Sprouts have long been easy to find in health food stores and veggie sandwiches. Those who have been eating sprouts for a long time know how beneficial they are for health. As the grain sprouts, reserve enzymes are released, creating a healthier product. Sprouts also contain protein, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants.
You can make your own sprouts and it’s easy! All you need is a few inexpensive things you probably have at home, plus beans and seeds. Cooking requires very little effort and a few days. Sprouting yourself is a great way to start eating sprouts. Today in the news you can often hear that they are infected with salmonella, E. coli and other harmful bacteria. Disease outbreaks often start from industrially grown sprouts found in restaurants and shops. You can avoid the risk of disease by making your own seedlings.
What are sprouts?
Seedlings are the first growth that comes out of the seed. When sprouts are mentioned, most people immediately think of mung beans and alfalfa. Mung beans are thick and juicy sprouts found in many Asian restaurants and supermarkets. Alfalfa sprouts are thinner and often used in sandwiches. If you’ve never tried sprouts other than these, it’s time to make them.
You can sprout mung beans, alfalfa, lentils, chickpeas, adzuki beans, soybeans, broccoli seeds, clover, radishes and eat them raw. You can also germinate cereals: wheat, oats, barley, quinoa and buckwheat. Other legumes such as kidney beans, broad beans, and turkish beans can also be sprouted, but are more difficult and are poisonous when raw.
Why eat sprouts?
The raw food diet is a growing trend among food lovers and healthy eaters. Proponents of the raw food diet believe that if food is not cooked, more nutrients are retained in it. Undoubtedly, heating destroys some components, and vitamins and minerals are washed out during cooking. Sprouts have always been an important part of the raw food movement because they provide protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
One of the reasons why sprouts are good for health is that they are high in protein but low in fat. Unfortunately, legumes are difficult to digest and can cause cramps and flatulence. When beans are sprouted, enzymes are released that make them easier to digest. Then you can get all the nutrients from legumes without any discomfort. When cereals are germinated, changes occur in them that lead to an increase in the quality of the protein. This makes them better sources of protein than ever before. Because of their high protein content, sprouts are a great option for vegetarians and those looking to reduce their meat intake.
Fiber is another important component of cereals and legumes. Once a grain or bean sprouts, the fiber content increases significantly. Fiber is a nutrient that most people don’t get enough of. It helps cleanse the colon and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. It also makes you feel full without providing enough calories, so fiber is important for weight maintenance.
It is believed that the content of protein and fiber in sprouts is increased by reducing the amount of starch. As sprouting progresses, the amount of starch decreases, while the amount of protein and fiber increases. Starch is a simple carbohydrate that provides energy, but is also very high in calories. Complex carbohydrates are better for nutrition.
Sprouted beans, grains and vegetables also contain many vitamins. They include significant amounts of vitamins A, C, E and several B-complex vitamins. Sprouts can contain up to 30% more vitamins than an adult plant. Sprouted vegetables, beans, and grains also contain minerals that are more active in the body. In addition to this, sprouts contain antioxidants and other beneficial plant substances that have yet to be thoroughly studied.
Because of all the beneficial substances that can be found in raw sprouts, they can be very beneficial for health. Sprouts are claimed to help with anemia, constipation and stress. They can improve cardiovascular and liver health, the appearance and condition of skin, hair, and nails, and menopausal symptoms.
How to germinate
Whether or not sprouts are so beneficial, there is no doubt that sprouted grains, beans, and vegetables are packed with nutrients. Start feeding your family sprouts by making them yourself.
When you grow vegetables for a vegetable garden from seeds, the first shoots are sprouts. However, you don’t need to plant a seed in the ground to sprout. There is a much cleaner and easier way to germinate seeds.
The first step is to rinse the beans or seeds. Infected seeds germinate into infected seedlings, so this is a necessary step. Do not germinate seeds intended for planting in the ground, they are usually treated with chemicals. Use seeds and beans intended for food.
Fill a glass jar with clean, cold water and sprouting beans or seeds. They will increase in volume, so the initial volume of seeds, along with water, should not occupy more than a quarter of the jar.
Cover the jar with gauze and intercept with a tourniquet. You can also buy special sprouting jars that come with a honeycomb lid.
Leave the jar at room temperature for 8-12 hours. Larger beans and seeds may take longer to soak.
After the required time has passed, drain the water. Rinse the seeds with fresh water and drain again. Leave the jar on its side to allow any remaining moisture to evaporate over time. Make sure there is enough air in the jar.
Rinse the seeds and drain the water two to four times a day. It is impossible for the seeds to dry out completely. Do this until you get seedlings of the desired length. Lentils and mung beans germinate the fastest, in a day or two. Alfalfa needs to be germinated at least 2,5 cm, the rest of the seeds – 1,3, but in general this is a matter of taste.
If you’re sprouting alfalfa, leave the jar of sprouts in the sun near a window for an hour or two. Then chlorophyll will be produced in small leaves, and they will turn green.
The last step is to thoroughly rinse the sprouts in a colander or sieve and dry well. To store, place the sprouts in an airtight bag or container lined with paper towels and refrigerate.
Sprouts can be eaten raw, but most can also be cooked. Do not cook alfalfa sprouts, they are very tender and will turn into mush. Lentils take 4-5 minutes to cook, and chickpeas take about 15 minutes. Sometimes sprouts are recommended to cook because constant consumption of raw sprouts can be harmful. In raw beans, there are substances that have an adverse effect when consumed frequently in large quantities.