Get ya sprout on!

Pre-soaked/sprouted beans

I think most of us would know pretty well that the good old legume family serve us with nutrients that we can all benefit from, however they don’t generally get too much publicity in the cooking world unless you’re a tree hugging hippy.  Being a tree hugging hippy myself, I also fall guilty in giving these wonderful speckles of goodness the acknowledgement and respect that they deserve.  So to apologise i’m going to tell you how wonderful and nutritious they can be- when SPROUTED 🙂

Does the word ‘sprouting’ intimidate you like it did me up until several months ago?
It’s really way too easy to sprout nuts, seeds and legumes that is is crazy we haven’t been taught so sooner.  I want to teach you how to reap the extra rewards these  foods can offer you if you give them the love- they’ll love you back!

So…now you’re wondering what the hell is she on about with all this ‘love’ and hippy talk.  First I will tell you why sprouting is so good for you, then you will get it 😛

– Bean sprouts unlock and provide concentrated nutritive properties unlike ripe vegetables, that decrease in nutritional value until consumed, while bean sprouts retain their nutritional properties.
– Phytic acid and enzymes inhibitors are neutralised:  Phytic acid binds with important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc, making it nearly impossible for you to absorb the benefits of them.  Digestion is also made easier as sprouting neutralises enzyme inhibitors which can interfere with metabolic functions.
– The soaking/sprouting process also helps break down the larger proteins and carbohydrates allowing for the amino acids and simpler glucose molecules to become more easily assimilated whilst also avoiding the gassy after effects that we get from eating these foods.  Sprouts have up to 35% protein, so there’s no need to question the potential of plants to supply us with these micronutrients that we often doubt.
– The germination/sprouting process increases the micronutient content by creating vitamin C and also increasing the values of B vitamins.
– Sprouts are also more alkalising to the body.  Creating an alkaline balance in our blood is extremely important in avoiding disease.  Many foods (meats, dairy, grain), environmental and mental stressors contribute to an acidic environment, so it is important that we help balance out this with alkalising foods like fresh fruits, vegetables and sprouts.

So…now I think i’ve given the good ol’ sprout the acknowledgement that it deserves, I will now tell you how to get these into your life!

Sprouting method:

The method is pretty much the same for most seeds, grains, nuts, and legumes, it’s just the time that varies.  An easy and frugal method to sprout, is to fill a jar about one third full of desired seed, nut or legume to sprout, and then cover with water overnight. On the top you place a sprouting screen (I use a stocking sock).   I like to soak mine for 24 hours, and the longer you soak the more you will get out of the sprouts.   You then drain and rinse the beans (doing so right through the screen), and then you invert your jar at an angle, allowing it to drain and air to circulate within your jar.  This rinsing and draining process is repeated 2-3 times per day, until your beans/nuts/seeds and your seeds will turn into sprouts (usually after 2-4 days of rinsing). 
I used a mixed sprouting bean mix that I purchased from Goodies and Grains in the Adelaide central markets- a wonderful whole-food heaven :).  These are some foods that sprout well:

Pulses: alfalfa, clover, fenugreek, lentil, pea, chickpea, mung bean and soy bean.
Cereals: oat, kamut, quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat.
Seeds: sesame, sunflower, almond, linseed, pumpkin.
Brasicca (cabbage family): broccoli, cabbage, rocket, mustard, radish, daikon turnip.
Umbelliferous vegetables (parsley family): carrot, celery, fennel, parsley.
Allium (onions): onion, leek, green onion.
Other vegetables: lemon grass, spinach, lettuce, milk thistle.

 Make sure to keep the sprouts refrigerated to avoid spoilage and do not eat if they smell off/go slimy.
Add your sprouts to salads, soups, on crackers or in wraps to give your meal a nourishing and satisfying boost!

Happy sprouting 🙂 x

Day 3 after soaking and sprouting

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