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In this article, I provide my top 10 reasons why I believe every prepper should add sprouts and microgreens seeds to their prepper pantry. I also provide one bonus reason at the end that you won’t want to miss.
Why Every Prepper Should Add Sprouts and Microgreens to Their Prepper Pantry
Pro Tip: I buy all of my sprouting and microgreen seeds from True Leaf Market. Use this link to get $5 off your first purchase: http://stockingmypantry.com/TLM5
#1: Sprouts and Microgreens Can be Grown in Any Space
Sprouts and microgreens can be grown in any space, regardless of how small. If you don’t have much space to grow your own food, you may feel intimidated, and perhaps even helpless when you see videos by people who have tons of room to grow food. Some people have multiple acres to grow on, but the reality is that most people don’t.
If you compare yourself to others who have that kind of space, you may feel that it’s simply not possible to grow your own food. This is especially true for those who live in an apartment or very small home. The wonderful thing is that there are so many ways to grow sprouts and microgreens in a small space. Even if you live in a tiny apartment, you can grow a large amount of fresh food even if you don’t have a balcony.
For instance, one of my favorite sprouters is the Sprout Garden, because you can grow up to 6 trays of sprouts at a time in a very small footprint. I usually end up with about 2-3 cups of sprouts from each tray, and since sprouts grow so quickly, if I start a new tray each day, I have an abundance of fresh sprouts every day, even if this is only thing I grow.
#2: Growing Your Own Fresh Sprouts and Microgreens Saves Money
The actual cost of sprouts and microgreens varies based on multiple factors.
As an example, I purchase all of my sprout and microgreen seeds from True Leaf Market. And currently the cost of 1 lb of clover sprouting seeds costs $14.39, and a 5 lb can of clover sprouting seeds costs $44.13, which equals $8.82 per pound.
So, what I do is that I purchase my seeds in 5 lb cans. Once I open them, I put the seeds into jars and vacuum seal them, so they last a long time.
If you don’t have any way to vacuum seal your sprouts, don’t worry. I have kept some sprouts in Ziploc bags, and they’ve lasted years.
Don’t Be Fooled by the Price of the Seeds!
Now if you’re thinking that the cost of these clover seeds is high compared to the cost of other greens, it’s important to understand how much yield you get from a single 5 lb can.
As an example, when I recently purchased a 5 lb can of clover sprouting seeds and put them into jars, it took 6 very full pint jars to hold all of the seeds.
Each pint jar produces about 200 cups of sprouts. So that means that the can will yield approximately 1200 cups of sprouts, for a cost of 2 cents per cup.
Compare that to bagged spinach, which in my area currently costs $2.98 per pound. With approximately 10 cups of spinach in a pound, it costs about 30 cents for a cup of fresh spinach.
Broccoli sprouting seeds costs more than clover, so just for comparison’s sake, let’s look at the cost of fresh broccoli sprouts.
A 5 lb can of ORGANIC broccoli sprouting seeds costs $96.31, which is indeed a lot. However, that 5 lb can of seeds fills up 7 pint jars, which yields about 1400 cups of sprouts, for a cost of about 7 cents per cup of fresh broccoli sprouts. If you opt for broccoli sprouting seeds that are not organic, the cost is quite a bit less.
#3: Sprouts and Microgreens Have Many Health Benefits
In addition to being cost effective, sprouts and microgreens have some amazing health benefits. First, they help to remove toxins from the body. Second, many times they are far more nutrient dense than their more mature counterparts.
First, let’s talk about how sprouts remove toxins. As much as we may not like to think about it, all seeds have toxins. Thankfully, those toxins serve a purpose. They protect the seeds from being eaten by animals, bacteria, and fungus. But when you soak the seeds, and the seeds begin to germinate, the toxins are reduced.
The Problem of Lectins in Beans, Peas, Nuts and Grains
As an example, many beans, peas, nuts, and some grains have lectins. And lectins can, among other things, damage your gut, and they also block the absorption of nutrients.
Cooking often reduces the amount of lectins in foods. Unfortunately, when we cook food, we also lose some of the nutrients. So, sprouting is a good solution to this, because when we sprout foods such as beans that have lectins, there’s a significant reduction in the amount of lectins, without any nutrient loss.
Enzymes Aid Digestion
Sprouts have a lot of enzymes, and because of that, they are easier to digest than many other foods.
If you have a hard time digesting beans or wheat, you may find it easier to digest those in sprouted form. Now if you have a severe gluten sensitivity, this doesn’t mean you should run out and buy sprouted bread, but you may find that your body better tolerates grains that have been sprouted.
High Nutrient Density
As far as nutritional density is concerned, all plants have their highest level of nutrients at the sprouted stage. You might wonder about the seeds themselves but sprouts typically have more nutrients than the seeds as well as the more mature plants.
What I love about this is that if you eat a variety of sprouts, you really don’t have to worry a whole lot about taking a multi-vitamin. The key is to focus on growing and consuming a wide variety of sprouts and microgreens, for optimal nutrient diversity.
If you don’t want to buy a ton of different sprouting and microgreen seeds, I recommend getting some blends, such as this 3 part salad mix, which contains broccoli, radish, and alfalfa. I also like this 5 part salad mix which contains Alfalfa, mung, broccoli radish, and green lentil seeds.
Another one I’ve tried and enjoyed is the Ultimate Hydroponic Microgreens Seed Mix, which includes amaranth, mustard, broccoli, and arugula.
#4: Sprouts and Microgreens are Fast and Easy to Grow
I first started growing sprouts about four years ago. It was a big deal to me to grow them because I don’t have a green thumb, and so I’ve never been able to successfully grow a vegetable garden. But I had immediate success with growing sprouts.
You do have to give daily attention to sprouts and microgreens to grow them successfully, but it’s not hard, and doesn’t take a lot of time.
Just as a side note let me say that in addition to using different sprouters, I also grow Microgreens in the AeroGarden using the AeroGarden Microgreens kit. This is by far the most hands off option for growing microgreens, which is why I love it. But even old-fashioned sprouting is pretty straight forward and not too time consuming.
Near Immediate Gratification
Another thing that I love about sprouts and microgreens is that they grow so fast, they provide near immediate gratification. Also, if you need food, and you need it sooner rather than later, sprouting and microgreens are the way to go, since you can harvest them in less than a week.
The fact that they grow so fast, coupled with how little space it takes to grow them is what makes it possible to produce much more food than you can with other methods.
What this has meant for me is that it’s been much easier to reach my food production goals since I’m able to harvest multiple servings of sprouts and microgreens each day, even though I don’t have a lot of space.
#5: Sprouts and Microgreens are Portable
If you plant an outdoor garden and need to move for some reason, all of your hard work and money spent on things like preparing soil, and building raised beds goes down the drain.
This of course is even more true if you plant fruit trees on your property. Now I have planted a few fruit trees at my mom’s place, but chances are, I will move to another place before I ever harvest much, if any fruit from them. So, while I hope that I get to enjoy the fruits of my labor (pun intended!), chances are that I’ve planted these trees for someone else to enjoy.
It’s Easy to Move Gardening Supplies
In contrast, all my sprouting and microgreen supplies including seeds will be easy to move no matter where or how I end up moving. Because of this, not a single penny that I spend on building up this aspect of my prepper pantry will be wasted, regardless of what my future holds.
Now you may think that your future is certain. Perhaps you have no plans to move. In that case, you have less to lose by investing in your outdoor garden. Having said that, none of us have complete control over our futures.
At some point due to family, health, or financial reasons, you may need to move. And if you do, you’ll have to leave behind all that you’ve invested in your outdoor garden.
It’s also possible that you’ll have to evacuate your home for some reason, such as natural disasters. If you experience something like that, you have no idea what you’ll come home to.
In contrast, it’s easy to grab your sprouting and microgreen supplies and take them with you.
The portability also makes it possible to grow some of your food when traveling or camping and backpacking.
#6: Sprouts and Microgreens Add Fresh Food to Your Prepper Pantry
Sprouts and microgreens add much-needed freshness to the meals you’ll serve from your prepper pantry.
If you have a prepper pantry, the food you typically have in your prepper pantry consists of canned, dehydrated or freeze-dried food, and other dry goods such as beans, rice, pasta, flour, sugar, and so on.
You may also use freezers for your food storage, particularly if you have some type of backup power supply.
Now I do believe that you can survive on shelf stable and frozen food and even be relatively healthy eating it.
But there is nothing like having at least some fresh food daily. Since sprouts and microgreens are so easy to grow and grow so quickly, you can pretty well guarantee that your family will have some fresh food to eat every day.
The bottom line is that fresh is best, so why not guarantee your family fresh food to eat in case of food shortages or other emergencies?
#7: You can Grow Sprouts and Microgreens Year-Round, in Any Climate
Unless you live in a climate where you can grow fresh food year-round, even if you have a big garden, you can only grow your own food part of the year. For many of you that may be only half of the year.
For the sake of example, I’m going to use this data from Lincoln, Nebraska. You can see in the photo below that the shortest growing season between 1887 and 2020 was just 117 days in 1940. And the longest growing season was 217 days in 1924. The normal growing season is 164 days.
So, based on first and last frost dates, you have a little less than half a year where you can grow food outdoors in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Now you may say that it’s a lot colder in Lincoln, Nebraska than where you live. That’s certainly true for me.
Hot Weather Can Make Outdoor Gardening Difficult
I currently live in Southern California, and the city I live in has the opposite problem. While I can grow year-round outdoors, heat is sometimes an issue.
In my city, April 20th is the earliest it has hit 100 degrees, and October 22nd is the latest that it’s hit 100 degrees. Now those are record breaking dates, but it’s certainly possible to have extreme heat for approximately 6 months out of the year.
I’ve had more than one thing wither up and die due to the heat in spite of how much I water. I also find it difficult to grow cool weather crops especially if they take a long time to grow.
The bottom line is that regardless of whether you live with extreme cold or extreme heat, or something in between, you never have to worry about the weather when growing sprouts and microgreens indoors.
#8: Make Up for Nutrient Loss in Preserved Foods
For those of you who, like me, do canning and/or dehydrating, or if you purchase canned or dehydrated foods, one issue is that there is some nutrient loss when you preserve food.
This is especially true with canning since high temperatures are used.
With dehydrating, especially if you dehydrate at a temperature of 115 degrees or less, the nutrient loss is minimal. However, even with dehydrating at a low temperature, you do lose a lot of vitamin A and Vitamin C.
It’s Easy to “Grow” Vitamin A and Vitamin C
The great news is, it is VERY easy to get an abundance of vitamin a and c in sprouts. Some sprouting seeds or mixes even have both vitamin a and vitamin C.
For example, Alfalfa sprouts (Amazon) have both vitamin A and C, as well as a whole host of other nutrients such as Omega-3, Potassium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, B Complex, and Chlorophyll.
So, it’s super easy to make up any nutrient loss that you occur with all processed foods, whether you buy those processed foods or preserve them yourself.
#9: You Don’t Have to Worry about Losing Sprouts and Microgreens Due to Pests, Diseases and Nutrient Deficiencies
I’ll have to admit that one of my pet peeves with outdoors gardening is that I lose a lot of what I grow to pests such as insects, birds and other animals, as well as diseases and nutrient deficiencies.
For instance, I’ve had problems with birds getting more of my blueberries than I do and losing a lot of tomatoes and squash to blossom end rot.
Now admittedly, some of this is a result of my own lack of gardening experience, and as I mentioned earlier in this article, I don’t have a green thumb.
But I just don’t have these problems with indoor gardening in general, especially when it comes to sprouts and microgreens.
#10: Predictable Harvests
Next, with sprouts and microgreens you have predictable harvests. This is related to the previous point about not losing anything to pests, diseases, and nutrient deficiencies.
Obviously, since you grow sprouts in a controlled environment, you don’t have to deal with those things, and sprouts and microgreens grow so quickly, you don’t even have to worry much if at all about nutrient deficiencies. So that helps with the predictability.
But it even goes beyond that, because I know with certainty that a teaspoon of seeds yields about 2 cups of microgreens.
Keep a Garden Journal
Especially if you keep a garden journal, you will know that x amount of seeds equals x cups of sprouts or microgreens.
What I love about this is that it makes it extremely easy for me to know how much to plant to produce the amount of greens that I need.
As an example, I make green smoothies for myself, my husband, and my elderly mom every single day. And I very easily grow all of the greens in those smoothies, but starting a tablespoon of sprouting seeds every day, which yields the 6 cups of sprouts that I need each day for our smoothies.
Bonus Reason for Adding Sprouts and Microgreens to Your Prepper Pantry
Now, I’ve already given you the promised 10 reasons for adding sprouts and microgreen seeds to your prepper pantry, but I wanted to throw in a bonus reason, and that is that you don’t need to cook most sprouts.
Now when you think about building a prepper pantry, dry beans are one of the most common things people store. And there’s good reason for that. I have a fair amount of dry beans in my prepper pantry, so I’m not knocking that.
But in a true emergency situation, you may be without electricity or other means of cooking, and being able to eat most sprouts without cooking is a great option.
So, there you have it. 10 reasons plus one bonus reason why I believe that every prepper should add sprouts and microgreen seeds to their prepper pantry