Today, I’d like to talk to you about sprouts. Not the Brussels kind, but rather the plant shouts which you can grow in your kitchen. With spring settling, you might have started lightening up your meals and inviting fresh and vibrant ingredients to your plate. Sprouts are an excellent way of spring-cleaning your diet – not only are they highly nutritious, but they also provide a colourful and fresh addition to any meal. Here is a little guide on sprouts.
What is sprouting about?
Sprouting is the practice of germinating seeds, legumes or grains, for them to then be eaten raw or cooked. The sprouting process activates and multiplies nutrients in the seeds, as well as neutralizing enzyme inhibitors and promoting the growth of vital digestive enzymes. You are therefore creating living plants which can definitely be considered as super foods. It is thought that sprouts can have up to 15% more nutrients than their unsprouted counterparts and are also a lot easier to digest.
The soaking allows for the sprouting to occur and unlocking of the full potential of these foods, and the sprouting process creates the nutritional powerhouse that sprouts are.
Sprouts are an essential element of a raw food diet, but they are beneficial for all to eat and can be sprinkled on salads and soups, inside a sandwich or wrap, added to stir-fries or smoothies – anything which you want to give a nutritional boost to.
What to sprout?
Most seeds, beans and grains will sprout, although a few of them will not. The infographic below will give you a good guide of what to sprout and for how long:
Although you can buy ready-made sprouts at the shop, I would encourage you to make your own at home. Not only is it easy and cheap, but also so much fun to see the little shoots growing.
Equipment-wise, all you need is a large glass jar, a muslin cloth and an elastic band (you could also buy a sprouting jar):
Step 1: soak the seeds
Step 2: Drain the jar at an angle (I use a dish drainer on the sink), having placed the muslin cloth on top, held with an elastic band.
Step 3: Rinse twice daily – refill the jar with fresh water, swirl it a bit and drain.
Step 4: Enjoy when ready (the sprouts will be 3 to 5cm long), transfer to a glass container and store in the fridge for up to a week.