Sprouts have been a part of my life since a very long time. When we were kids, my mother used to make a simple salad of sprouted moong, finely chopped onions, cucumber, tomatoes etc tossed with a dash of lemon juice, salt and pepper. She used to just keep a big bowl of it on the dining table and we used to munch on a spoonful of the crunchy delight everytime we would pass by the table.
I wanted to introduce the same for my kids but alas they did not show the same enthusiasm for it like me and my brother did. So now, I make a mixed sprouts sabji as a side dish for chapathi once a week, which thankfully they have started to look forward to.
The sprouting process makes the eating part more exciting for my kids. They love to sneak a peak into the box whenever possible to see whether the sprouts have begun to appear. Nowadays I give them each a bowl of mixed lentils and make them in charge of the sprouting process for their respective bowls just to get them excited about this wholesome produce.
Sprouting basically causes the outer layers of the grain to split open, allowing a dormant seed to become a live plant. When this happens, anti-nutrients break away, and the newly emerging sprout consumes some of the grain’s starches, thereby altering the food’s nutritional content. A wide variety of produce like nuts, seeds, grains, millets, lentils etc can be sprouted to enhance the health benefits. These can be either had raw in salads, cooked, or ground into a flour to mix with our regular flour to make wholesome rotis.
Some of the health benefits of sprouting are as below:
1. Increased Bio-availability and Absorption of nutrients
The process of germination and sprouting increases the levels of essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins, minerals etc considerably. For instance, calcium levels in sprouted ragi increases by 20% and the Iron content increases by almost 10 times. In addition to this, the body can absorb these nutrients more easily, because sprouting reduces anti-nutrients which otherwise lock up minerals and are hard to be digested by the body.
2. Significant Reduction of Anti-Nutrients
There are many anti-nutrients like Phytic Acid, Polyphenols, tannins, flavonoids, trypsin inhibitors that are produced by plants during its metabolism. These anti-nutrients binds with Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Copper & Zinc that makes it very hard for our body to digest & absorb these minerals. Soaking & Sprouting reduces levels of anti-nutrients effectively, therefore making all these nutrients available for easy absorption.
3. Easy to digest
Soaking & Sprouting helps in the activation of enzymes that aids in digestion.
4. Increased levels of anti-oxidants
Sprouting increases the anti-oxidant activity in our body and helps prevent a lot of damage that could have otherwise been caused by the free-radicals.
5. Increases Fiber content
Sprouting increases the proportion of fiber which also means that they automatically have a lower glycemic index than their non-sprouted counterparts.
Simple Sprouting guide
The sprouting process remains more or less the same irrespective of whether you are looking to sprout seeds nuts, grains or lentils.
- Rinse the beans and soak it in fresh water for about 6-8 hrs.
- After the soaking period, drain the water and keep in a container with a lid. C
- Sprouting should initiate within 3-5 days. Ensure that water is sprinkled on the beans every 12 hours to ensure that they do not dry up.
- Once the beans start sprouting and you are happy with the length of the cute white tails, they are ready to eat raw or cooked.
- Enjoy the wholesome goodness.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With over 10 years of experience in the organic industry, Priya is a strong believer in using healthy and easy to use alternatives in daily life. She passionately advises her friends, family and customers by sharing with them practical and easy ways to include healthy alternatives in their daily life.