—by Maria Casler, HPC Member
It’s deep into winter; as the snow piles higher, the cold grows harsher, and the price of fresh produce from California skyrockets, what’s a Minnesotan to do? For those of us who aren’t willing to subsist on meat, potatoes, and onions until May, there’s a whole world of sprouting to explore. Sprouting in your kitchen doesn’t take much work or equipment, adds fantastic nutritional benefits to your diet, and provides a desperately needed bit of green when you’re missing spring the most.
Sprouts have enjoyed a spike in popularity over the past several years. Many restaurants serve sprouts with sandwiches or salads, and almost any grocery store offers boxed sprouts for sale. Still, sprouting is nothing new. Centuries ago, the Chinese learned that they could prevent scurvy on long sea voyages by sprouting mung beans on board. In Europe, beers have long been made from sprouted grains, and Russian kasha is usually made from sprouted buckwheat. There’s evidence that, as long as 2000 years ago, grains were sprouted and ground to make bread. While our ancestors probably knew little about the nutritional benefits of sprouting, we now know that sprouts are truly some of the healthiest things we can eat.