-al-fa,” father of all foods. One of the richest sources of chlorophyll and magnesium as witnessed by its green color. Mild tasting. It holds on to its seed jackets tightly and matures in 7 days when 90% of them have fallen. Rinsing in the inverted position successfully eliminates most hulls. Sensitive to hot temperatures and direct sunshine. Alfalfa will decay if it gets too hot indicated by a softening (mushiness) of the stalk and an ammonia smell. Avoid this during hot weather by rinsing more often and with cold water Keep in a shady spot.

Broccoli sprouts. This superfood contains sulfophane which protects cells from becoming malignant. It occurs 10-100 times greater in sprouts than in broccoli as a vegetable. It also causes the body to release glutathione, a natural body enzyme, which neutralize or detoxify carcinogens, before they damage the DNA. To optimize its assimilation, there are specific way to prepare broccoli (See clinical nutrition workshop).

Cabbage sprouts. Takes 5 days to mature. Because of its small size, Cabbage is more difficult to root than other sprouts. By not disturbing the seeds’ orientation during days 2-4, they tend to root better. Once they root, they are tight fisted and unlike the others, need to be yanked out in lumps. Lots of seeds remain on the bottom. The seed jackets can mold, so rinsing thoroughly is indicated. These young seedlings also contain lots of sulphur-based compounds which are excellent for healing.

Clover sprouts. A cousin of alfalfa, clover sprouts are pretty to look at. They sprout fast and are easy to grow. Clover sprouts mature in only 6 days. Although they are not as tall as Alfalfa, they have a sharper flavor, a larger leaf, and a lighter green complexion. They surrenders their hulls easily making it the simplest of sprouts to clean. They are known to be good blood purifier, thus, at the Pyrenean Center, we teach workshopees to use these sprouts for cancer and other pathologies. High in calcium content, these sprouts also help to relax the central nervous system. They contain plant estrogens (called phytoestrogens), which helps to balance hormones as well as anti-cancer isoflavones.

Garlic & Onion Chives sprouts. These healing sprouts are easier to digest when young. Rich in chorophyll and antimicrobial elements, they possess all the mysterious metabolic mechanisms that make these plants famous in herbal and holistic medicine. Chlorophyll via parsley can neutralize the pungent odor. Young chives take 14 days to mature. You may not see any sign of growth for 7 days. This is normal. Garlic and onion resist all fungus growth. (23)

Gelatinous sprouted seeds. Chia, flax and Psyllium are all gelatinous seeds which create a small amount of pretty greens in one’s plate. As a group, they mature in approximately two weeks (14 days) and are spicy, bitter and mild tasting respectively. They are great for bowel movements, fiber and rich in anti-inflammatory compounds.

Lentil & Green and sweet Pea sprouts. Easy to grow, these beans can take 5 days to sprout. Sweet Pea sprouts are rich in protease inhibitors that help to neutralize certain viruses and chemicals that promote cancer, and it is useful in reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) in the blood

Mung, Lentil, Adzuki and black mustard sprouts. They contain soluble fiber and help lower cholesterol by clearing out oxidized LDL cholesterol in the blood. They also help regulate insulin and thus blood sugar. Black mustard looks like the cabbage family but is much hotter. These are delicious and healthy sprouts to munch on.

Radish sprouts. Takes 5-6 days to mature. Shells fall off easily. A white fur is common to see growing during early growth. This indicates watering is not adequate either in terms of pressure, volume or frequency. The white fur is harmless and easily rinsed away. Don’t let it go too far or it could lead to mold. China Rose Radish is the best sprouting variety. It has beautiful colored leaves and red stalks. Radish will clear clogged sinuses and chest. They are quite spicy. Great to mix with milder varieties.

Sunflower (black with shell) sprouts. A towering blossom of health. Sunflower seeds are a rich source of protein as well as lecithin and Vitamin E, selemiun, zinc and magnesium, which are all key elements for the optimization of health. They are also high in trace minerals which makes this sprout beneficial for bones, muscle and tissue tone as well as for boosting red blood cells. Sunflower seeds takes approximately 10 days to mature. With the black oil sprouting variety, 99% of the shells fall off naturally. Has a huge appetite for water. The shells themselves (not the seeds) are prone to fungus. Rinse thoroughly twice per day with plenty of water pressure and leave plenty of air in the greenhouse tent if that is where they are sprouted. Remove them with a fork and flush the area clean. Sunflowers love the sun. Thus, once sprouted, they should be exposed to the Sun’s warm rays. Plenty of rinsing cools them and helps the shells slip off.

Shelled “Silver” Sunflower sprouts. This is the standard sunflower with the shell removed. Grow this sunflower in the sprout bag for only 2 days. Because there is no shell cover, the air will oxidize the seeds turning the seeds brown in color much like a half-eaten apple turns brown after a minute. There is no harm. Refrigerate the sprout after 2 days growth. Enjoy in salads or as a snack. Great with raisins. For additional sunflower seeds benefits, see last week’s blog-article on Sunflowers.

Watercress sprouts. Of all of the different types of plants, watercress may be the most nutrient-dense of all. Based on 17 nutrients, including potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K, watercress scored a perfect 100 in a 2014 government study (Source). (24) French Mediterranean cuisine has lots of watercress (called cresson) and at the Pyrénean Center, we grow it ourselves when possible.

Wheatgrass sprouts. 12-14 days to fully sprout. This grass is usually not eaten in salads because it is very fibrous. Most times, the wheatgrass is grown for its juice. Chewing it can be cool. It can also be fermented. Like other holistic centers, the Pyrenean Center offers daily wheatgrass juices.

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Accessibility, Cost and environmentally Friendly

Not only are sprouts a powerhouse of life force energy, they are economically and environmentally friendly as well and can be accessible almost anytime and anywhere. At a time when people are concerned about cost of living and food shortages, it is less than half of a dollar to grow a pound of fresh green organic sprouts. It requires only minutes of your time per day This also relieves a burden on the Earth’s eco-systems.

Indeed, home sprout gardening is both enjoyable and easy to get done. Every week a new harvest of fresh baby greens matures right in one’s own kitchen. No tools to buy, no big investment in garden equipment, no bugs or weather to worry about and no dirt. One pound of indoor lettuce takes up just 9 inches of counter-top space. Just dip and set. Light is no problem, normal daylight is all that is need.

Time-wise, a home sprout garden takes about one minute per pound per day (30 seconds or watering-rinsing in the morning, 30 seconds in evening). No weeds to weed, no pests to fence out, no bugs, no soil. It takes less time than standing on line at the supermarket. It’s just a matter or motivation and organization. 5 tablespoons of seeds generally yields a full pound of sprouted greens.

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Sprouting Jars, Baskets, Bags, Trays, Greenhouse and Soil

There are at least four different sprouting modalities. Jar sprouting is the easiest. But there are not as many sprouts that get to make it to Life and many are twisted. They multiply an average of 7 to 8 times their volume. On the other hand, vertically grown sprouts in a basket tend to be cleaner, less moldy and naturally good looking. They can increase from 12 to 15 times their size. Vertical sprouters grow the seedlings the way vegetables grow in the garden. Small greenhouses work too as does soil, but only for those seeds that need more time to reach their full crispy Life optimization.

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For jars, it’s important to get a screen lid so that the rinsing can be done at least once or twice a day.

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For basket-like vertical sprouting, it’s important to find baskets whose openings are small enough to prevent the leakage of tiny seeds. If using bamboo, choose an unpeeled fiber. The skin of the bamboo acts like a natural lacquer resisting the absorption of water. This results in better resistance to fungus growth. A basket that has 2 inch sidewalls is good. Baskets are made from many different fibers. Some can be made from hemp or coconut, like the one below. So the material is biodegradable and clean, provided that the fibers have been grown organically.

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Sprouting baskets can be found in Asian food and Oriental supply stores. Bamboo baskets with a bread basket style weave tends to be the best.

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Sprouting bags can also be used, especially when travling.

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A greenhouse can be made from anything that will hold in moisture and heat while allowing heat penetration and air circulation. With some caveats, even a simple plastic bag would do, but there is the risk of contaminating the baby seeds with the plastic’s endocrine toxic chemicals.

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Advantages of Vertical Sprouters

Allows for the natural vertical growth of plants just like in a vegetable garden.
Provides a greater surface area exposing more sprouts to sunlight.
Yields a high volume of sprouts.
Allows most sprouts to reach their nutritional peak
Has its own drainage system, avoiding screens, cheese cloth, rubberband.
Allows faster, easier rinsing and cleaning of seed hulls.
Never needs soil or insectide control sprays
Adds beauty, life and oxygen to the kitchen and entire house

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What is needed

12 inches counter space
1-2 minutes rinsing and watering/day
Normal indoor daylight
5-10 days till maturity
A bamboo basket, jar or the like

Sprouting procedure

Soak your seeds overnight in a 16-32 ounce jar of pure water.
Pour seeds into bottom of basket sprouter or other container.
Rinse with filtered or spring water for 30 seconds with a sink sprayer moving evenly over the seeds.
Place basket in appropriate well ventilated area with ample air above seeds.
Repeat 30 second rinsing twice daily, about 12 hours apart.

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Disclaimer: Nothing in this educational site shoud be construed as medical advise.

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