Backpacking Superfoods: Sprouts

Happy Equinox! Spring is upon us again, and with that brings thoughts of new beginnings, new growth, and sprouts! There is something very rewarding about growing your own food. Growing sprouts is a super easy way to grow food that is simple, portable, and really nutritious too. I have grown my own sprouts for a while now in a mason jar with a special lid on my kitchen counter. It is much more affordable to grow your own than to buy sprouts, and I think it is nice to control the growing methods and cleanliness. I really like broccoli sprouts and lentil sprouts, but there are so many different kinds to try. The seeds are found at health food stores and online or just from most ordinary dried lentils or beans. Sprouts are so nutritious and really liven up a meal. I love them!

Broccoli sprouts on the beach of Kauai.

Broccoli sprouts on the beach of Kauai.

I think a lot about eating healthy while traveling and hiking around the planet, so naturally sprouts have come into the picture because they are really small and lightweight but have so much nutrition. The first time I tried to grow sprouts while camping was during our trip to Kalalau on the Island of Kauai. It worked beautifully! We camped in the same spot for the week so I just re-used a clean snack container and poked a bunch of air holes in it.

We had lovely broccoli sprouts for a few days and it was amazing. We really enjoyed having fresh living green foods well into the latter part of our week. I will definitely be bringing seeds and beans to sprout on the John Muir Trail this summer too but this time I’m using a hemp bag tied to my backpack. Sprouts can really be grown anywhere, they are a perfect travel food, especially for backpacking in the wilderness!

Fully grown in a few days.

Fully grown in a few days.

All you have to do is soak seeds for 8-12 hours in water and then drain them. Then rinse and drain well 2-3 times per day until they sprout, which usually takes 2-3 days or so depending on the kind. It is so easy and fun! Aren’t they cute!?

Wishing you a peaceful transition into springtime, filled with light, adventures and green growing things. 

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6 thoughts on “Backpacking Superfoods: Sprouts

  1. This is such a great idea! If only I had thought if this during the three months we spent travelling around SE Asia. We got soooo sick of the packaged food that was available on the road. There was always fruit, but sometimes we craved a hit of fresh green so badly!

    • Thanks for your comment! I get fresh greens cravings constantly while traveling also. Packaged travel food for three months does not do a body good! I plan to bring these little guys all over the world with us. :-)

  2. Hi Chelsey! This is such an amazing idea I’d never considered!!! How did your subsequent sprouting adventures go? Would you recommend the hemp bag? Was finding and preparing extra water to rinse them a hassle? Thanks so much! Best wishes & happy trails :)

    • Hi Amber!! Thanks so much for reading and for your comment. I still love sprouting and I definitely recommend the hemp bag for backpacking. After a few weeks on the JMT there was nothing like eating something raw and fresh and green! The bag does dry out a bit more so you have to rinse the seeds a few more times a day if in a hot climate. I also got a few critters nibbling on it one night and it got some little holes but still worked. Hang it strategically in a tree! Also, certain seeds do better than others. Mung beans and lentils did amazing. Broccoli sprouts took almost twice as long as normal to sprout because of the dry heat. Finding water where we were was not a problem at all, it was never an issue. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! Cheers!

      • Thanks Chelsey :) That’s awesome feedback! I am sooooo excited. Maybe I’ll strap a bag of sprouts to my work bag for a few weeks to test it all out…that should make my coworkers think I’m even weirder than already. I really love your JMT photos and I’m sure your Nepal ones are just as lovely. Thanks so much :)

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