Why are sprouts so good for you?
When you grow your own sprouts you know exactly where they came from and what went into producing them. Talk about local produce!
It starts with a seed, loaded with nutritional benefits, like Vitamins C and B as well as carotene, that unleash through the sprouting process. Breaking down a seed through its germination makes it easier for you to digest.
Elisabetta Politi, RD, nutrition director at the Duke Diet & Fitness Center in Durham, NC, explains, For people with problems digesting certain foods, sprouted germs [seeds] might seem better for them, and they are less allergenic to people with grain protein sensitivities.
The benefits of sprouting vary, depending upon the seeds you choose. For example, research suggests that broccoli sprouts may help reduce the risk of gastric cancer, improve respiratory health, and contribute to heart health, including lowering blood pressure.
According to Sprout People, the various types of seeds, when sprouted contain vitamins A, B, C, E and K, protein, and minerals, including zinc, iron, calcium, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium.
High in fiber and low in calories and fat sprouts help you feel satiated and add nutritional value to your meals.
Growing sprouts from seeds
Buy organic seeds packaged for sprouting. A word of caution: Don’t go cheap on the seeds or try to cut corners here. Start with quality and use only seeds specifically designed for sprouting. You can purchase seeds online, at a natural food store or at some grocery stores.
You can buy a sprouting kit but can make one easily. All you need is a clean mason jar, some cheesecloth and a rubber band.
Here’s what you do:
- Fill about a third of your mason jar with the sprouting seeds. Then fill the jar with water.
- Cut the cheesecloth to cover the top of the mason jar and leave some overlap. Hold the cheesecloth in place by stretching the rubber band over the cloth and around the rim.
- Now let your seeds soak overnight at room temperature. The next day drain the water and rinse the sprouts. Repeat draining and rinsing the seeds 2 to 3 times a day until the sprouts are ready for eating, typically within 3 to 6 days.
- Store your sprouts in a glass jar or air tight plastic container in the refrigerator. Use them within a couple of days to get the freshest flavor. The sprouts will last about a week when refrigerated.
- Add your sprouts to salad. Top a sandwich with them or use them in a stir-fry. You can also blend them with a smoothie, add them as a topping to an omelet or stir them into soup. Great creative, have fun and this winter grow something green that you can eat.