Sprouts are mini-powerhouses of nutrition, and they’re just as good for your dog or cat as they are for you.
Instead of whole grains for your dog or cat, try sprouts instead. They make a simple addition to his diet, whether mixed into his food, added as a topper, or included in a whole foods home-prepared diet.
Sprouts have a higher nutrient profile than the plants that grow from them because they contain everything the plant needs to sustain life and growth. They are loaded with enzymes, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and offer higher levels of B vitamins, vitamin C, fiber, folate and amino acids.
Growing your own sprouts
Pea, Mung bean, alfalfa, broccoli, radish, clover and sunflower sprouts are just some examples of sprouts you can feed your dog or cat (and yourself), and all contain dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A and C, calcium and iron. Instead of sprouting one kind of seed in each jar, consider making up a mix.
- Use only organic seeds. Seeds for sprouting are often specially marked. There are many seeds available, and combinations are wonderful. For example, try alfalfa, sunflower, broccoli, lentils, oats, radish, red clover and pumpkin. The sky is the limit!
- Wash your hands before handling seeds. Before rinsing your seeds, remove any dirt, pebbles or other debris that may be in among the seeds. Rinse and drain the seeds well.
- Place seeds in a sprouting container — for example, a Mason jar. Add two to three times as much filtered water as seeds. If you do not use sufficient water, the seeds will not sprout well. Punch holes in a traditional Mason jar lid or use cheesecloth and secure it with an elastic.
- Place your sprouting jar or container in a spot that’s out of direct sunlight and at room temperature. Lining them up on the kitchen counter, like I have always done, is perfect.
- Soak seeds for eight to 12 hours.
- Take a wooden or stainless steel spoon and remove and dispose of any seeds and debris that are floating at the top of the jar. Slowly stir the seeds, and again, remove any that float to the top. Rinse and drain the remaining seeds.
- Leave the seeds for another eight to 12 hours. Times for sprouting will vary, depending on the type(s) of seed(s) you have chosen. Generally, smaller seeds and grains are ready in three to four days, while larger beans are ready in five or six days.
- Do not store “wet” sprouts. The drier they are, the better. Store them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag in the refrigerator.
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup chopped kale
2 tablespoons first-pressed olive oil or camelina oil
1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
½ teaspoon Turmeric
4 whole eggs
1 cup sprouts of your choice, to be added just before serving
Choose organic ingredients whenever possible. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly baste a Pyrex or other baking pan with olive oil or camelina oil. Combine all ingredients (except sprouts) in a mixing bowl and turn into baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool to room temperature. Sprinkle with sprouts before serving. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
This recipe can also be served to your animal raw. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, including sprouts and use as a meal topper. Store in the refrigerator, in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.