Su­per Sprouts

How to start ger­mi­nat­ing seeds and beans.

Good - - CONTENTS - Words Kahu de Beer. Il­lus­tra­tions Lisa Lodge

How to start ger­mi­nat­ing seeds and beans

It took me a long time to like sprouts. Although I eat them vol­un­tar­ily as an adult, I can’t help but won­der if I was brain­washed when I was a child – ev­ery time I see sprouts, I hear my mother’s voice urg­ing me to eat them. I do the same to my kids these days, of course, but they are far too free-think­ing.

Sprout­ing seeds or beans in­volves soak­ing them long enough for ger­mi­na­tion to oc­cur. This process al­lows all the ben­e­fi­cial en­zymes, vi­ta­mins and amino acids to be­come more read­ily avail­able, in con­cen­trated quan­ti­ties. When you eat a sprout, you are es­sen­tially con­sum­ing the en­tire plant and get­ting all the ben­e­fits of that plant. It is es­ti­mated there are up to 100 times more ben­e­fi­cial en­zymes in sprouts than raw veg­eta­bles. As if this wasn’t enough, eat­ing sprouts with your meal also al­lows your body to ex­tract more nu­tri­ents from the other foods you’re eat­ing.

Like many su­per­foods, sprouts have been con­sumed for their health ben­e­fits for thou­sands of years. Early ac­counts of sprout­ing were recorded in books of the Bi­ble, and they were even pre­scribed cu­ra­tively by Chi­nese physi­cians more than 5000 years ago.

The beauty of sprouts is they can be grown quickly and eas­ily in any cli­mate, and don’t rely on soil or sun – mean­ing you can have fresh food all year round. As well as be­ing among the least ex­pen­sive foods you can grow, they also re­quire very few re­sources and cre­ate no waste. There’s re­ally no ex­cuse not to start sprout­ing.

Some of the sprout­ing greats

Al­falfa Good source of B, C and K vi­ta­mins. They also con­tain saponins, which are ben­e­fi­cial for bal­anc­ing choles­terol and sup­port­ing the im­mune sys­tem. Red clover Rich in isoflavones, which can re­duce the risk of can­cer. They also act as a blood pu­ri­fier. Mung bean High in pro­tein, fi­bre, and vi­ta­mins A and C. These also con­tain anti-age­ing com­po­nents for the skin. Radish Con­tain vi­ta­min C and potas­sium. Can aid in weight loss as they give a sense of full­ness after eat­ing, help­ing you to eat less. Lentil Ex­cel­lent source of pro­tein, as well as vi­ta­mins A, B, C and E, which are im­por­tant to over­all health. Mus­tard Con­tain es­sen­tial min­er­als such as potas­sium, cal­cium and phos­pho­rous. Also con­tain quercetin, an im­por­tant freerad­i­cal fighter. Pea Con­tain fo­late and vi­ta­min A as well as chloro­phyll and pro­tein. They also have anti-in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties. Broc­coli High in sul­foraphane, a can­cer-fight­ing com­pound. Broc­coli sprouts have up to 100 times more sul­foraphane than adult broc­coli plants. Sun­flower Full of fi­bre, pro­tein, phy­tos­terols, es­sen­tial fatty acids. Fenu­greek Can pro­vide relief from cold and flu symp­toms such as con­ges­tion. Also acts as a lym­phatic cleanser.

To note

· Make sure the seeds you pur­chase are specif­i­cally for sprout­ing; they will be la­belled as such.

· Some beans, such as kid­ney beans, are dan­ger­ous and should never be eaten sprouted.

· Take care to avoid bac­te­rial growth in sprouts.

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