Sprouting: Bringing the Wonders of New Life to your Kitchen!

Though it may not yet feel like it wherever you are, today is officially the First Day of Spring! Before long you’ll start noticing trees budding & early flowers poking their colorful heads above the ground – the earth coming alive again. But things aren’t just “springing” up outside your window. Sprouting brings the myriad wonders of new life right to your kitchen table all year long!

At Shiloh Farms & PureLiving, sprouting is an essential part of our heritage & we are always on the lookout for new ways to highlight sprouted grains, legumes, & seeds in our products. But you may still wonder what exactly sprouting is & why it is so important. Well, consider this your primer on all things sprouted:


What is Sprouting?

Sprouting is a natural process for preserving the many wonders of new life. Dried grains (& legumes, nuts, etc.) are essentially seeds, & as such they contain all of the nutrients necessary for creating & supporting new, living plants. However, many of these nutrients are “locked away,” remaining dormant until they are needed. Sprouting is simply the process of allowing these grains to begin germination, transforming them from hibernating seeds to living plants.


Why is Sprouting Important?

As whole grains (or legumes, seeds, etc.) begin to sprout, naturally occurring beneficial enzymes are activated, while vitamins, & minerals that normally lay dormant are released. At the same time, starches & proteins are converted into more easily digested simple sugars. These processes result in the increased bioavailability of nutrients, making them more easily absorbed by the body to provide you energy & nourishment.


How can I try it?

Shiloh Farms signature Sprouted Breads (15% off through March!) are each made from a blend of organic, sprouted whole grains. Or, try our line of PureLiving Organic Sprouted Flours & easily infuse your favorite recipes with sprouting’s many benefits. Imagine cookies, muffins, & other baked goods that are as good-for-you as they are delicious! (Need some ideas? Check out our “Recipes” page.)

If you would like to try sprouting at home, check out this step-by-step guide for sprouting beans (a similar technique can be used to sprout grains & seeds).

Keep your Finger on the Pulse of 2016!

Shiloh Farms Organic Split Peas + Red Split Lentils

Did you hear? 2016 has been declared the International Year of Pulses, and we here at Shiloh Farms couldn’t be more excited!


What are pulses?

So you might be wondering, what exactly are pulses? Well, believe it or not, you are probably already a fan and have likely been keeping your pantry stocked with them for years! Pulses are a class of legumes primarily grown for their dried seed. They count among their ranks such favorites as lentils, dried peas, and many varieties of dried beans.


Why are they important?

Rich in nutrients (including fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates, and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals), pulses have a multitude of culinary uses. A staple this time of year in soups and stews, pulses are also a welcome addition to salads, spreadscasseroles, veggie burgers, and so much more. Mashed or ground into a flour, they can even be added to breads, crackers, and other baked goods (even brownies!).

Pulses are also very important from an agricultural standpoint. They are vital to effective crop rotation, as they act as natural fertilizers by helping to fix nitrogen (an essential element for life) in the soil. Even better, pulses are a hearty and highly sustainable crop, typically requiring far less water to grow than other agricultural products.


Try them!

Shiloh Farms and PureLiving are proud to offer over 20 pulse varieties, all Certified Organic, Kosher, and Non-GMO! Among those available:

Adzuki Beans: These small, red beans have a nutty, sweet flavor, making them a versatile addition to both sweet and savory dishes. A rich source of protein, fiber, and minerals, adzuki beans are particulary high in iron, magnesium, and folic acid.

Black Eyed Peas:  A staple in the Southern diet for over 300 years, black-eyed peas have long been associated with good luck. What is definitely lucky is their abundance of nutrients, including protein, fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium, and B Vitamins.

Garbanzo Beans: High in protein, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals (including potassium, magnesium, zinc, and folate), garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) have been a staple of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and African cuisines for centuries.

Green Lentils: Generally no more than ¼” in diameter, green lentils pack a nutritional wallop despite their small size. High in dietary fiber, B Vitamins, and a variety of minerals, lentils are behind only soybeans among legumes in their protein content by mass!

Looking for something a bit different? Why not try our PureLiving Sprouted Garbanzo or Lentil Flours? Already sprouted and milled for your convenience, they are a wonderfully unique way to incorporate pulses into your diet!

Sprouting 101: Beth’s Step-by-Step Guide for Sprouting Beans

Sprouting Beans 101: Beth's Tips from Shiloh Farms

Shiloh Farms customer service representative Beth loves talking with our customers and, over the years, she has answered a lot of your questions about our products and brands (that’s why we call her our resident Shiloh Farms expert!) But, it is a 2-way street and she has learned a lot from you, too. A recent interaction with two of our loyal customers inspired Beth to try sprouting beans for the first time. Here’s her account and tips for trying this out at home:

“These are the sprouting directions I received from longtime Shiloh Farms customers, Bill and Gini Woodworth of Michigan.

Every few months, Bill calls in to place an order, which always includes a few pouches of the Shiloh Farms Organic Mung Beans. Now, before I started working at Shiloh Farms, I hadn’t really heard about Mung Beans (apart from Chinese dessert menus) and didn’t know much about them. While I’ve since done a little research, I am still interested in how our customers use them and, on his last order, I asked Bill about what he does with his mung beans. He and his wife, Gini, gave me very detailed instructions for sprouting them. They said it was easy, and really, it didn’t sound hard – but who has time to do this?

I was intrigued. I took home a sample packet of mung beans, borrowed one of my mom’s old mason jars she had used for canning, and put cheesecloth on my shopping list. It took me a couple of weeks to get my act together and make the special trip to the local dry good store for cheesecloth, but I finally had everything I need to start sprouting the mung beans. I started the sprouting process and it really was as easy as Bill and Gini had promised – in no time at all, I had a jar full of sprouts! I was very impressed with myself, but now what? What do I do with these fantastic little sprouts?

I added them to my salad of fresh greens and they were yummy! I think they would be a tasty addition to a sandwich as well, and I would like to try making them into a veggie burger or some kind of stir fry. Gini also told me that if I couldn’t eat them all right away, they freeze really well.


Bill and Gini’s Sprouting Instructions:

Need:

1 pouch of Shiloh Farms Organic Mung Beans
1 large mason jar (I used a quart jar, but probably should have used a larger size.)
1 canning ring
cheesecloth – choose a medium to loose weave (I chose the tightest weave and then had trouble pouring off the rinse water.)

Directions:

  • Sort and rinse the mung beans. Bill recommended starting with ¼ cup of mung beans.
  • Soak the beans overnight. Place the beans in the mason jar with just enough water to cover them. Cover the opening of the jar with cheesecloth, and screw the jar ring on to secure.
  • In the morning, pour the water out the jar. Do not remove the cheesecloth – pour the water off through it. Extra Tip: Don’t get rid of the soaking water! Since it contains all the nutrients from the mung beans, Gini will use the soaking water to water her house plants!
  • Rinse the beans. Through the cheesecloth, add fresh water to the beans. Give them a gentle swirl and then pour the water off again.
  • Store in a dark cupboard to start sprouting! Gini advised laying the jar on its side to give the beans a little more room to sprout, which is a great idea! My jar filled up with little sprouts quickly; this is a good way to let the sprouts have room to grow!
  • The next day, repeat steps 4-5.
  • By Day 3, you should have little sprouts growing! Keep repeating steps 4-5 until the sprouts reach the desired length. Bill doesn’t let his sprouts grow longer than an inch.

Storage: Make sure the sprouts are completely dry before storing in an airtight container. They should keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. Gini also added that if she doesn’t think she will eat all the sprouts in one week, she will store them in the freezer until she is ready to use them.


Thanks to Bill and Gini for their inspiration! I am now happily adding bean sprouts to my salads and am excited to find other recipes to try – especially a really good veggie burger. Any other tips or ideas for how to use bean sprouts?”

Have a tip or technique you would like to share with us? Contact Beth at (800) 362-6832 or info@shilohfarms.com!