Sprouts add a healthy kick to any meal they’re in. Certain seeds, such as beans, alfalfa, lentils and chickpeas can be sprouted by being kept moist, warm and in some sunlight. They are then rinsed several times a day to keep them from rotting. Until you get into a good routine of soaking and rinsing sprouting beans, it’s easy to lose a few batches due to the temperature being too hot or cold or not rinsing them enough.
Once you get your hands on some sprouts, there are loads of health benefits waiting for you. Since they are still in the process of growing into a plant, they have all the vitamins and minerals necessary in the growing process. Sprouts are a high-quality protein source that’s packed with fiber. They also have more vitamins than their more mature plant counterparts, and due to their age, the minerals work more efficiently in your body than the ones that come from the fully-grown plants. Working sprouts into your diet is a great choice.
Eating Raw Sprouts
Raw sprouts can be worked into many different types of food. If you like the taste of sprouts, they can be eaten plain as a snack. Sandwiches are an easy way to work sprouts into your daily meal planning. Instead of putting iceberg or romaine lettuce on sandwiches, substitute sprouts. The texture will be similar enough for even the pickiest eater, and the light flavor of sprouts brings out the taste of a sandwich. They can also be used on salads, drizzled lightly with your dressing of choice.
Eating Cooked Sprouts
There are many ways to incorporate cooked sprouts into your regular diet. They can be prepared in the same ways as mature beans and plants, but they tend to require less cooking time. Since sprouts are used widely in Chinese cooking, so a good place to start is with a stir fry. Be sure to add the sprouts last; they are delicate and you don’t want to burn them. To season, just use the sesame or other cooking oil that you’re using for your stir fry. If your family has a lot of picky eaters, a stir fry is one of the easiest ways to introduce them to sprouts. Since they’re already eating lots of vegetables in the dish, they may not notice the sprouts.
Sprouts can also be cooked in a number of other foods. A quesadilla is one good option; when sprouts are mixed in with cheese, peppers and any meat you choose, they have a delicious refreshing taste and crunch. You could also try dropping some sprouts into a pot of soup during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
To keep your sprouts fresh, rinse them daily in cold water, pat them dry, and keep them in the vegetable crisper of your fridge. They’ll stay crispy and delicious and you can have fun experimenting with sprouts. Before you know it, you’ll be eating them daily and reaping their many health benefits.