Sprouts are alive, whole, living foods. Easy to digest and bursting with nutrition, they can add body to your salads, soups etc. Do you shy away from sprouting because you are unfamiliar with the process or don’t know how to use them? Don’t miss out on their nutritional benefits. Read on to know all about sprouts from this article.
What are sprouts?
These are seeds that have germinated and become very young plants, theyare the very first shoots of various kinds of seeds. Along with fruits, vegetables and nuts, sprouts are our natural foods.
Sprouts are very nutritious, as they contain all the elements that a plant needs for life and growth.
The simple process of sprouting brings out many dormant enzymes in germinated seeds, legumes, and grains, making them easier to digest.Many difficult to digest acids like phytic acids in grains get neutralized by the act of sprouting.
It also increases the amounts and bioavailability of protein, vitamins and minerals, transforming them into nutrition powerhouses.
Sprouting whole grains reduces the amount of starch they contain and boosts their nutritional value. Because there’s less starch in each sprouted grain, the proportion of protein and fibre within each seedling becomes higher. The proteins found in sprouts are predigested (in the form of amino acids) and are thus easily utilized by the body with no extra energy.
Benefits of sprouts
This multi-purpose food supports a wide range of needs.
If you are into running or visit a gym regularly or a fitness enthusiast, then load up on sprouts daily to support your fitness resolution this year. Sprouts are protein rich.
If you are feeling energy drained at end of day, add a handful of sprouts to your meals. Sprouts are easy on the digestive system as they are natural, live foods. Eating them reduces digestive load & saves on your energy reserves, making you feel more energized.
Fighting the battle of bulge? Sprouts must be consumed as salads before or with your meals. They are a wonderful source of fiber and definitely your best ally in your weight loss program.You digest fibre more slowly than simple starches and sugars. Hence, it fills you up for a longer time & you eat less.
Constipation troubles? Eat daily and see the difference!
But most importantly eat it because they are live foods, full of wholesome nutrition.
How to eat sprouts?
It’s best to eat sprouts in their raw form as cooking is likely to destroy the heat-sensitive enzymes present in them. You can read more about food enzymes in our blog on raw foods. In case you are more comfortable eating cooked sprouts, then lightly steam them in a steamer. Lesser the exposure to heat, the more nutritive value will be retained.You can add the sprouts in salads, soups, roll them up with rotis, mix them in chaat, make condiments like raita and pickles(like methi sprouts pickle) or gently stir fry them. Do not discard any part of the sprout - use the whole sprout - the seed, the shell, the root, the stem and any tiny green leaves.
Grow your live food at home!
For people who tend to skip the sprouts routine because it feels cumbersome, here is a step-by-step guide to help you get started.
What can you sprout?
Many different types of seeds, any whole legume or grain can be sprouted. Our favorites are moong daal (saabut green), moth daal, kala chana, lobia (raungee) and peanut.
You can even try sprouting grains like ragi and whole wheat or seeds like mustard and fenugreek etc.
Experiment sprouting a new item every week till you get it right. Some pulses and seeds are easier to sprout but others take more time. However, with patience and trials, you can become a sprouting ninja.
You can even make healthy sprouted grains malt drinks like a ragi malt. It is a great replacement to tea,coffee or commercially bought packaged drinks.
They sprout faster in summers versus winters.
It is best to consume them fresh. They can stay in fridge for 2-3 days.
Choose good quality seeds for sprouting. Some seeds are highly sprayed and will not sprout.
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