Friday, June 4, 2010

Sprouts and Sports

My best food discovery lately is growing my own sprouts.  The process is simple, takes only a few days for results, and the product is both great tasting and great for you.  Plus a sprouted seed is about as fresh as it gets.

The very complete and informative Sprout People states that alfalfa sprouts are 35% protein and a source of vitamins A, B, C, E, K plus calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc.  From it looks more like 50% protein.  Pretty good for a green plant in any case, and they're low fat.  The seeds of many different plants are available for sprouting with similar healthful qualities.  My favorite is the "spicy mix" mix of alfalfa, clover, radish, fenugreek, which has a delicious blend of sharp and mild flavors.

I use a half-gallon canning jars from Palo Alto Hardware for growing.  On top of the jar goes a metal screen and a plastic ring to hold it in place.  I got my first seeds from Common Ground in Palo Alto, then the rest of the seeds and the other supplies from Sprout People.

The growing procedure is simple.  In brief, put some seeds into the jar, put on the screen lid, and add water to soak.  Then for a few days rinse and drain- the screen lid makes this is very easy. Sprout People sells sprouters that make it even easier, although I like the glass jar so I can watch the seeds grow.

From a small amount of seeds a huge amount of fresh sprouts emerge ready for sandwiches and salads.  Once they're grown I put them in the refrigerator and just grab a ready-to-eat handful to use.

The photos are at 24 hours, 5 days, and 6 days.  Two spoonfuls grew that much sprouts.

Summer sports season is here, so a few words about sports massage.  I recommend that massage be between events or workouts to help with recovery and to prepare for the next time.  Massage immediately after heavy exercise can help with muscles that are tightening, but should be fairly light to not add any extra stress to the muscle tissue.  Note that "flushing lactic acid" is a myth.  A body that's tight and unbalanced doesn't perform well, and that's where skilled massage can make the most difference.

From the New York Times, Diet and Exercise to the Extremes is an article about an elite vegan marathon runner.  I'll bet he eats a lot of sprouts!

1 comment:

  1. My mom said she used to grow all kinds of sprouts. I would love to get into it!