Sprouting experiment: quinoa, and the wonderful benefits of sprouting legumes and grains

I started “sprouting” for the first time, last night.


And my tester was to be the quinoa which I had previously left neglected in my pantry, because despite renowned health-benefits and all the buzz over this ‘ancient grain’, was a bit apprehensive of cooking them up… being carb/grain-phobic and all (1 cup = 223 calories).

So I thought I’d use these grainies for my first sprouting experiment.

(I’ve got substantially beneficial motives behind this great decision)

1. Sprouting decreases beans, grains, legumes etc. caloric value. No, this procedure doesn’t involve magic spells. What I meant was that half a cup of these dried staples would normally result in double the amount in sprout form. Also, sprouts are full of water, so we are very likely to consume much less of the legumes with each serving i.e. Mung beans are 213 calories per cup, while their sprouts are 31 calories per cup (raw).


*Other benefits of sprouting legumes and grains

We all know most beans, grains and nuts contain varying levels of phytic acid or other enzyme inhibitors. This is because obviously, seeds are not meant to be eaten by animals including humans. Plants have developed a defensive mechanism in the form of enzyme inhibitors and other toxins i.e. cyanide in almond shells (yes, they can be sprouted too!) to protect their offspring.

It’s only natural that we sprout these foods, and this practice have been done for centuries…

2. Sprouting decreases phytic acid in these “seeds” and additionally, also…

3. …increases their other nutritional value i.e. vitamin C, B and carotene.

Sprouts are easier for the body to digest, contain additional nutrients, lower in calories, and uber convenient to prepare (simply soak for a few days, can be eaten raw or lightly stir-fried).

4. Sprouting your own means much less bucks spent at the supermarket for health-craze, often expensive ‘broccoli sprouts’, ‘snow pea shoots’ or ‘mixed beans sprouts’ for your sandwiches and whatnot.

The downsides: Less protein per serving (because we’re eating less) i.e. mung beans, boiled = 14 g of protein per cup, mung bean sprouts = 3.2 g of protein per cup.

Lentils, boiled = 18 g of protein per cup, sprouted lentils = 7 g of protein per cup

(still a very great low calorie source for vegans/veggies!), and less nutrients we’d be consuming per serving as well.

UNLESS you cook your sprouts, in which case you would receive rivaling amounts of nutrients as their non-sprouted counterparts, but also the additional vitamins.



1. Rinse the dry quinoa thoroughly.

2. Place your rinsed quinoa in a jar, fill the jar with a substantial amount of water in relation to the amount of quinoa you’re soaking (as I’d done in the pictures). Cover with cheese cloth (I just used tissue paper haha!), soak for 6 hours in a place out of direct sunlight.

3. Change water every 6 hours over a period of 1-3 days until your quinoa have sprouted enough to your liking.


 Very well sprouted

 Or just sprouted.

Images from Google.

TIPS: When changing water, make sure to rinse thoroughly! Apparently the water at the very bottom that is never rinsed out will cause bacteria to form in your sprouting jar.


Image from http://www.healyrealfoodvegetarian.com/how-to-sprout-quinoa/ More info on sprouting quinoa + other things here too.

If you’re planning on seriously getting into sprouting I suggest you buy a ‘sprouting jar’ with a fit-in filter, as oppose to using cheese cloth as a cover. That’s because changing water without losing all your grains down the drain is challenging! It’s so irritating to see your beloved quinoa falling helplessly out into the sink!


(Noo! My quinoa!)

Also, make sure you at least lightly cook your not very well sprouted quinoa, or other beans/grains (Try not to get stomach aches).

My sprouting journey has only just started and is far from being complete. As in, I still have a day or two to go with sprouting my quinoa. The grains have started to show signs of growing tails, but some still haven’t changed much in appearance 🙁 Fingers-crossed I will get nicely sprouted grains to devour by day two!

Bonus info on sprouting: Weird yet staple foods you can sprout

Brown rice, oats, split lentils, almonds.

(Someone I know always sprouts her oats before eating them; not your regular good old porridge!)

And sprouted grains can be made into super healthy whole-grain breads.

Now that you know all the benefits of sprouting, don’t you just want to sprout every single items in your pantry? I do!

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