If you, like many people, are trying to make the switch from the standard American diet of sugar, hydrogenated oils, GMOs and packaged, processed foods to real, raw, whole foods organically-grown and packed to the brim with nutrients, then you may want to check out sprouts. Used in Asia for thousands of years as a cure for disease and still a dietary staple in most Asian cultures, sprouts h ave a long history of health. In fact, aptain James Cook used them to combat scurvy amongst his crew on the many two or three year trips he spent traversing the globe.
They've only been used in the western world since World War II, when they were used as a sturdy source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Able to be planted and grown anywhere and at any time, without the use of soil, sprouts were used commonly throughout the war.
Sprouts have a wide number of nutritional advantages, some of which include:
- high amounts of Vitamins C & A
- the entire B-complex
- increased chlorophyll content
- higher protein than un-sprouted seeds/nuts/legumes
- improved calcium, iron, and zinc absorption
- higher levels of amino acids
- enriched vitamin E and beta-carotene content
- reduced gluten proteins
- high amounts of fiber
- fewer food allergens
- more antioxidants
Health benefits of sprouts include:
- stimulating digestive enzymes in the body
- converting starch to natural sugar, more easily assimilated and easy on the blood sugar
- improving digestion and bioavailability
- breaking down anti-nutrients (compounds that prevent nutrients from being digested, causing several vitamin/mineral deficiencies)
- supporting beneficial intestinal flora
Sprouts are highly versatile. They pack a nutritious punch by themselves, but can also be
Eat more sprouts by:
- adding them to salads
- using them in place of greens for salads
- adding them to sandwiches (in place of lettuce or just for their own merit)
- putting them in soups
- mixing them in smoothies or juices
- blending them in hummus
- grinding them and using them as flour in baking
- including them in stir fry dishes
- and more!
Be creative. Sprouts can be used in a number of ways. You're only limited by your imagination!
Growing sprouts at home is relatively simple and extraordinarily inexpensive.
While it's possible to grow them in a Mason or Ball jar, it involves much more work than growing sprouts in a sprouting tray. In jars, sprouts have to be rinsed multiple times daily to prevent bacterial or mold growth, and trays produce a much larger quantity in half the trouble and without taking precious sink space.
Before you can sprout seeds, however, they need to be soaked. Soak times vary, but the method remains the same. Simply soak seeds/grains/beans/nuts in a bowl for the time allotted on this chart. If the soak time is longer than twelve hours, change out the water and do so again every twelve hours until ready for sprouting.
- Rinse and strain seeds, nuts, beans, or grains.
- Add a dash of water - one or two tablespoons or so - to keep the sprouts slightly damp. There's no need to submerge them completely.
- Leave them out for the proper sprouting time based on the type of sprouts used.
- When fully-grown, rinse the sprouts and store in an air-tight container for up to a week, rinsing and switching them to a new container every day to eliminate contamination.
- Eat and enjoy!
At Nature's Finest Nutrition, we carry sprouting trays for a mere $24.95. Call to order or come in to get yours and start sprouting, today!
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http://www.isga-sprouts.org/about-sprouts/sprout-history/" Accessed 09 March, 2015.
Josh Axe. "Sprout Guide: How to Sprout Grains, Nuts and Beans." No Date.
http://draxe.com/sprout/" Accessed 09 March, 2015.
Joseph Mercola. "Great Reasons to Eat More Sprouts." Published 09 February, 2015.
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/02/09/sprouts-nutrition.aspx" Accessed 09 March, 2015.
Joseph Mercola. "What Are Sprouts Good For?" No date.
http://foodfacts.mercola.com/sprouts.html" Accessed 09 March, 2015.
Jody and Julie. "15 Creative Ways to Use Sprouts." 24 August, 2011.
http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/2011/08/24/15-creative-ways-to-use-sprouts/" Accessed 09 March, 2015.