Healthy eating series: Sprouting!

You don’t need a farm or even a vege garden to harvest a crop of fabulous home grown food and eat it the moment it’s done growing! You don’t even need a patch of garden! You can grow your own mega nutritious crop of sprouts with just a bowl and some water! Home grown sprouts would have to be one of the cheapest and most nutritious foods on the planet! And you can eat them so fresh – they are basically still growing when you eat them! They are also GF and vegan. There are various ways to sprout, and some are more complex than necessary. I am going to tell you how to sprout the simple way. I have tried sprouting various legumes but to keep it simple I now stick to mung beans as they sprout so quickly, taste great and are highly nutritious! You can put them in salads and sandwiches but as they are firm you can also put them in a stir fry or soup, or saute them with spices! I like them so much I eat them plain with a spoon too! If you are new to sprouting you could start with mung beans and try others if you want later.

The information I have found on mung bean sprouts says that they are rich in minerals, vitamins, amino acids, proteins, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. They will give you a dose of Protein, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium. They are also a good source of fibre, Vit C, Vit K, Riboflavin, Folate, Copper and more. They are very low in Cholesterol.  Hmm pretty much a multivitamin that did not come from a factory!!

A half kilo bag will cost you only around $3-5 and will yield many many good size batches of mung beans! This must be the perfect food for students or families on a tight budget! I get mine from an Indian food shop but you can also try a health food shop.  I try to keep some on the go all the time and add them into anything I can for a protein boost.

You will need only 4 things:

  • 1 bowl
  • A sieve/colander
  • Approximately 1/2 cup of mung beans for 2-3 people
  • Good quality water

There are only 4 steps:

1. Place mung beans into the bowl and cover well with water, stir a little. Leave them to soak overnight in a cupboard so they are in the dark. You can cover the bowl if there is any risk of dust getting in.

2. In the morning rinse your beanies and shake them around a bit in the colander while rinsing for a thorough clean. Sing them a song. Nah, just joking. Strain them in your colander and then pour them back into the bowl. They should be wet but not sitting in a pool of water. Put the bowl back in the cupboard.

3. Rinse them twice a day, but if its hot weather three times a day or they may dry out. They will be ready in a few days, a bit longer in cooler weather. If they smell yuk at any time in the process or at the end, then you should chuck them out. Just wash the next batch more thoroughly. Don’t give up.

4. When your sprouts have a sprout root around 2cm (see photo above) you can eat them! Eat them alone (not you, them) or add to salads or anything you cook. They are quite filling due to the high nutrition value. Any you do not eat you can keep in a container in the fridge for 3-5 days. For optimum freshness rinse them once a day while being stored in the fridge. Start your next batch now!

Happy sprouting,

Siobhan

 

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