The Dangers of Phytic Acid in Non Sprouted Food

September 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured Articles, Phytic Acid

mixed-nuts

The Science of Farming

Before factory farming was introduced, grain was partially germinated (sprouted). This resulted from being sheaved and stacked in fields, which stood for several more weeks before threshing. During this period, the grain seeds were exposed to rain and dew which soaked into the sheaves. The grain would pick up this moisture and with heat from the sun, conditions became ideal for favoring a degree of germination and enzyme multiplication in the grain.

The process of sprouting drastically changes the composition of the grain in numerous ways that make it more beneficial as a food. For example, sprouting increases the content of such vitamins as vitamin C, B, B2, B5 and B6. Carotene, which is converted to vitamin A, increases dramatically – sometimes eight-fold.

More importantly though, when sprouting occurs phytic acid, a known mineral blocker, is broken down. Phytic acid is present in the bran of all grains, the coating of nuts and seeds and inhibits the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.

These inhibitors can neutralize our own digestive enzymes, resulting in the digestive disorders experienced by many people who eat unsprouted grains. There are many scientific indicators linking grain consumption to rheumatic and arthritic conditions as well. Complex sugars responsible for intestinal gas are broken down during sprouting and a portion of the starch in grain is transformed into sugar. Sprouting also deactivates aflatoxins, which are toxins produced by fungus and are potent carcinogens found in grains.

By purchasing your own organic whole grains and sprouting them before making your own breads and cereals, you can avoid the unwanted effects of phytic acid. Sprouted bread can also be purchased from some local supermarkets and most health food stores now a days.

Phytic Acid – The Hidden Problem

As mentioned, phytic acid is also present in the coatings of seeds and nuts. So eating nuts and seeds without soaking them for at least 8-12 hours to break down the phytic acid can produce the same enzyme blocking and mineral blocking effects eating un-sprouted grains can. Which is one of the reasons why many people find relief when they remove grains from their diet, particularly those containing gluten.

Some experts claim that cooking and processing, as in the making of bread, will break phytic acid down and nullify its effects on those consuming processed grain products. The following study illustrates how merely milling grains into flour and baking will not break down phytates.

In 1964, it was found that boys in Iran and Egypt had severely underdeveloped testicles. Tests showed they had extreme zinc deficiency, yet zinc was plentiful and widely consumed in those countries. It was discovered that zinc was bound by phytates in the bread they ate. While the bread contained a great deal of zinc, it was useless because it was locked up! This important finding will become even more important in understanding the potential downfalls that come with over-consumption of processed grains.

Watermelon Feta Mustard and Cress Sprouts Recipe

watermelon-feta-sprout-salad

This simple sprouts recipe only take 5 minutes to make and makes a great snack or side dish to a meal.

You can also be creative and try different fruit, cheese and sprout mixtures.  Suggested cheeses are goat cheese, blue cheese, marble, cheddar, Gouda, and brie.  Suggested fruits are apricots, fresh strawberries, pineapple, cherries, and apples.  Use mustard or clover sprouts if you want a spicier kick, wheat or spelt if you want a sweeter sprout and peanut, green pea or sunflower sprouts if you want something hardier.  The possibilities are endless!  Have fun.

For the following sprouts recipe you will need:

  • 1/2  cup of mustard sprouts
  • 1/2 cup of cress sprouts
  • 1.5 kg of watermelon
  • 500 gm Danish feta
  • 150 gm pumpkin seeds
  • pumpkin seed oil
  • 1 lime

Cut the feta in to 5 cm cubes and using the lime, grate the zest over the cubes, set aside. In a warm fry pan lightly toast the pumpkin seeds until golden. Cube the watermelon also and arrange on plate with feta cubes.  Sprinkle pumpkin seeds, drizzle the pumpkin seed oil over the salad lightly and finish with the sprouts over the dish.

Serves four.

Cabbage Sprouts 101

Red Cabbage, Crimson Clover, China Radish and Alfalfa Sprouts

Cabbage Sprouts are becoming more and more popular.  Cabbage and Chinese cabbage seeds and sprouts are available from many seed companies and sprouting supply houses for fairly cheap.  In most cases, they are the same seeds used by gardeners and farmers to grow cabbages.  So be sure the seeds you buy are organically grown or else you will end up with chemically treated seeds.

Cabbage sprouts like cabbage itself is a good source of vitamins A, C and U along with trace elements of iodine and sulfur.  Cabbage sprouts are strong and crisp making them excellent to mix into salads, sandwiches, green drinks, sprout loaves and soups. Of course you can also eat cabbage sprouts blended in with other sprouts. In the picture above cabbage sprouts are mixed with crimson clover, china radish and alfalfa sprouts. Cabbage sprouts are also excellent to juice for therapy because of their high nutrient stomach.

Soak 2-3 tablespoons for a few hours in water and grow them using the tray method. They should be ready to eat in about 5-6 days. For the first couple of days, keep the cabbage sprout seeds away from direct sunlight and then grow them in indirect sunlight.

The information from this article was referenced from The Sprouting Book by Ann Wigmore.

Cleaning Your Sprouting Bag or Sprouts Bag the Proper Way

Brand New Sprouting Bag With New Sprouting Seeds

After a while of using your sprouting bag, it may start to smell, have mold growth, show signs of wear and tear and leave you cloudy water when rinsing. This article will give you a quick breakdown of how to clean your sprouting bag or bags properly.

Each time after you sprout, you should turn your sprouting bag inside out and give it a medium to high pressured rinse with cold water. Use your hands to remove any excess sprouting hulls or roots on the sprout bag.

Never use soaps, detergents, a brush, bleach, hydrogen peroxide or anything harsh to wash your sprout bag with. You do not want to weaken the natural fibers of your sprouting bag.

A good indication of when you should sterilize your sprouting bag is when your sprouts turn bad or the water starts to turn cloudy.  To sterilize your sprouting bag, place your sprouting bag in a pot of boiling water inside-out for 5 minutes.  Let it fully air dry and shake off any leftover sprouting hulls or roots.

Some of the larger beans such as peanut, soy and garbanzo (or chick peas), should be rinsed 3 times a day to prevent the water from becoming cloudy in the first place. This is especially true if you are sprouting in a hot climate.

Sprouting Bag Tip: To avoid letting roots getting caught in your sprouting bags and to extend the life of your bags, simply immerse your sprouting bags in a sink of water and let the sprouts move around while you rinse them. This way the sprouts are never in the same spot long enough for the roots to grow into the walls of your sprouting bags.

A good indication of when you should sterilize your sprouting bag is when your sprouts turn bad or the water starts to turn cloudy. To sterilize your sprouting bag, place your sprouting bag in a pot of boiling water inside-out for 5 minutes. Let it fully air dry and shake off any leftover sprouting hulls or roots.

Some of the larger beans such as peanut, soy and garbanzo (or chick peas), should be rinsed 3 times a day to prevent the water from becoming cloudy in the first place. This is especially true if you are sprouting in a hot climate.

Sprouting Bag Tip: To avoid letting roots getting caught in your sprouting bags and to extend the life of your bags, simply immerse your sprouting bags in a sink of water and let the sprouts move around while you rinse them. This way the sprouts are never in the same spot long enough for the roots to grow into the walls of your sprouting bags.

Sunflower Sprouts Recipes Raw Sunflower Sprout Rice and Raw Sunflower Sprout Collard Green Wrap

Raw Fried Rice With Tomatoes, Avocados and Sunflower Sprouts

Raw Sunflower Sprout Rice

We hope you enjoy these two sprouts recipes we have compiled for today, the first one is Raw Sunflower Sprout Rice and the second dish is a Raw Sunflower Sprout Collard Green Wrap.

The first time I heard about raw fried rice was was from Chef and Dr. David Jubb in the movie Raw for Life – The Ultimate Encyclopedia of the Raw Food Lifestyle.  Amazing movie, we highly encourage you to watch it.  It is one of the best raw food movies out there and we’ve seen almost all of them.

This is his recipe from the movie modified slightly.

Ingredients

  • organic cauliflower
  • jicama root (water rich)
  • one small red onion
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice from half an organic lemon
  • a cup of  sunflower sprouts
  • parsley
  • one large tomato
  • one large avocado
  • sun dried sea salt

Cut the cauliflower and jimaca down and put it them into the food processor separately.  Don’t process them too much, especially the jimaca root, to let it have a nice crispness.  It should be fluffy and light. Place the cauliflower and jicama root “rice” into a large mixing bowl and top it off with lemon juice. You can also chop off some of the lemon peel into little pieces for zest. Chop up one small red onion and the tomato and place it into the bowl. Next chop the parsley into small bits and place into the bowl.  Add in the cup of sunflower sprouts.  Drizzle everything with olive oil and add a dash of sea salt to taste.  Finish off the recipe by adding sliced avocado and voila!  You’re done.

Add Whatever You Want Inside

Add Whatever You Want Inside

Raw Sunflower Sprout Collard Green Wrap

Our second of the sprouts recipes is also from Raw for Life – The Ultimate Encyclopedia of the Raw Food Lifestyle.  It is by Chef Rod Rotondi who owns Leaf Cuisine in California.  It’s super easy and you can add whatever you want. We suggest trying this with mangoes for the summertime and trying different variety of sprouts.

Ingredients:

  • collard green leaves
  • mixed greens
  • olive oil
  • lemon
  • red bell peppers
  • sunflower sprouts
  • tomatoes
  • avocado
  • cucumbers
  • black tahini
  • red onion
  • sea salt to taste

Chop and mix everything except for the collard green leaves into a large mixing bowl.  Lay out your collard green leaf and use your knife to cut off the spine.  Use your hands to portion the filling as you see fit and wrap it as you would a burrito.  You can cut it in half and serve it with a smoothie for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  It’s that easy!  Try it out today!

Raw Salad Kale Tomato Avocado Sprouts Recipe

One of the Most Amazing And Delicious Salads You Will Make!

Kale is so good for you; it’s extremely high in chlorophyll and so fun to eat with it’s rippled edges.  So what better combination is there than kale and sprouts?  This sprouts recipe is a must try for those of you who love a good textured salad with a creamy dressing.  You can make this sprouts recipe extremely messy, it doesn’t matter – it will still taste good!

Ingredients

  • Bunch of organic kale
  • One ripe organic avocado
  • A cup of sprouts of choice
  • One ripe juicy organic tomato
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of dulse seaweed
  • Half a lemon and half a lime

You can also add whatever is left over in your fridge like red, yellow or orange bell peppers, shredded carrots, and sprouted nuts.  Some people like to add a dash of cayenne for a little kick, I like to replace cayenne with a spicy sprout like clover, onion, garlic or radish.  Try it out, you will love it!

To make this sprouts recipe.  Thoroughly wash all your vegetables, especially the kale, then rip the kale into bite sized pieces and place into a giant mixing bowl.  Chop your avocado in half, pop out the seed with a spoon and spoon out the meat into the mixing bowl.  Chop your tomatoes into tiny salsa sized chunks and also throw into the mixing bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons of dulse seaweed or more, and toss in the sprouts into the mixing bowl as well.  Don’t forget to toss in the juice from the lime and the lemon now.  It will prevent your avocado from going bad.

Here comes the fun part.  Massage the avocado and into the kale and really get everything together.  Add in sea salt and pepper to taste and let it sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour and then serve.

Tip: Make sure you cover your salad with lid when you place it in the fridge to prevent other smells from contaminating your sprouts salad!

What Are Sprouts?

May 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured Articles, Sprouts

Lentil Sprouts in A Bowl

When a seed starts to grow, and a tail develops, that is when you get a sprout.  Sprouts are highly nutritious and can be easily grown at home without the use of soil.

Inexpensive sprouting supplies, including kits and seeds, can be bought online and at some health food stores and supermarkets.  Make sure when you purchase sprouting supplies that you are only buying organic sprouting seeds. Buy in small quantities and keep them in a dark and cool area prior to sprouting.

A partial list of seeds, beans, legumes and grains appropriate for sprouting includes alfalfa, cabbage, clover, fenugreek, mustard, radish, sesame, sunflower, adzuki beans, chickpeas, lentils, mung beans, green peas, wheat, rye and triticale. If you grow your own sprouts, harvest them within four to eight days for maximum enzymatic activity.

When you do not have the time to grow your own sprouts, purchase them at a local fruit and vegetable market, or in the fresh vegetable department of your supermarket. Health food stores that sell produce often offer sprouts as well. However, it is recommended that you grow your own sprouts as it is cheaper in the long run, more fun and you know it’s organic!

Sprouts are fresh when their roots are moist and white and the sprout itself is crisp. Caution: Regardless of the source, do not use seeds that have been treated with a fungicide. Treated seeds are not edible and can be recognized by the coating of pink or green dust on the seed coat. Seeds sold for planting purposes fall under this category. Use only seeds sold for sprouting or eating not for planting.

Store sprouts in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator, and use them as soon as possible. Rinsing daily under cold water can extend their life. Mung bean sprouts can be frozen in an airtight bag for several months, if they are to be used in cooking. Try to eat them fresh and not frozen though to maximize nutrition.

Essene Sprouted Bread Recipe

A Classic Recipe For Essene Sprouted Bread From Biblical Times

• 3 cups wheat berries
• 3 cups water to cover
• 1 tablespoon cornmeal

Several days before you want to eat the sprouted bread, soak the wheat berries in a large bowl at normal room temperature overnight or for about 12 hours.  The berries will soak up a considerable amount of water.   Drain the berries in a colander, cover the colander with a plate to prevent the berries from drying out, and set it in a place away from light and where the sun won’t shine on it.

Rinse the berries about 3 times a day and they will soon begin to sprout.  In a few days the sprouts will reach their optimum length of about l/4 inch.  Growth depends on moisture and temperature so be patient.

Next grind the wheat berry sprouts in a food mill or in a food processor.

After grinding, dump the mushed up grain onto a clean work surface.  Squeeze and knead the grain for about 10 minutes, and then form up 2 small round, hearth-style loaves with your hands.  Sprinkle an insulated cookie sheet with a little bran or cornmeal, and put the sprouted bread loaves on it.

Preheating the oven is not necessary.  Cover the sprouted bread loaves with cloches, and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.  Then turn the oven down to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C), and bake for approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes more.  Allow the sprouted bread or breads to cool thoroughly on cooling racks for several hours, and because of the high moisture content, store in the refrigerator.

For best results, slice this sprouted bread thinly, or break with hands.

How To Sprout Beans Including Adzuki, Garbanzo, Lentil, Peas and Mung Beans

Lentil Beans Sprouted and Ready To Eat

Learning how to sprout beans is essential as bean sprouts are a great to grow as they are crunchy and delicious in nature and a great addition to any meal. One cup of any bean sprout seeds will yield 2 cups of bean sprouts. On average, they take 2-5 days to sprout and need to be soaked overnight. A bag or jar method is the best way to grow the bean sprout as they are generally shorter sprouts growing to an inch long on average.

Using lentil sprouts as an example of how to sprout beans, you will want to choose the method for sprouting first. Both the bag and jar method are very effective ways to sprouting bean sprouts.

Soak the lentil sprout seeds overnight in cold water for about 8-12 hours. You want to use enough lentil seeds to fill about 1/3 of the bag or jar.

Consistently rinse the lentil sprouts 2-3 times a day, making sure the water is never cloudy, until they are about an inch in length or longer. The lentil sprouts are now ready to eat.

Lentil sprouts are slightly peppery, peas, adzuki, mung beans and garbanzo or chick peas are very mild. Other bean sprouts include soy beans, kidney beans, navy beans and pinto beans.

All of these bean sprouts are bursting with enzymes and high in nutrition. Now you know how to sprout beans, it is really your preference which variety you choose to sprout.

Organic Sprouting Seeds versus Non Organic Sprouting Seeds

Organic Garbanzo (a.k.a. Chickpeas) Sprouting Seeds

It is important to choose organic sprouting seeds for sprouting.

Organic sprouting seeds taken from plants are grown without the use of man-made chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Non organic sprouting seeds on the other hand usually come from plants that are grown on soil that has been heavily fertilized with petrochemicals. The plants themselves have been exposed and sprayed with a large amount of harmful chemicals to keep away pests and weeds.

Not only does petrochemical farming have the short term effect of destroying topsoil, it will also work to destroy our health. Buying organic sprouting seeds will help you obtain optimal health while supporting organic farmers who work hard to nurture the soil and give back to the earth rather than deplete it.

Organic sprouting seeds are also enriched by organic farmers with natural fertilizers such as manure, rock sediment, comport, worms, good bacteria and algae cultures.

Look at the labeling on the package when buying organic sprouting seeds to make sure that they are certified organic or that the seeds are indeed harvested for sprouting.  The organic label will ensure that the seeds are not genetically modified.  But make sure you read labels and know the company that you are purchasing from and when in doubt ask.

Make sure your organic sprouting seeds are clean, and uniform in shape, size and color.  Broken, chipped or otherwise damaged seeds will give you problems in the future – they may not sprout, or will rot when sprouting.

They’re shouldn’t be any pebbles, sticks, dirt, or other debris with the seeds. Whenever you can, buy organic sprouting seeds in bulk as it is the cheapest way to sprout.

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