Sprouting your food is super easy, inexpensive, and provides so many nutritional benefits. You don’t need much of a green thumb to have success with sprouting—it’s low-maintenance and requires basic equipment that you probably already have lying around in your house.
You can sprout most legumes, nuts, seeds, and some grains, such as wheat. There are, however, a few foods you should be careful about sprouting, such as kidney beans and quinoa, which might upset your stomach. Sprouted kidney beans should not be eaten raw. You can also ‘technically’ sprout chia and flax seeds, but it is difficult and not usually worth the effort.
Contrary to what some might think, sprouting your foods is safe and simple. Because you will be working on such a small scale (compared to the mass production of companies), it is much easier to control your environment and keep it sanitized. It is best if you made sure that the supplies you’re using are clean, that your sprouts are getting enough air, and that you always wash your hands before and after handling the sprouts.
So, what do you need to sprout?
While you don’t need special sprouting seeds, they do make the process easier. Most imported foods that we find at the grocery store are irradiated so that they cannot sprout and companies that sell sprouting seeds know that you intend to sprout them, ensuring their environment is sanitized correctly and that they contain no harmful pathogens.
In contrast, if you buy a regular bag of beans, the manufacturer is assuming you will boil them, getting rid of any potential lingering pathogens, so they aren’t overly careful. You can order sprouting seeds online if you have trouble finding them at your grocery store.