[Transcript] – How To Tap into the Power of the Planet’s Most Nutritious Foods: Sprouts, Shoots, Microgreens & More With Doug Evans.

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Transcripts

For podcast:https://BenGreenfieldFitness.com/podcast/how-to-tap-into-the-power-of-the-planets-most-nutritious-foods-sprouts-shoots-microgreens-more-with-doug-evans 

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:00:52] Podcast sponsors

[00:04:11] About this Podcast

[00:08:28] Doug Evans' Personal History

[00:14:27] How sprouts differ from other plants regarding plant-defense mechanisms

[00:17:11] The Sprouting Process Explained

[00:28:43] Podcast Sponsors

[00:30:54] The Immediate Results Of Doug Evans' Sprouting Practice 

[00:42:07] Logistical Questions About Sprouting Answered 

[00:52:23] How to obtain the best seeds for sprouting

[00:54:44] Technology that can simplify the sprouting process without compromising quality

[01:03:58] Why Doug Evans can't believe more people are not sprouting right now

[01:07:22] How to make the best hummus you've ever had in your own kitchen

[01:11:17] Closing the Podcast

[01:12:09] Legal Disclaimer

Ben:  On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Doug:  I became my strongest version of myself while consuming the sprouts. I had the energy explosive running in my high intensity. I said I'm never going to buy vegetables in the grocery store again. It's actually pretty incredible to think about that every sprout has every single amino acid for every to form a protein.

Ben:  Health, performance, nutrition longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.

Alright, I've got baby goats. I mean, I didn't personally give birth to baby goats, but our goat, Toffee, we have Nigerian dwarf goats and our dwarf, Toffee, has two new baby goats. So, we have been making goat, yogurt and goat milk. And, it's absolutely amazing because it's loaded with nourishing growth factors in water called PRPs, immunoglobulins, cytokines and proteins like lactoferrin, which is amazing for these goats to develop their immune system and build a healthy gut lining and support muscle formation. And, one of the main reasons for that is because goat milk, human breast milk as well, any mammal it produces this naturally milky fluid along with the milk called colostrum. And, studies on human show a ton of effects on immune function, on gut health, on athletic recovery. And, in traditional Chinese medicine, colostrum is regarded as one of the most potent health tonics. For the Masai people of Africa, it uses a crucial part of the warriors' diets, like this ancient superfood. I'm surprised more people don't know about it.

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Well, well, well folks. Gosh, it's been a while since I've discovered these things called “sprouts.” It's probably been two years. This dude send me a book about sprouts and up until that point, I'd seen my wife mess around with them a little bit. I'd see him as these seemingly overpriced tiny little plastic boxes of greens at the grocery store. But I hadn't really done a whole lot with sprouts, and then it was kind of right when COVID struck and I was free on all these different things to do while I was bored, stuck at home slash attempting to prepare for the future by figuring out how to get nutritious food cheaper, less expensively. I suppose I should say to be grammatically correct. I started messing around with sprouting. Everybody was home stocking up on Twinkies and toilet paper, so I powered through this book. It was called “The Sprout Book.” Some guy randomly sent it to me. I don't know how he got my address, but he sent it to me and I read it. And, it was really good. I'd never actually seen any books that were just fully devoted to sprouting.

And so, I ordered me some seeds and they were dirt cheap. I found some on Amazon called “Broccoli and Friends.” They were broccoli, and alfalfa, and radish, and clover. And, I followed the rules in the book which were specifically to use what are called high germination seeds. So, that's what I did. I used high germination seeds and I began sprouting. And, I had these two glass mason jars and I put them in there for 5 days, and they just were coming out the butthole. These jars, they're everywhere. These sprouts, they honestly just took on a life of their own. And, I started making sprouts every couple weeks. Sometimes I put my sons to work and I'd have them go and change out the sprouts, kind of rinse them a little bit. And, sometimes I did it, sometimes my wife did it when I was traveling. But honestly, I kept them in the freezer and I would put them in smoothies. And, I kept them in the refrigerator and put them on salads. And, sometimes I'd just have sprouts instead of a salad. And, I just got super, duper into sprouting.

So, I really have been continuing to sprout for the past couple of years. And, I really like it because as my podcast guest today is going to explain to you, they aren't just overpriced stuff that hippies buy at the grocery store, they actually got something going for them. And, it turns out that my guest on today's podcast also is the guy who sent me that book. His name is Doug Evans. And, Doug sent me the book. And so, when I'd run into little issues when I was sprouting, I would always text Doug or email Doug and bug him and ask him little questions about my sprouts. There's a little bit of mold going to kill me if they get mold. Or, what's the best water to use? Or, how long do you do it for? What kind of seeds are best? And, Doug just seemed to know everything there was to know about sprouting. So, perhaps he's like a verified hippie where I'm just a fake hippie.

You might be familiar with Doug's name because he was the guy who originally founded this company called Juicero, which was an automatic cold press juicer device. And, since then, he's also been working behind the scenes on this new device really to sprouting. And, perhaps we can talk a little bit about that on today's show. But what I want to really prioritize talking about on today's show is sprouts and how you can do it on your own at home because I'm serious, you guys, this is dirt cheap and you get amazing, amazing nutrient-dense food for dirt cheap. It should be illegal. It's so cheap.

Doug, welcome to the show, man.

Doug:  Thank you so much for having me, Ben. And, I sent you the book because I think that you personify research, nutrition, athleticism, and communication. So, you were the first book I sent out. 

Ben:  You got four out of five. I'm not that athletic, but I can communicate. And, I love to explore new things and I forget the other some ones that you said. So, obviously, short-term memory wasn't on there. But thanks, man. I'm glad you sent me the book.

Doug:  Well, look, I think, a little bit of the back story for me. I moved to the Mojave Desert about three and a half years ago, and I realized not only was I in the desert, I was in a food desert. And, there was no health food stores, no restaurants near me. And, the idea of growing a garden in the desert is daunting, to begin with. But to grow your food would take weeks, or months, or years to get edible and consumable food. So, in deep reflection, while I'm soaking in the Hot Springs looking at the Milky Way, thinking I made a grave error moving to the desert, unlike you, sprouting wasn't new to me. I had been sprouting for 22 years at the time, but it was never for food. It was never for meals. It was always as a garnish.

Ben:  Right. That's the same way that I've been familiar with sprouts in the past. And, by the way, I want you to continue your story. But I mean, I'm not really convinced that a desert is a food desert per say because if you go to a place like Sedona, it's obviously chocolate tree and whole foods and juice bars. You can't swing a dead cat by the tail without hitting one. So, when you say you were in the desert, were you literally in a tent in the desert or something?

Doug:  Yeah. I was in a tent.

Ben:  Oh, jeez.

Doug:  I was in a yard actually in the Mojave Desert about an hour and 15 minutes east of Palm Springs. If someone wanted to get the visual when they took the mobile meth van in “Breaking Bad” out, that's like where I lived.

Ben:  Oh, wow. Okay, yeah. So, you were legitimate desert. Alright, well go on. So now, I understand why you started thinking about sprouts.

Doug:  So, I started to think about sprouts. Fast forward within a month, most of my calories were coming from sprouts that I was growing in six glass jars in about 1 cubic foot. So, about the size of a milk crate, I was able to grow most of my nutrition. It literally blew my mind.

Ben:  I believe you because they've just taking a life of their own in my own pantry. And, I'm probably going to interrupt your story as you go on, Doug, so I apologize if it's annoying. But if you are getting that percentage of your calories from sprouts, I think probably the first thing my audience is wondering is what was your gas like? Or what was your gut feel like? Anybody who's tried to subsist on raw vegetables knows that sometimes you feel pretty good, but you also fart like a cow.

Doug:  Yeah, it's interesting. I think if you chew them well, and if you stare at them before you eat them, you can start to prepare the digestive fluids.

Ben:  I understand tip number one about chewing them well because that applies to all foods. But what do you mean stare at them?

Doug:  Well, I think that digestion really begins with the eyes. Like Pavlov's dog, you ring the bell, he starts to salivate. If you stare at your food, you can tune in to the food to the digestive fluids and prepare the body to consume, digest, absorb, assimilate the food that you're eating.

Ben:  I'd love to see a study on blindfolding people and seeing if it affects their digestive enzymes.

Doug:  Well, maybe you could do a study where you get two people. One, you tune into staring at them, preparing for it. And, the other will just inhale it like a dog. And then, you could see what their fart levels are, right?

Ben:  Yeah. No, I do believe you because I'm at the point in my life now where I'm almost 40. I feel I've gotten a lot in the nutrition stuff, figured out, and know my body pretty well. And, even if I'm ravenously hungry, if I'm on my way to a meeting that I got to drive to, or if I'm in a hurry, I will skip eating. Sometimes will have a shot of ketone esters or a couple of scoops of amino acids or something that doesn't require digestion. But I would literally skip eating because I know inevitably within a few hours, I'll get a little bit of a tummy ache or else bits of undigested food from that meal in my stool. Because it's shocking how much less efficient, the body isn't digesting when you're stressed, when you're eating in a hurry, or when you're not eating mindfully. So, I get it.

Doug:  Yeah. So, to answer your question, hey, I was living by myself here in the tent, in the desert, but I don't like the feeling of uncomfortability. So, I know that kind of with an audience of one, I was able to know. If I just inhaled the sprouts, yeah, I could feel like I was pregnant. My stomach could be totally distended and it was hard. And then, if I took my time, I looked at the seeds I, I looked at the sprouts, I chewed them well, it's just not an issue at all for me. So, I've developed, I think, the microbiome and I feel good about it.

Ben:  You mean, you think that your microbiome shifted in a manner that allows you to digest plants more efficiently?

Doug:  100%?

Ben:  I know that that's actually been something that's been tested with a lot of these biome analysis like Viome, and uBiome, and GutBio, and a lot of these companies do show a shift in the microbiome for better or worse. In people who eat a high carbohydrate diet, often that shift it's towards the bacterial profile of bacteria that rely upon carbohydrates as a really good source of fuel, unless you wind up having more sugar cravings. And, sometimes when you stop eating a lot of carbohydrates, it takes a while for that microbiome shift to get to the point where your bacteria aren't asking you 24/7 to eat carbs. So, that's definitely a thing.

But the other thing that I think is probably important to point out here, kind of the big elephant in the room is sprouts really aren't a lot of vegetables. We have people like Steven Gundry, or Paul Saladino, or a lot of these champions of either a low plant, or a low lectin, or a low plant defense mechanism diet championing the idea that because plants don't have hooves, or teeth, or claws, or nails, et cetera, that they've developed their own plant defense mechanisms. My audience is, for the most part, pretty familiar with this story. Lectins and glutens and the like. And thus, if you eat them, they tend to do some damage to the gut or cause digestive discomfort because those plant defense mechanisms haven't been deactivated. Thus, the idea that while I, being gluten sensitive, avoid bread quite a bit, unless I've got a gluten digesting enzyme on hand. I'll eat my wife's slow-fermented sourdough bread because it pre-digests a lot of gluten, lowers, the glycemic index, makes it more digestible, et cetera.

Something similar is going on with sprouts, right?

Doug:  Absolutely. When you soak the seed or the grain, the soaking process initiates the germination process. And, while you're germinating, you are removing the enzyme inhibitors and you're removing the phytic acid. And, you're literally going through a metamorphosis from a dormant living organism that grain or that seed into a vegetable. So, it's equivalent, almost a butterfly from a worm and a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. So, it's a very big shift.

Ben:  Now, just so that people understand exactly what you're saying and some of the terminology here because we kind of sort of skipped over this important part. But I had to get right into your story. What exactly is going on when I go to Amazon and I order the Broccoli and Friends mix? Or, as I learned from your book, try to select a seed that's marked as a high germination seed because you get more of the little seeds turning into sprouts, a higher success rate so to speak. Like human sperm, they're more fertile, these high germinators. So, if I order those, they get to my house, there's little bags are like hard seeds. If I tried to eat him, they all wind up in my poop. There's some people like Dr. Rhonda Patrick who say, “Toss them in the freezer and then put them in a blender and blend them in your smoothie.” And, that concentrates the very beneficial sulforaphane content. And, that's one way that you can consume them. But I've talked to a lot of people have done that and they still find these little seeds in their poop, so I don't know that just eating the seeds or blending the seeds is the best way to do things, thus sprouting.

And so, what's happening when I sprout? And, if you'd like, if you want to kill two birds with one stone, just walk me through the whole sprouting process and explain what's happening in each step of the process. That might be a good way to explain this to people.

Doug:  Sure. Well, you are a man of nature, so you understand nature more than most people. So, basically, all nature wants to grow, spread its seed, and replicate not just humans. The arc is that a single seed–Let's just talk about a broccoli seed for a second. That one seed has the potential in it to grow into a broccoli plant. So, in normal nature, an insect or a mammal may consume the fruit of the broccoli. So, broccoli will go and flower and then fruit, and then have pods. And, in those pods will be hundreds, thousands of seeds. Normally in nature, those seeds would be going through the digestive track of an animal. And then, in the course of the digestive process, the different acids in the nutritional process will actually remove the enzymes and then prepare that seed for germination. The animal takes a poop, it's on the soil and then the seed will then sprout, and the shoot will come out, the root will come out, and it will grow. So, it's really interesting that we can take a seed like that broccoli seed and simulate what happens in nature by adding water. So, the first step is you take the seeds and you soak them.

And, I wrote “The Sprout Book” because there's a lot of levels of specificity around how do you sprout each type of seed. But take the broccoli seed, you soak it for say five hours. And, this is very simple. You take the seed, you get a vassal, and you soak it for five hours. After five hours, you take a strainer, it could be a cheesecloth, could be a metal screen, could be a colander. You strain off the extra water.

Ben:  I use the metal screen by the way because it was super easy and you get the metal screens and they come with the jars. So, that way, you're not fussing around with too many things, you literally like to already have the seeds in the jar. The strainers on top of the jars, you can just pour the water straight out. I think that the little screens on top of the jars are the best way to go personally.

Doug:  They're easy. Alternatively, you could use cheesecloth and a rubber band. You could use a sock. You could use a shirt. I've washed the apparatuses in my sink and a seed will end up in a sponge. And, if I come back from a weekend, the seed will sprout inside the sponge. They'll be sprouting out of the drain. So, they want to grow. So, if you soak them for that eight hours, five hours, then you strain off the extra water. You then rinse them again and then you invert the jar so that the extra water can drain itself out. And, there could still be air flow going into the jar. So, I have so many sprout jars going. I leave them at a 45-degree angle on my dish tray, on my dish rack, but you could have all sorts of stands or different apparatuses in order to correct the right angle so air flow can go in and water couldn't go out.

Ben:  Yeah. And, I started, by the way, I started dirt cheap because I didn't want to buy a bunch of stuff before I figure out if it was for me. So, I didn't even start with the little mesh screens for the top of the jar. I didn't have little stands that automatically means little $10 plastic stands from Amazon that'll automatically kind of put it at a 45-degree angle when I put it in the pantry. A lot of this stuff, once I once I figured out, okay, I like sprouts, they agree with my digestive system. This is cheap and it's giving me tons of nutrient density versus buying the same thing for 15 bucks from the grocery store. I stocked up on some of the stuff from Amazon, but yeah, I mean the right supplies seem to make this way easier.

If you guys go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/sproutspodcast. By the way, I'll just link to some of the cheapo stuff I got off Amazon to make the sprouting easier. But yeah, like the mesh screens in the stands. When you say 45-degree angle, I want to make sure people know. You don't have to get out at protractor or a bubble level or something like that. You can literally just get these plastic stands on Amazon, will automatically put them at 45 degrees when you invert your jars and start sprouting.

Doug:  Ben, I'm going to digress for one second go back to the digestive process. So, if you think about hay that they're feeding to horses, that hay is predominantly alfalfa. And, you think about the roughage and how dry that is, and if you could imagine attempting even with your teeth trying to chew that and digest that, you'd have some problems with it. Yet, alfalfa sprouts are the most tender soluble and insoluble fiber that breakdown and get digested so easily. So, you start with the seed that looks like a poppy seed. Within a few days, you have a vegetable that is tender. And, that same vegetable, if it grows, will grow into alfalfa hay. But the digestive properties of these tender vegetables is very easy. I just want to go back to that. That's the same thing.

If you look at the broccoli floret that may have taken six months to grow, and you look at the stalk on it and the stem, that's hard to digest. That's a lot of roughage in it. The broccoli sprout is all tender and very easy. If you put a few chews into it, you will break that down and you'll be feeding the microbiome, and you'd be feeding the colon, and you'll sweep the colon and you'll be able to extract the nutrients that are contained within the cytoplasm, within the cells of those sprouts.

Ben:  Yeah. And, by the way, like I mentioned, when I tried, for example, Dr. Rhonda Patrick, she's just so lazy. She doesn't sprout. She puts the seeds in the freezer and then blends them with the idea that when you freeze and blend, and she's got all sorts of videos about this on the internet, that it will allow you to get a lot more of this isothiocyanate called sulforaphane, which is really great. Primarily, it's a phytochemical and it's an anticarcinogenic compound. It's very good. It's extremely concentrated in sprouts. It's been shown to slow tumor growth and protect DNA and reduce inflammation and neutralize toxins, but I can tell you that when I tried that trick, and I put the seeds in the freezer and then just would take the seeds and toss them into the blender thinking I'd be able to just skip the whole sprouting process, seeds galore in my stool. And, I don't think I've ever found a sprout in my stool. So, I mean the absorbability, there's definitely something going on, at least in Ben Greenfield's poopy system.

Doug:  Yeah. I think you should really post your stool cam, so you could share that with your listeners.

Ben:  Yes, that's not going to happen.

Doug:  Okay. But at any rate, I think when it comes to the sprouting, it's in particular about broccoli sprouts having so sulforaphane in all cruciferous vegetables have the sulforaphane, I think that sprouting them and consuming them on day three or day five. And, basically, the sprouts don't have, the broccoli sprouts don't have this sulforaphane. Though sulforaphane is a byproduct of the glucosinolate, the glucoraphanin. And then, when you chew it, break it, crush it, or as you describe before, freeze it. You then encounter the enzyme that's also in there, the myrosinase. And, the combination of the glucoraphanin and the myrosinase forms the sulforaphane, which is very quick-acting. It does not last very long. It's perfect for when you chew it, when you blend it and when you consume it.

Ben:  And, you'll get the same thing when you chew or when you blend your sprouts. You'll still get the sulforaphane based on that activation of the chewing, or the blending, or the masticating process. You're still getting sulforaphane from sprouts as you would also from seeds, right?

Doug:  Yeah. I mean, the interesting thing is as–and we're really cutting hairs here because the difference between the seed and day three of a sprout is de minimis relative to the difference between a seed and a mature broccoli stalk. So, if you're anywhere in the first three days, five days, seven days, you're getting a potent concentration of the sulforaphane from the sprouts.

So, I look at the digestibility of the tender vegetables a lot more than the seed. I mean, you could break a tooth. You could break a tooth trying to chew on a seed. I think that people try to hack everything. I just go through the process, soak the seeds, grow the sprouts. This process back to the sprouting, you rinse them after the first time and then you rinse them twice a day. You strain them and they just grow on their own. The seeds, it's harder to screw it up than it is to do it right. I mean, realistically. All you need to do is make sure they're getting appropriate level of moisture, and then you're rinsing them off and they will grow. And, that's it.

And, people ask me constantly on Instagram, @DougEvans are asking me, “Well, what's the best way to store the sprouts?” And, you can store them in the refrigerator. You want to get off any extra moisture. You can storm the refrigerator. You can freeze them. If I am really going away and I've extra broccoli sprouts, I will stuff them into ice cube trays and add a little bit of water. So then, I could have pre-made, pre-dosed broccoli sprouts in the freezer because they will store there. But for the most part, my recommendation is for the extra couple dollars, get another jar going, and constantly have rotation so that you could be harvesting fresh vegetables every day and not have to store them.

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Something I had actually just this morning two giant scoops. Here's what I did. I make cacao tea every morning with this cacao made by a company called MiCacao. And then, I put it into a little NutriBullet. And, this morning, I blended it with stevia, like a vanilla-flavored stevia, sea salt, a touch of cayenne pepper, and two giant heaping scoops of the four sigmatic lion's mane elixir. It's a pretty cool little blend. We got cacao, the sweetness of stevia, some sea salt and then this wonderful elixir. The other thing you put in there is little bit of vanilla extract.

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And, I like to storm in the freezer. It's perfect. When you store them in the refrigerator, you probably know a lot better than I do, Doug, but for me it seems about three or four days and they start to get a little bit slimy. And, I start to get concerned about mold, histamines, et cetera. So, I like to store them in the freezer. And, of course, the only problem with that is you can't take them out of the freezer and thaw them out, at least in my own experience, and have them be that great for a salad or recipe or something like that. The freezer one seem to just work best for really a smoothie. Unless you know some trick that I don't know. Am I correct?

Doug: No. Basically, when you freeze them, you're breaking down the cell walls, which is actually what you were describing before, which is actually triggering the creation of the sulforaphane because once the cell walls are breaking down, the glucoraphanin is mixing with myrosinase. I just think that it's easy enough to have many jars going, so I'm going to go back to the story for a second because I think it's really relevant.

All of a sudden, I went from sprouting alfalfa sprouts and mung bean sprouts to alfalfa azuki, arugula, broccoli, radish, clover, chia, fenugreek, mustard, onions, all different kinds of lentils, all different kinds of peas. And, I had so many sprouts growing that I didn't have the capacity to consume all of the sprouts. There was just too much. And, the sprouts have a lot of flavor. They have bitter, sweet, chewy, savory. There's all these different textures and flavors. And, what it took for me to kind of step back, and then I needed to come up with a various plan, but I was concerned it originally that maybe I was going to become emaciated. I was going to become some weak being, and it turned out I became my strongest version of myself while consuming the sprouts. I had the energy, I had explosive running and sprinting in my high intensity. And, I was able to do all of my physical workout, my strength training and not feel the most remote deficient in this.

And, that's when I started to call people, I called Dr. Jed Fahey at Johns Hopkins who gave me the whole education download on sulforaphane. And, he's become an advisor to me ahead of my scientific advisory board right now. And, we speak every week and we're working on different parts about phytochemicals coming out of the sprouts and the bioavailability. And, we're also exploring the depth of sprout safety because turns out no one was promoting sprouts. Period. So, I felt when I discovered this, it's like, “How can I discover something that is part of nature that's been around since the beginning of time?” So, I didn't discover anything, all I did was the necessity became the form of invention. And, I discovered for myself, “Hey, this is a great source of food.” Like, “I could grow my own vegetables.” And, in my mind, I said, “I'm never going to buy vegetables in the grocery store again.” Like, “I'll just grow all of my own vegetables.” And, that's what I've been doing. And look, I'm not saying that other people should do this or you should boycott Whole Foods, or Publix, or Albertsons, because they serve a purpose of distribution. But if you look at broccoli in the grocery store, it's at least a week, probably two weeks old and by the time you're getting it. And, there's a lot of research going in in Darin Olien's book. He went into the depth of when you cut the vegetable out of the ground, it starts to die. It starts to decay, so it's still raw.

Ben:  Yeah. Darin's been on the show before, by the way, the superfood hunter, Darin Olien.

Doug:  Yeah. So, Darin is terrific. He just came and visited me here in the desert and we ate a lot of sprouts.

Ben:  Yeah. Yeah, he's got a TV show. And, he travels around the world with another friend of mine, Zac Efron. And, they go all over the place. It's actually pretty entertaining show. And, if you want to see what Darin does, you go. Do you remember the name of his TV show?

Doug:  “Down To Earth.”

Ben:  Yeah, “Down To Earth.” And, I have a couple of podcasts with them as well. And so, you started doing all this sprouting and you found that basically sprouts could form the lion's share of your diet and you did pretty well on that. Even from an amino acid, protein, and energetic standpoint.

Doug:  Yeah. It's actually pretty incredible to think about that every sprout has every single amino acid for every to form a protein.

Ben:  No kidding. So, you don't have to like if you're vegan or you're eating a plant-based diet, there's this concept of combining grains with rice or combining a legume with a grain throughout the day to get your complete protein profile. You're saying if you're sprouting, that becomes far less essential?

Doug:  Yeah, if you're consuming enough calories from enough variety of sprouts, right now on my countertop, I've got two half-gallon jars with garbanzo beans sprouting in them. A handful, one cup of garbanzo beans sprouted is 25 grams of protein and 250 calories.

Ben:  That's pretty good. Although I'm not going to stop eating rib-eye steaks, Doug. There's no way that meat, at this point in my life, will stop comprising the majority of my diet. But I really love to dress them up with sprouts. It's a match made in heaven. And, I do this kind of bastardized version of a carnivore diet, will include things like honey and berries. And, barely any seeds and nuts not into those at all, really very few grains aside from I'm mentioning occasional slice in my wife's fermented sourdough bread. A lot of bone broth, a lot of liver and heart and kidney. But from a vegetable standpoint, for the past couple of years, I've gotten super-duper not against vegetables, but not really a fan of including them in my own personal diet except sprouts and something else. And, I'll have you clarify the difference on this once we finish the story shoots and microgreens like sprout, shoots, and microgreens. If I do vegetables, that's what I go for when I'm at home. When I travel, I'll still do whatever. If I'm at a steakhouse, all the salad or whatever. But for the most part, sprout, shoots, and microgreens at home is what my vegetables actually look like.

Doug: Yeah. Well, look, Ben, I love you unconditionally and I don't try to change people. I'm sharing what works for me.

Ben:  You better not because I eat rib eyes and I'd crush you.

Doug:  I know. And, you'd also shoot me with a bow and arrow. I'm nonviolent. But I think the thing is, for me, I was concerned that maybe being alone in the desert, I was going crazy. So, I reached out to Dr. Axe, to Joel Fuhrman, to Mark Hyman, to Joel Kahn, Dean Ornish, a variety of people who had different philosophies, whether it was keto, or paleo, or functional medicine, or straight plant based. And, what they all had in common other than wanting to help people because I sincerely think they all want to help people. They all love sprouts. They were all into sprouts. And, I was like, “Wow, this is amazing.” Well, they argue about everything else, there was alignment about sprouts. And, that gave me the confidence that A, I was doing the right thing. And, look, I love the taste of meat. There's no question. It doesn't work for me, so I went down this plant-based, sprout-based part. And now, I feel terrific.

And so, when I think about that you can grow a pound of sprouts using less than a gallon of water because I'm in the desert, water is sparse. I have to be really cognizant about my water utilization apart. So, when I think about the water utilization, I think about the yield and I think about how the multiplicative impact of taking one cup of seeds and being able to turn them into 10 cups of vegetables, of food, that was just mindboggling to me. I couldn't believe like why didn't other people know this. And then, when I start to work on the research part, and I think about, A, this sulforaphane and the anticancer properties of it, the ability to reduce inflammation of the heart, the impact it has on Alzheimer's, how the sulforaphane can create heat shock proteins in the brain that reduce symptoms of autism and how you can reduce the fasting blood sugar levels to improve the hemoglobin A1C, that for people with type 2, type 1, type 1.5 gestational diabetes can all be positively impact from the consumption of sprouts. This was unbelievable for me. And, it became my kind of next mountain was to share this message.

Ben:  Yeah. Well, I'm certainly glad I got my hands on the book because it was super helpful. And, I talked to a lot of these health influencers who are into sprouts, and shoots, and microgreens, but they're all rich because they got websites, and podcasts, and blogs, and apparently, they've cracked the code on that. And, I don't know, maybe I'm a cheapskate or maybe I haven't quite figured out that part of the business. But I don't think a lot of people make them at home. And, I've always known sprouts and microgreens and shoots were good for you, but I always just bought them.

Once I read your book and started making them, I'm like, “Holy cow. This is cheap and effective.” So, I do have a few a few more logistical questions for you, though, if it's okay.

Doug:  Sure, absolutely.

Ben:  Okay. Alright, so sometimes when you do that first rinse, that short few minutes soak and then rinse that initial one; apparently, you're supposed to put something in the water to make sure that any type of, I believe it's any type of mold or mycotoxin, maybe herbicides, or pesticides, or whatever get cleaned off of the seeds. Am I correct?

Doug:  Yeah.

Ben:  Because I've just been using a vitamin C, an ascorbic acid cleaning solution when I first rinse them. But what do you use and do you need to do that even for buying, let's say, organic seeds?

Doug:  Here's the fact. Everything that you put in your mouth is risky, everything. So, if you want to be cautious, the precautionary measure, and there's a lot of this covered in my book, you can take a rapid oxidizing agent. Whether it's hydrogen peroxide, parasitic acid, grapefruit seed extract. And, believe it or not, it's not my favorite but it's very effective, is just bleach, regular bleach.

Ben:  I know. I thought that would be weird too. The first time I heard about that was when I interviewed Ann Louise Gittleman, who's known as the First Lady of Nutrition on my show and she explained it to me. If you weren't able to buy organic vegetables, you can literally rinse them in either vinegar solution or just bleach. I thought that was kind of weird, but then I looked into it. And, as long as you rinse it off, it's not that bad for you.

Doug: And, the bleach will oxidize and turn into saline and it's being diluted, but it will have impact on what could be the various forms of pathogens. Look, if you're taking a seed out of the field, it could have rat poop on it, just period. So, you want to be intelligent in thinking about how can you reduce the microbial load, the pathogenic load on the seed. Now, it turns out by using higher quality seeds, they are testing in batches, so they're not testing every single seed but they're testing in batches for pathogens, E. coli, listeria, salmonella. So, they're testing in batches for pathogens, which to me is a hell of a lot better than not testing for it. So, that's a good stage. And then, you taking a precautionary level of rinsing the seeds, it's very quick process. You take one of these agents you added to the water, you add the seeds, you strain them out, and then you begin your germination process, takes literally minutes, and it's a good level. So, I recommend that in the book.

If you're asking me, “Do I do it all the time personally?” No. Sometimes I do not do that because I've never had a problem, and I've never heard of a problem with homegrown seeds creating foodborne illnesses. I think about 20 years ago, there were issues at Jimmy John's and fast-food restaurants where they were taking who knows what their process was to grow the seeds and the sprouts, and then there was cross-contamination which resulted in recalls, health issues. But in homegrown small-batch things, it just hasn't been an issue at all. And, I have a data scientist, Jack, out of the Netherlands who's been–we just downloaded the entire CDC database for the last 23 years studying every foodborne illness, every outbreak, every issue across everything. So, I'm happy to share with you as we conclude our research to really look at safety. Because we all want to be healthy, so I wanted to make sure that sprouts were safe.

And, to answer other questions while we're on it, sprouts, shoots, microgreens, these are all labels. In nature, there's no such thing. You have a seed and you have a plant. You have a plant organism. The definition of the difference between a sprout and a microgreen can be defined in two different areas. The microgreen is generally grown on a tray and it shoots up, and it usually has a sprouting medium, whether it'd be soil, or jute, or a paper towel, or something. And, there's a chapter in my book about microgreens.

Ben:  You got at some point get the sprouts out of the jar and transfer them to a growing medium so they go a little bit beyond the sprouting phase to do the microgreens, right?

Doug:  Correct. The difference also, and when you're growing the microgreens, they require a level of fertilizer. They need some extra oomph to get past the week.

So, what I love about the sprouts is that within that seed, it contains the endosperm, the embryo, and the nutrition source to go from this dormant living organism into a vegetable that has a root, and a shoot, and leaves form, and it can do that without the soil, without the sunshine. without the fertilizer. And, that to me was the revelation that got me all in on sprouts.

Ben:  Yeah. Yeah. So, the microgreens would be something, and I'm sure people may have seen these little things at the grocery store before. It's a very, very nutritious stage of the plant. From what I understand, it's even more nutritious than a sprout, but you got to transform them to a growing medium like you just alluded to. You transfer the sprouts to some type of a growing medium. And, sometimes it can be as simple as a paper towel with some type of fertilizer. And then, the shoots, those are something that it's very, very similar to a microgreen except you kind of harvest the shoots before the leaves appear. And so, it's kind of, I guess, halfway between a sprout and a microgreen.

And, I believe, if I recall you get into this in your book a little bit, but you even talk about everything from alfalfa to broccoli, to garbanzo, clover, and so on and so forth in terms of what you kind of like in terms of which ones are good for sprouts, which ones are good for microgreens, which one are good for shoot. I like sunflower, sunflower shoots. Oh, my gosh, I absolutely love those. But for sprouts, but for broccoli, I like sprouts better. So, it kind of depends. But I don't know if you agree with me Doug, but I think everybody should just start with sprouts. That's the easiest place to start, right?

Doug:  Yeah. And, I would also just throw in there that I don't think that microgreens are categorically more nutritious than sprouts. I think there's some development parts where they have more of certain nutrients or phytochemicals in them because they're developed but also the difference between sulforaphane content in sprouts versus microgreens, there's more sulforaphane potential and glucoraphanin in the sprout because it's concentrated.

So, as the seed develops and grows from a sprout to a microgreen, it's actually the glucoraphanin is being diluted. So, it's not categorical. What I will say is microgreens are much more concentrated than mature vegetables and they're more tender. But the yield you get from microgreens is far less and it takes longer than sprouts and is more difficult to grow. So, from a level, I love sunflower shoots, I'm growing them. And, actually, believe it or not, in jars, which is kind of gnarly to do because you have to almost hand remove every one of the shells but it can be done. But the other thing that I love about sprouts is you get to eat the whole thing. When you're growing the microgreen, you're basically eating above the fold like you're leaving the root. And, the root has a lot of nutritious. If you think about root vegetables, roots are an incredible source of nutrients. And so, leaving them behind, I'd rather just eat the whole thing.

Ben:  That's a good point. If you listen to my podcast with Dr. Thomas Cowan–the name of that podcast is actually “How to how to eat more vegetables.” We get into the threefold concept of Rudolf Steiner and his writings on anthroposophy. I believe it was called anthroposophy. Hopefully, I'm pronouncing that the right way in which he gets into how different components of the plant, the stem/leaf, the flower/fruit. And, the root have differing impacts on our physiology, like leaves and stems are often used for heart and circulatory support. And, many times the flowers are used for digestive disturbances. The roots, like a comfrey root, is sometimes used for joints. And so, I agree that eating the plant, like you'd eat an animal nose to tail. Sorry to say that, Doug. You eat the plants, basically all parts of the plants. And, a lot of times, you get a little bit more out of it from a physiology standpoint. I'll link to that podcast with Dr. Cowan in the shownotes. If you guys go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/sproutspodcast to understand more about that concept.

And so, Doug, we've got our sprouts, we're making our sprouts, we've read the book, we go through the whole thing. One of their kind of quick logistical question for you would be getting the seeds themselves. Do you have any particularly favorite seed sources that are kind of your go-to in terms of guaranteeing you're probably going to get a pretty decent seed?

Doug:  Yeah. I mean, the first thing that I would say, Ben, and this is not, these are commodities and they change. The good supplier today is maybe not the good supplier tomorrow because they run out. So, one of the things that I've been doing is really working on the seed supply chain. On my website, thesproutbook.com, I'm working on and will be aggregating and sending out the information of what's hot, what's now for real-time suppliers. Today, I buy seeds from Sproutman in small quantities. I buy my bulk sometimes in True Leaf Market, or Sprout House, or in Canada from Mumms, M-U-M-M-S. It's very dynamic because there's no supplier today that has all the right seeds in the right levels.

And, what I'm looking at is a level of specificity and traceability because I want to know where my food is coming from, which means I want to know where the seed is coming from. I want to know the process for harvesting. I want to know are they treated in all levels? I guess I'm shining the light on the industry and on the sources so that we can have very consistent levels. Because when we talk about sulforaphane and we talk about broccoli sprouts, it's almost saying, “Oh, an apple.” Are you talking about a red delicious apple? Are you talking about a golden delicious? Are you talking about a Braeburn or Pink Lady? There's all these varieties. Today, because the sprouting industry is so new, everything is just a generic term.

And, I want to get to the levels looking at what are the levels of the phytochemicals and the antioxidants that are in these seeds and the potential so that I can plan accordingly because I'm eating for health.

Ben:  Now, it's obviously a quite laborious process, sprouting at home. And, there's all sorts of issues that you run into like you got the sacks that people will sprout in, which can be unsanitary and tough to clean and kind of unsightly hanging all over the kitchen, these sacks full of sprouts. You may have seen them at your hippie neighbor's house. You walk in the place, smells like patchouli and their sacks all over the place. You got the jars which I've done. And, I like those better. They're a little bit clumsy, a little bit laborious. You got a lot of multiple components. Sometimes they can dominate a little bit counterspace or pantry space. And then, some people sell these systems. Even on Amazon, where we've got sprouting trays. And, I know that those can work pretty well. You get some uneven growth, and drainage, and watering, but those can work. And then, there's even these done-for-you auto sprouters in the same way that people are now coming up with full-on backyard patio, hydroponic, vertical growing systems that I think have begun to become quite popular during COVID when people are wanting to grow a lot of the stuff at home but may not have a full garden space in their backyard. You got these machines that'll do a lot of it. But in many cases, they clog, they recirculate dirty water, or they have kind of an unsightly design that can be very complicated to clean, kind of a juicer. It gives you good juice, but you got a ton of cleanup and you're scrubbing your entire machinery for hours afterwards.

In terms of sprouting, is there any way to make it easier? Is there some kind of a system that is out there that just would allow you to just put in your seeds and kind of walk away?

Doug:  Yeah. I mean, I think that's something that–as you know, I'm a hacker, and I'm an engineer. and I've got my lab, and I'm working on a lot of things to really bring that vision to bear. Because I think merely adding water just creates biofilm and slime, and that I was very concerned with mold. So, in the testing that we did across a variety of samples, 100% of them had yeast on the samples of the seeds.

Ben:  Wow.

Doug:  So, 100%. And then, there's all the different molds that were showing up from Penicillium, to Phoma, to Cladosporium, and Alternaria. There's mold on these things.

And so, I think in a level of automation, the process really needs to work. I mean, we could zoom in and I could show you one of the robotic arms that you look for sprouting. And, they can simplify. But what you hit on is you need the water source, you need this circulation, and you need to start with the right seed.

So, the first thing that I really like to start to share is the process, so taking the information that was in the book, codifying that into software, and then creating a community where people could share their information about sprouts, and get guidelines and reminders, and then have visual reference because you could look at the seeds.

Ben:  You mean like an app or something? I would say, okay, you got this seed. Do this, walk away. Maybe you got a notification set up that tells you when to change the water or stuff like that?

Doug:  100% push notifications. And then, the ultimate end-all, like this is the panacea would be the metaphor of a rice cooker for sprouts. Add water, add seeds, set it and let it, and then get a notification, sprouts are done and then harvest the perfect crop that gave you the economic advantage of like if you were to buy sprouts in the health food store, might be $5 for that little container, plastic container with some sprouts in it. If you buy the seeds and I'm really working on the seeds, if you were buying the seeds, you could get that same yield for about 50 cents. So, there's a 10x impact of value if you're willing to do a little work. Some people don't want to do the work. And, if you ask me why sprouting isn't mainstream is people get excited, they buy the jars, they miss a few washes, they screw up, and then they go off to doing something else. So, I want to make it a sticky or process for them so they could start and gain the benefit of the sprouts. And, the only way they're going to do it is by getting into a system informing this sprout habit.

Ben: Yeah. I mean, it's one of those things that, I believe, is probably in its infancy in terms of technology that would make this a lot easier to do. For me, I don't mind. I'm a little bit of just a dirty prepper on the inside. And, I don't mind the jars and the countertop space. And, I almost find it meditative in the same way that I love to cook. I mean, you're talking to a guy who spent an hour last night making a colostrum cream pumpkin spice cake in my kitchen because that's what I'll do at the end of the day is I relax when I'm cooking. I just don't think about anything. I'll put on podcasts or an audiobook and just make stuff. And, it was a pretty good cake, by the way. I had a slice for breakfast.

But anyways, so I don't mind that, but I know a lot of people. They just want to get the seeds, push a button and go. And, those are the people who may want the affordability of sprouts, but don't necessarily want to grow them themselves and also don't want to go to whatever Air1 and buy a $15 little plastic container of microgreens. And so, I think that's some kind of done for you sprouting system would be kind of next level. So, I would encourage you to keep working on that because I will certainly be a fan of it and will spread the news far and wide once something like that happens because I think it'd be pretty cool.

Doug:  The biggest thing that we can talk about is getting people the demand for it and getting people turned on to sprouting and tuned in to it, and then everything else becomes easy. Right now, the sprouting was relegated to hippies and it didn't crossover to the mainstream. But I think there was more than 2,000 peer-reviewed published white papers on the impact of the medicinal properties of sprouts. We talked a little bit about sulforaphane, but we didn't even discuss the indole-3-carbinol. So, it's a chemical that's found in brassica vegetables, cauliflower, broccoli and mustard greens, brussels sprouts, but in much, much higher concentration in broccoli sprouts and in watercress sprouts and in other sprouts and the anticancer properties for the melanoma and lupus and stopping the growth of cancer cells in the early stage of development is incredible and people are just scratching the surface of a natural form of anticancer properties. And, I could go on, but another thing which is really powerful is just the DAO, which is the diamine oxidase which is the digestive enzyme used to breakdown excess histamine in the body.

Ben:  Yeah, I was going to say that that's a very popular supplement for people who are histamine sensitive, which is actually a lot of people.

Doug:  Right. So, imagine being able to sprout green peas and get high concentrations of DAO in the natural whole food format of the sprouts boosting your DAO levels by growing the sprouts. And, that's something can easily be worked on. So, I'm looking at sprouts as food. I look at sprouts as vitamins and minerals, and literally sprouts contain every vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, prebiotic, probiotic, polyphenol, all the individual amino acids. And, it's all there.

Ben:  Yeah.

Doug:  If you're concentrated and I've heard you talk about being able to like if you want concentrated protein isolate, you got a product for that, right?

Ben:  Yeah?

Doug:  So, if you want to grow a food and have your food being able to have these other parts and you want to be able to do it dirt cheap pennies a serving, sprouts are your answer. So, I literally can't believe why everyone isn't sprouting. Whether you're carnivore, herbivore, fast food eater, sprouts seem to fit in to everyone's potential diet.

Ben:  It's the same reason people don't cook their own food. I mean, most people won't even make a hamburger. If there's an option to go buy one in five minutes from the fast-food joints, just the nature of folks. But my listeners, Doug, my listeners, they do dig this stuff. And, I would love to see more people posting on Instagram and messaging me and saying, “Dude, I listened to that podcast interview with Doug and I'm making my own sprouts. Just changed my life and my whole approach to vegetables and I can eat greens again and not have digestive issues.” I just think there's a lot going for these little bad boys. And so, I would encourage everybody listening and try it at least once, I dare you. I dare you. Try making sprouts at least once, you will be shocked at how easy it is. And, if you have kids, I mean honestly, my kids and I can tag-team a batch. I get them all started. I do that initial 10 minutes of rinsing and soaking and get them in the jars. I put the jars at a 45-degree angle and then tell my sons. I'm like, “Alright, guys, you River, you rinse some in the morning. You Terran, you rinse some in the evening. Put them back at the 45-degree angle within five days, we got sprouts coming out our buttholes.” Not literally. They don't actually grow in your digestive tract. Don't worry folks. You eat enough dirt and enough seeds maybe. But for the most part, they're, as Doug and I've already established, super easy to digest. And, especially if you work on it as a family, so easy to make it home.

At our house, my wife always got the starter going for the sourdough bread. I've always got the kefir grains and the sprouts rotating for my kefir and for my sprouts. My sons are out milking Toffee the goat in the morning and bringing in the milk. And, my wife's making the goat cheese. My sons are getting the eggs from the chickens in the morning and that's wonderful. We go harvest the vegetables from our eight different raised garden beds. Now, we've got a greenhouse going so we'll get stuff from that too. And, once you get all this stuff rotating, it's like brushing your teeth. It's like a habit. And, the cool thing is the confidence to. I mean, if shit hits the fan today, Doug, and whatever, the Chinese black helicopters go and blow-up Washington DC, or whatever the people are complaining about regarding the great reset and everything else going on, I can literally not leave my house for the next probably decade and I'll be just fine. I might have to shoot the occasional white-tailed deer. But aside from that, I'll be–I mean, even that's right on my property, so I'll be fine. But I don't want to give people the impression you got to have 10 acres, and greenhouses, and goats, and chickens to do this, you'd literally need your pantry in a cold, dark place and some cheap jars and some cheap seeds. And, I mean, do not fear about toilet paper shortages. You can eat for eons using some of the methods that Doug lays out in his book.

So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to link to the book. If you're listening and you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/sproutspodcast.

Doug, I'd be remiss to let you go without asking you what's your favorite kind of outside-the-box recipe. I mean, we talked about–you could throw the sprouts and the smoothie or toss them on a salad and yawn. Everybody kind of knows that. But do you have any super unique way that you like to use sprouts, or shoots, or micro greens that you think more people should know about that you just really love?

Doug:  Yeah. I think one, I mentioned and we didn't talk about this. But you could actually sprout garbanzo beans in as little as 12 hours.

Ben:  Jeez.

Doug:  I could take garbanzo beans. And, I don't know what your current thinking is on ferments and pickles. But if you take a cup of sprouted garbanzo beans, you take a pickle and some of the pickle juice thrown in the blender, you have–

Ben:  The brine.

Doug:  The brine.  The brine, thank you. You take the brine. You have the best trash raw living hummus that money could buy.

Ben:  No way. Okay, wait. Walk me through it again. You take the garbanzo beans, you sprout them in 12 hours. And then, what do you do?

Doug:  Then you put them in a blender with a pickle because I like the pickle to add a little bit of texture, and it becomes creamier than the sprouted garbanzo beans. And then, about 3 ounces of the brine. So, you've got 8 ounces of sprouted garbanzo beans. You have a pickle, which is probably 3 or 4 ounces. And then, you have three liquid ounces of brine. And that, in one minute, you have a hummus.

Ben:  That's amazing. And, the chickpeas, I can just soak those overnight after I do that initial rinse, drain them. And, once I see those little sprouts coming out of the backside of the bean, I can really just take that and blend it with a little bit of brine, a few ounces of the brine, and one of the pickles.

Doug:  Exactly.

Ben:  I'm writing a note to myself because I got pickles. My wife makes pickles all the time. I got garbanzo beans. We always have a big mason glass jar of them. I'm writing note to myself. Dude, I'm going to do that this week and I'm going to post the hummus to Instagram.

Doug:  Yeah. I think you have to do that.

Ben:  I'm excited.

Doug:  Yeah. And so, it's interesting that once you have that base of the hummus, you could start to throw any other sprouts in it. That just becomes your base. It's the garbanzo pickle hummus. But you could add your lentils into it.

Ben:  Yeah.

Doug:  And, the lentils, literally lentils are also fast sprouters. So, they're 12 hours sprouters. And, in 12 hours, when you sprout lentils, you double the antioxidant levels, you triple the vitamin C just by sprouting and activating those dormant lentils. And, if you continue to rinse them for three or four days, you will quadruple the fiber level. And, at any stage, 12 hours to four days, you could add some lentils into your garbanzo pickle hummus, and that'll add a crunchy or nuttier flavor. It'll change the color, and they're all different size. I'm into the French lentils now. But my brother who doesn't like “eating sprouts,” he's eating a ton of sprouts because he doesn't even know it. He's just eating hummus. So, he doesn't know that you're mixing that in.

Ben:  Like putting vegetables in your kids' spaghetti sauce. I'm glad somebody's sitting around in the desert taking up these things. So, this is going to happen. Alright, I'm excited. That might be one of the first things I do before I get on my next call is I might go throw some garbanzo beans in a glass jar here.

Doug, thank you so much for coming on the show. I know we've been trying to do this for a while. I'm glad we finally connected. because this is something that I think is going to be super cool and useful for people to know about. And, I'll link to your book, I'll link to everything that we talked about in the shownotes. If folks go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/sproutspodcast. I'll link to my other episode with Darin Olien that we mentioned. I'll link to some sprouting jars and sprouting stands on Amazon and let you get started with this dirt cheap. So, it's all going to be at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/sproutspodcast.

Doug, thanks for coming on the show, man.

Doug:  My pleasure, Ben. Any time. Looking forward to doing it again soon.

Ben:  Alright folks, I'm Ben Greenfield, along with Doug Evans signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com. Have an amazing week.

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Two years ago, I discovered sprouts.

During my early COVID quarantine time when we were all first stuck at home stocking up on Twinkies and toilet paper, I powered through The Sprout Book: Tap into the Power of the Planet's Most Nutritious Food to learn how to use dirt-cheap seeds—readily available anywhere even when grocery stores are sold out of Twinkies and toilet paper—to unlock a host of nutrients in an inexpensive, space-saving environment at home.

I used the “Broccoli & Friends” mix —a potent blend of high-germination broccoli, alfalfa, radish, and clover sprouting seeds) and a glass mason jar sprouting method to sprout for 5 days and…holy cow! I was amazed at the life these little powerhouses took on.

The book teaches you how to easily grow sprouts, microgreens, grasses, and much more, the health benefits of sprouts, including the ability to improve the digestive process, increase metabolic rate, increase enzymatic activity, prevent anemia, aid in weight loss, regulate cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, prevent neural tube defects, boost skin health, improve vision, support the immune system, and increase usable energy reserves. Plus, sprouting deactivates all the built-in plant defense mechanisms. I now use most of these on salads and in smoothies, then salt, spice, and dehydrate a batch for a crunchy on-the-go snack.

Doug Evans, my guest on today's podcast, is an early pioneer in the natural food industry, and he happened to have written The Sprout Book. In 2002, he co-founded Organic Avenue, one of the first exclusively organic plant-based retail chains in the country. He then created and founded Juicero, the first fresh, farm to glass automatic cold-press juicer, with the mission of bringing more fresh produce to the home.

Doug Evans lives in the Mojave Desert at Wonder Valley Hot Springs. Doug Evans wrote The Sprout Book in an effort to teach people about the power of sprouts and has written a transformative plan for sprouting. He's revolutionizing gardening and growing your own food right in your kitchen in an affordable and accessible way. His mission in life is to help people learn how to grow and eat the most nutritious food on the planet…sprouts.

Among the mind-blowing nutritional qualities of sprouts:

  • They have 20-30 times the nutrients of other vegetables and 100 times those of meat
  • They pack cancer-fighting properties and help to protect us from cardiovascular disease and environmental pollutants
  • They aid in digestion
  • They are a simple way to grow your own vegetables and are compatible with all diets

The forty recipes inside his book feature sprouts on top of raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, spices, sea vegetables, and top-quality cold-pressed vegetable oils for the healthiest diet possible.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Doug Evans' personal history…08:25

  • Moved to the Mojave Desert about 3 years prior to this interview being recorded
  • Growing consumable foods in the desert will take a very long time
  • Never sprouted for meals; always as a garnish
  • Within one month, the majority of calories were consumed via sprouts grown in a small box
  • “Digestion begins with the eyes”
  • Microbiome shifted so that sprouts could be digested more efficiently
  • Viome
  • Gutbio

-How sprouts differ from other plants regarding plant-defense mechanisms…14:30

-The sprouting process explained…17:15

  • All plants naturally want to reproduce just like animals
  • One seed has the potential to grow into an entire plant such as broccoli
  • Acids in the nutritional process remove the enzymes and prepare the seed for germination
  • Sprouting is simulating the reproduction process of particular plants
  • Sprouting jars with metal screens  are best to strain the sprouted plants
  • Sprouting stand
  • Rinse them again, invert the jar so the extra water can drain, and still have airflow into the jar
  • Alfalfa vs. alfalfa sprouts are a dramatic contrast in edibility and digestibility
  • Much more digestible than seeds
  • Sprouts don't have sulforaphane by themselves; it's activated when you chew or grind them

-The immediate results of Doug Evans' sprouting practice…31:50


-Logistical questions about sprouting answered…42:10

-How to obtain the best seeds for sprouting…52:25

-Technology that can simplify the sprouting process without compromising quality…56:15

  • Testing showed 100% of samples had yeast present
  • Molds are ever-present
  • Hacks and automation are handy, but are they addressing the above issues?
  • Need water source, circulation, the right type of seeds
  • Software and community to codify and centralize knowledge for the good of the consumer

-Why Doug Evans can't believe more people are not sprouting right now…1:03:30

  • 10x the value if you do a bit of work
  • Sprouting isn't mainstream because people get discouraged with the work involved
  • Everything becomes easy when the demand hits a certain tipping point

-How to make the best hummus you've ever had in your own kitchen…1:07:30

  • Garbanzo can be sprouted in 12 hours
  • Garbanzo hummus recipe—blend for 1 minute:
    • 1 cup of garbanzo sprouts (8 oz.)
    • Pickles (3-4 oz.)
    • Brine (3 liquid oz.)
  • This hummus can be used as a base; add any other sprouts in (lentils)
  • Lentils can also sprout in 12 hours
    • Antioxidant levels in lentils double in 12 hours
    • Vitamin C content is tripled in 12 hours
    • Continuing for 3-4 days quadruples the fiber level

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

Resources from this episode:

Doug Evans:

– Podcasts:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

Link to sprouting jars, sprouting stands, etc. off Amazon

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