In light of the beautiful spring like weather we’ve encountered today in the HRM I’d like to share a post about sprouting!
Sprouting is the act of germinating any grain, seed, nut or legume to enhance its nutritive value. It’s an essential part of any diet that is predominant in raw foods as it decreases anti-nutrients and increases alkalinity, enzymes, proteins, vitamins and minerals (up to 2000%) all while increasing digestion. For example, 5 grams of broccoli sprouts is equivalent to 50 grams of broccoli with regards to sulforaphane (which strongly inhibits cancer and increases liver detoxification).
Many sprouts also contain higher amounts of phytoestrogens when compared to their beans. These include mung beans, clover, soybeans, yellow peas, geeen lentils, chick peas, fenugreek and adzuki beans. Phytoestrogens help us balance estrogen levels and decrease the ratio of harmful estrogens to protective estrogens.
How to Sprout?
It’s easy! Try not to get caught up in any fancy techniques or gadgets in the beginning. I’ll run you through the steps for sprouting broccoli and mung beans, I encourage you to give this a go, especially if you have young children in the house who love to watch things transform!
1. Start by purchasing broccoli seeds. A common brand is Mumms which can be found at Planet Organic in Quinpool Rd. Take a mason jar and either wrap mesh over top secured by an elastic band or purchase a premade cover such as the one you see in this photo. Add 1 tbsp of seeds and place inside the jar.
2. Fill the jar with cold water and rinse the seeds then fill the jar up again and allow the seeds to soak overnight.
3. In the morning rinse, repeat and place the jar upside down as seen in this picture in a bowl for support. Now all you have to do is allow the seeds to sprout in a shady area of the kitchen for 3-5 days. It’s important to rinse them out 2x a day.
BROCOLLI SPROUTS are eaten to protect from cancer (including breast, stomach, prostate, skin, colon and bladder), to decrease LDL cholesterol, increasing phase 2 detoxification in the liver, increase cardiovascular health, and protect the body from diabetes complications. Try them in green smoothies, on top of eggs, in salads or sandwiches. They have a radish type taste, and can add some zap into any meal.
Mung Bean Sprouts:
1. Mung beans are much larger than broccoli seeds, they are also require pressure to grow. First start with about ½ a cup of green beans, rinse and soak overnight.
2. In the morning rinse the mung beans and place in a open faced strainer on top of a bowl (so dripping water doesn’t leak). On top of the mung beans you need to place something to put them under a little pressure (like a heavy bowl). This pressure will allow them to grow thick and crispy!
3. Rinse them 2x every day for about 3-5 days allowing them to grow in a shady part of the kitchen.
MUNG BEANS: These are the “typical” bean sprout you’ll find at the grocery store used most commonly in Chinese cooking. They’ve been used as a nourishing food for over 3000 years! They play a central roll in Ayurvedic (Indian) cleansing, known for their place in Kitchari, a dish of rice, beans and herbs. They are much more readily absorbed than other beans as they contain fewer oligosaccharides, leading to less gas and bloating. Sprouting them and combining them with digestive herbs also increases their digestion. One cup of sprouts has only 30 calories and up to 3 grams of protein! They are a great source of Vitamin K (extremely important in bone health and Vitamin D absorption), high in Vitamin C, and B Vitamins.
A sprouted tridoshic ayurvedic kitchari (recipe to come!) yummm…