Bean sprouts, broccoli sprouts, alfalfa sprouts…the list goes on & on! Most people have tried or heard of sprouts, but many don’t realize that they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. “Sprouting” is starting to get a lot of attention today, and for good reason! Sprouting beans, seeds and nuts, and even grains have incredible health benefits. Before sprouting grains, nuts, and beans you must soak these delicious foods. (If you haven’t already, go check out our previous blog about soaking!) So what’s all the hype with sprouting?
- Easier to digest because the soaking and sprouting period starts the breakdown of the nutrients. Traditional preparations took time and slow cooking to help begin the digestion process.
- Increases nutrient absorption
- After a week of sprouting, the food is at its highest nutrient concentration and bioavailability; especially of B-vitamins, amino acids, and folates.
- The amount of protein available to the body also increases after soaking and sprouting grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
- Decreases the phytic acid in the seed, legume, or grain that can reduce absorption of certain minerals, especially zinc, iron, and calcium.
- Increases the antioxidant profile (such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, and quercetin).
- Increases the amount of fiber that is available and easily used by the body. Fiber from unsprouted grains, legumes, nuts and seeds has been shown to cause hard to the digestive track leading to complications such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and intestinal hyperpermeability (leaky gut).
- Sulforaphane, a natural compound found in broccoli sprouts may inhibit cancer stem cells. So eating broccoli sprouts can have anti-cancer benefits.
Now that you are fully convinced you need to sprout, here is how to do it!! Step 1: Clean your glass sprouting jar or dish thoroughly. Bacteria is the nemesis to sprouting. You will want to make sure that your hands are very clean whenever you are handling the sprouts. Step 2: Place your raw beans, grains, or seeds in the jar. Screw on a mesh mason jar lid so that the sprouts have air and moister can escape. Note: If sprouting grains, legumes/beans, or nuts; you will want to soak them prior to sprouting. Seeds are small enough that soaking is not necessary but is optional to boost nutrient absorption even more. Refer to our blog on soaking for timing. The only nut that can really be sprouted anymore is Almonds. Most other nuts have been pasteurized to the point that they won’t sprout but still benefit from a good soak! Step 3: Rinse the seeds, legumes, grains, or nuts and then let it drain out. Keep the jar inverted at an angle so any excess water can drain off. Step 4: Repeat the rinse and drain procedure twice a day for 1-4 days. Step 5: Once the sprouts, sprout, it is time to put them in the refrigerator where they can be kept for up to a week. Step 6: ENJOY!!! Sprouts may be eaten raw or used in different preparations depending on what was sprouted. Sprouted seeds are great raw, right out of the fridge. Sprouts may be dehydrated and then ground to use in different preparations such as sprouted flours and breads.
Follow Rebecca’s tutorial to see how easy it can be to sprout & give it a try in your own kitchen! To learn more about how to get the most out of your food, and know how foods affect your body, give us a call today!