Grow your own Sprouts
Written by: Michelle Cloete
Sprouts! The underrated superfood that is not only delicious but immensely nutritious to eat.
What are sprouts? Simply, they are seeds that have germinated and become very young plants, and it is in this that makes them a powerhouse of nutrition. As sprouts are young and are consumed raw, they are heavily concentrated with essential minerals, trace minerals, vitamins, enzymes and amino acids. The soaking process also makes them significantly higher in fibre compared to their unsoaked counterparts, making them easy to digest.
Many types of seeds can be sprouted including beans, peas, grains, vegetables and other plants like sesame and sunflower. From alfalfa, snow pea and broccoli to mung bean, lentil, barley and quinoa, the variety of sprouts as well as their nutritional benefits are endless.
But as well as their nutritional benefits, sprouts are an economical way to eat nourishing food and can be used in many different ways in your cooking. Growing your own food, however small in size or quantity, can also give you a sense of comfort, security and confidence over your health. With the right combination of temperature and moisture, you can have your own sprouts within a week.
Place a tablespoon of your chosen seeds in a wide mouth jar and cover with a few centimetres of room temperature water. Allow to stand overnight in a cool spot in your kitchen. Drain the seeds through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and rinse them. Return the seeds to the jar and cover with water again. Repeat this soaking, draining and rinsing process until your sprouts are the desired size. This could take anywhere between 3-7 days. Bear in mind, you want to consume your sprouts when they’re as young as possible to ingest as many vitamins, nutrients and minerals as possible. Store your sprouts in an airtight container in the fridge covered with a light damp cloth or paper towel.
Sprouts make a delicious (and pretty) garnish to top your meals with but you can also try some of the following ideas:
- Add handfuls to bulk out your salads
- Use as a salad filling in your wraps and sandwiches
- Add to your morning smoothies or homemade juices
- Supplement the herbs that go in your pestos and sauces
- Toss into your stir frys at the end of cooking
- Use them in a frittata or breakfast omelette
- Roll them up into homemade sushi
You can learn more about sprouts and how to grow them. There are a host of books on this delicious superfood but we particularly enjoyed “The Sprout Book” by Doug Evans.
If you want to get serious about growing your own sprouts, look up Sydney Sprouts for equipment and sprouting kits, and endless recipe ideas!