What’s the deal with sprouts?

If you’re not already familiar with them, sprouts can seem pretty weird!  This post will give you some basic info on sprouts, why they’re good for you, how to eat them.

Sprouts are basically just seeds that have been sprouted (allowed to start the process of growing), and usually also given a chance to “green up” a bit to develop a bit of the chlorophyll.  There are many different kinds of sprouts, though most people are probably familiar with or have seen alfalfa sprouts or bean sprouts.  Both are popular on salad bars, and you’ll often find bean sprouts in various Chinese or Thai meals.

Sprouts are good for you for several reasons:

They’re raw.    Raw foods contain enzymes that are not found in cooked foods.  When foods are cooked (above 117 degrees for three minutes or more) many changes occur – including the destruction of enzymes that are good for your health.   Sprouts are an easy and delicious way add raw food and get these enzymes back into your diet.

They’re packed with nutrients.   The process of a seed sprouting actually increases the vitamin and mineral content when it sprouts.   This is an easy and natural way to get nutrients in a natural and very digestible manner.

Talk about natural!  Sprouts require no fertilizer, pesticides, or anything other than water.  Best of all, if you buy organic sprouts or start with organic seeds, you know that you’re not ingesting any unwanted pesticides or chemicals – only the natural nutrients provided by the process of sprouting.

Sprouts are delicious!  Depending on the type of sprout, sprouts can have little flavor, be very subtle, or even rather bold tasting.  Some sprouts are nutty or spicy tasting.  I recommend that most people start with alfalfa sprouts.   They’re mild tasting, easy to buy already sprouted in most grocery stores, and easy to grow at home.  They also have a mild taste, so it’s an easy addition to many foods.   From there – experiment!  You’ll find that there are a variety of readily available sprouts, and many options if you grow your own.

Sprouts can be incorporated into your diet in so many ways!   Here are three ways you can try (but don’t stop here – try your own combinations).

  1. Add them as a topping to your salad.   This is a pretty easy way to add sprouts to your diet, as you can add them to your salad without changing the flavor much, and you can even begin to do this if you eat out at a salad bar
  2. Add them as a topping on a sandwich.  Sprouts can add a healthy snap to your sandwich both in terms of taste and texture.  Add a forkful or two of sprouts to your next sandwich for an easy nutritional boost.
  3. Add them to your juice.  Juice should already be a regular part of your healthy lifestyle.   Toss a forkful or two of sprouts into your blender or Vitamix the next time you make juice to get the added nutritional benefit.   With a good blender or even better – a Vitamix, the sprouts will be incorporated into the juice without leaving any chunks, bits, or anything stringy.

 

Have a question or something to say about this post?  Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear from you.

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