Good Sources of Protein Other Than Meat
Beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, sprouts are all great sources of protein especially when combined together in a tasty dish. But could you imagine dark leafy greens, like Kale and Chard, and cruciferous vegetables like Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower have easily absorbed protein too. Nutritional yeast (so long as you are not working to get rid of Candida) and the blue green algae family are excellent high protein supplements. But, among vegetarian options, maybe sprouts rule!
Sprouts are rich in almost every nutrient. They have an abundance of vitamins (especially fat soluble vitamins like A, K, D and E), enzymes, essential fatty acids, and minerals, (like iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc and chromium). Sprouts are natural anti-oxidants that strengthen the immune response and protect the body from toxic chemical buildup.
Sprouting magnifies the nutritional value of any seed, nut or bean through the following:
• It boosts the B-vitamin content
• It triples the amount of vitamin A and increases vitamin C by a factor of 5 to 6 times
• It converts starches to simple sugars, making sprouts very easily digestible
In addition to these nutrition enhancements, there are other features that make sprouts very desirable:
• You can have them fresh all year round even when the ground is frozen
• They are easier to grow than a garden and need no tilling or weeding
• You don’t need a garden, just a card board, a jar and window sill
• They take less than 5 minutes a day to produce
• As a food source, they have a very light carbon foot print
• As you grow your own sprouts, it could not be more local that this
HOW DO I BEGIN TO SPROUT?
The easiest way for a beginner is to use a jar. To grow sprouts in jars on your kitchen sink, you will need:
1. A wide-mouth jar
2. Screen, cheese cloth or netting
3. A rubber band
4. A bowl to drain the jar
5. Pure fresh water
6. Sprouting seeds that are organic if possible
Seeds that are not specifically sprouting seeds and are not organic may be chemically treated with pesticides and those chemicals will end up in your sprouts and eventually in your blood stream. Two ounces of seeds will yield 1-2 pounds of sprouts, and 8 ounces of beans will yield 1 pound of sprouts. Sprouts will grow best when the temperature is between 65F and 75F (18C and 25C). If left on a window sill, be sure the temperature there does not drop severely at night.
Put 3 to 4 table spoons of seeds or 3 to 4 table spoons of beans in a wide mouth jar.
Cover with netting or cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band.
Rinse a couple times, then fill the jar 3/4 full with pure water at room temperature, and soak 6-8 hours or overnight.
Drain soaking water then rinse 2 or 3 times in cool water.
Invert jar and prop it at an angle in sink or bowl to drain.
Rinse 2 or 3 times twice a day in cool water.
Place sprouting jar in bright light, but not direct sunlight, on last sprouting day to allow chlorophyll to form.
Enjoy in three to seven days.
Seed sprouts, like alfalfa or red clover are 1" (2.5 cm) to 2" (5 cm) long when ready. Bean sprouts, like lentils or peas are 1/4" (.5 cm) to 1/2" (1 cm) long when ready. These are more tender when small. Mung beans are 1" (2.5 cm) to 2" (5 cm) long when ready. They are best grown in the dark to prevent bitterness. AND They should be rinsed 3 to 4 times a day. Taste the sprouts as they are growing to see when you like them best.
Drain well. Cover the jar with a lid, or transfer to a covered container. Refrigerate to store.