As a first step, a good variety of seeds should be used for sprouting. It should be ensured that the seeds, legumes or grains are of the sproutable type. Soyabeans do not sprout well as they often become sour. Wheat has to be grown in soil. It is advisable to use seeds which are not chemically treated as this slows down the germination rate. The seeds should be washed
thoroughly and then soaked overnight in a jar of pure water. The jar should be covered with cheesecloth or wire screening. The duration of soaking will depend upon the size of the seed.
Small seeds are soaked for five hours, medium size for eight hours and beans and grains for 10
to 12 hours.
On the following morning, the seeds should be rinsed and the water drained off. Not more than
one-fourth of the jar should be filled with the seeds for sprouting. Soaking makes the seeds,
grains or legumes fatty, pulpy and full of water. It should, therefore, be ensured that the jar has
enough room for the seeds to expand during sprouting. They will expand about eight times their
original size. The jar should be kept at a place which is exposed neither to chill nor hot winds. It
should also be ensured that the mouth of the jar is not completely covered so as to allow air in.
The seeds should be rinsed and water drained off three times every day till they are ready to eat.
The seeds will germinate and become sprouts in two or three days from commencement of
soaking, depending on temperature and humidity. Care should always be taken to ensure that
sprouts do not lie in water. They should be kept well drained to prevent souring. Sprouts are at
their optimum level of flavour and tenderness when tiny green leaves appear at the tips. Their
nutritional value is also optimum. To retain their freshness and nutritional value, they should be
placed in a refrigerator, if they cannot be consumed immediately after reaching suitable maturity.
Sprouts can be kept for several days in this way.
Some caution is necessary in sprouting. Soaking for a longer period than required makes the
seeds rot or ferment. The main factors for germination are water, air, heat and darkness. There
may be poor germination or no germination at all if any of these factors are not present such as
insufficient water, or too much water, lack of sufficient heat, lack of fresh air, either too cold or
too hot surroundings and too much light.
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