Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sprouting Has A Good Place In Your Food Storage

Sprouts are even more space saving than dried foods because a small amount of seeds will produce a much larger amount of food and good nutrition when they are sprouted and ready to eat. The shelf space that the seeds for sprouting take up is very small. 

Here is what you need to do sprouting:
Seeds that are not chemically treated (I also prefer organic, and non GMO seeds)
1 glass jar for each variety of seeds you wish to sprout at one time
A piece of screen or cloth like cheesecloth for each jar (small seeds may require more layers of cloth or screen)
1 string or rubber band to hold the cloth over the mouth of the jar
Clean, not too cold or hot water for rinsing and soaking the seeds

Exact instructions for different types of seeds vary, but some basics apply to most. Put the seeds in your sprouting jar or sprouter. Rinse the seeds off and drain the rinse water. Pour warm water on the seeds and leave them soaking overnight or about 6-8 hours or so. The exact time is not that critical. The soaking water needs to be several times the volume of the seeds that you wish to sprout. They will expand a lot while they are soaking and some will not be kept wet if you don't have enough water on them. If that happens they probably won't sprout. 

You can use a glass jar with a piece of cloth or screen across the lid to keep the seeds in when you drain them. You will have to keep the seeds fairly warm when your are sprouting them, though. If you are in cold weather without power, you will have to keep the seeds near your body while you are sprouting them. If this last sentence sounds odd to you, that is because you live in a warmer climate than I do. I live in Alaska and it is very relevant here.

After the seeds have soaked initially, they need to be drained and rinsed a couple of times. You can save the soaking water to use for beverages, soups or other cooking. It is very nutritious and adds flavor to soups. It also saves water if you do not have a lot. You can re-use the water every time you rinse the seeds that you are sprouting.

After the first soaking, you will need to re-soak the seeds for about 10-15 minutes at least twice a day. Drain and rinse them again two or three times each time you re-soak them.

You need to do this until the sprouts are ready to eat. It will vary from 3 to 10 days most of the time. After the sprouts are big enough, they will gain a little more nutrition if you expose them to light for an hour or more so that they turn green. That is just the tiny "leaves" on the top ends.

Give the sprouts a final rinse or two and they are ready for consumption or cold storage, if that is available. If you do not have a working  refrigerator during the emergency, they will keep at room temperature for at least a day or so unless it is very hot or very cold.

If you buy a sprouter, they will usually come with instructions on how to use them on various seeds. Seeds intended especially for sprouting often have instructions for that type of seed.

You can buy different sorts of sprouters that allow you to sprout more than one type of seed at a time or will automatically soak and rinse the seeds or are especially easy to use. I bought one of the latter and I like it very much. It is even possible to do sprouting while you are travelling. That would include if you find it necessary to evacuate on foot and it takes several days to reach your destination. There are backpackers who sprout as they go hiking.

Sprouting is a very good thing to do all the time if you like to eat healthy fresh food or cheap food. If you eat a variety of sprouts it is not necessary to buy any produce for your nutrition. Since I began sprouting, my food bill has dropped a lot. This allows me to buy the preparedness items that I can not make like a good wind up radio. If you work at reducing your food costs you can do likewise.

Lowering your budget is not an obvious part of disaster preparedness, but if you think about the cost of some of the items on your list, you can easily see why it is. I plan to write about how to save money so you can afford to have the preparedness items you need sooner, or at all.

There are some larger seeds that you can sprout as well as the usual ones. Pumpkin seeds and walnuts are in this category. They are called "soaks" rather than sprouts because they don't actually sprout before you eat them. They are usually soaked overnight and eaten the next day. These are good if you are in a hurry for something to eat and want the extra nutrition from sprouting. Most regular sprouting takes from three days to a little over a week to be ready to eat. That means you could plan to eat soaks for a few days until your first sprouts are ready if you are just starting out in an emergency.

You can use sprouts on most foods just to give it a nutrition boost or because you want something fresh to eat. I even put them on my breakfast cereal at times. You can make salads entirely of sprouts and incorporate them into baked or fried foods. This can be helpful to keep you from getting bored with your emergency foods during  a longer term disaster.

I must apologize for a problem with my blog. The dates did not post correctly due to an error I made. I had to go back and re-do the dates because it was giving the same date to different posts. If you have been using the notifier on my site to tell you when I do a new post that will not have been working and you will have missed some new posts that are up. I am attempting to post daily at this time.

I wish to post about water for emergency preparedness next. It will probably require several posts since it can require a lot of information and is even more important to your well being than food.

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