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  SPROUTING: PINE NUTS AND LOTUS SEEDS

by Tom Billings

Below are brief notes describing some recent experiments in sprouting.

* pine nuts. I was able to obtain some unmilled pine nuts - nuts with the brown outer skin intact (the milled nuts that are commonly sold are white). I tried sprouting them, but they didn't develop visible root sprouts. However, the overnight soak and sprouting for one day did noticeably improve the flavor of the nuts - it made them much sweeter. However a few of the nuts spoiled, and being encased in the brown shell, you can't always tell by appearance that the nut is spoiled - you may discover it the hard way, when you eat them. Because of this it might be better just to soak them for a few hours and not try to sprout them. (Note: pine nuts with the outer skin on smell wonderful - just like pine tree sap.) To summarize, I would report that unmilled pine nuts can sprout - in the manner that almonds sprout - but beware of the spoiled nuts. If you can get unmilled pine nuts, you might want to experiment with them.

* lotus seeds. The seed of the lotus flower, Nelumbo Nucifera. They are available, with outer seed coat removed, at some Chinese herb shops. They sprout very quickly, in only a day. However they also spoil very quickly - they get slimy from bacteria. So if you want to eat them I would suggest soaking them overnight in water, in the refrigerator, and not trying to sprout them. Lotus seeds are eaten as food (and medicine) in Indian and Chinese cuisine. They have a bland, but agreeable, taste.

If you can find lotus seeds with the outer seed coat intact, spoilage might be less problematic. However the seed coat is thick and hard, so removing it will likely require some effort. (You might be able to mechanically scarify the outside seed coat so as to increase water intake during soaking/sprouting. However, that is likely to be a difficult and labor-intensive process.)

Soaked/sprouted lotus seeds (hulled), are now a standard part of my diet. I use a small amount in the oat-almond-sesame sprout milk analogue that I make and drink daily. 

 

 

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