Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sprouting with the BioSnacky!

BioSnacky?  What's that, you say?

For christmas I received a gift card to the Natural Food Pantry, and I did what any good vegan would do with a natural food store gift card burning a whole in their wallet - I bought a sprouter! Ok, to be honest, I was totally considering buying $50 worth of Daiya with my gift card, but as luck would have it, on the way to the Daiya aisle I spotted the BioSnacky 3-tier Germinator!  With three different levels I could simultaneously sprout 3 different kinds of sprout, or alternatively, stagger my sprouting so that ever other day I have a fresh batch of new sprouts!  There are entirely too many exclamation marks in this paragraph, but I don't care, that's just how excited I was about this thing.
Triple the tiers, triple the fun!
So, you might be asking yourself "Why sprouting?".  Fresh sprouts are live, actively growing food, full of enzymes and vital nutrients.  Sprouting makes available nutrients that wouldn't be available or accessible in the pre-sprouted state.  In addition to the usual alfalfa and mustard sprouts you might find in the grocery store, you can sprout just about any legume or seed.  You can sprout chickpeas or lentils, and once sprouted, they don't need to be cooked in order to eat them (bonus!).  Looking for raw, plant based protein?  Alfalfa sprouts are 35% protein, clover - 30%, lentil - 25% [1].  Combined that with their low calorie content, and high concentrations of vitamins and phytonutrients, that makes sprouts among the most nutrient dense foods out there.  Best of all you can grow them yourself in your own kitchen - no green thumb required!

You can easily grow your own sprouts the low-tech way - all you need is a mason jar topped with some cheesecloth or other mesh-like product.  Frugal-Wise has a nice post on jar sprouting (I love the dish rack idea - brilliant!).  This is a totally legit way to sprout, I've done it before, and it worked out just fine. But there was something about the Biosnacky that called to me. Probably because it reminded me of giant petri dishes.  Clearly, the Biosnacky 3-tier Germinator is the nerdy way to sprout, and well, I'm a nerd.
Here's the deal - you pour water into the top tray to just above the red node until the water drains into the next tray.  When it reaches a high enough level in the second tray, that one will start to drain, and so on.  No soaking, no swirling, no shaking or tapping.  Just pour, and the Biosnacky takes care of the rest.  It took an already easy task, and made it even easier!  In just 4 short days, I had a smorgasbord of fresh sprouts!

What do you do with sprouts?  You can toss them in salads, stir-fries, smoothies, or my personal favourite - put them on sandwiches!
The HST Sproutwich - Hummus, sprouts, and tomato!
For everything you could possibly want to know about sprouting, as well as buying seeds, check out the Sprout People.  If you're in Canada, you should purchase seeds from Mumm's Sprouting Seeds (they offer free shipping in Canada for orders over $25!).

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