Food of the Month: Super Sprouts


December 17, 2012

Care of Amy Symington 

Sprouting has become a tremendously popular pastime and is right up there hobby-wise with growing your own herbs. They are as versatile as herbs and fortunate for us, have a whole lot more to offer in terms of nutrients too.
Sprouts can come from a variety of different legumes and grains; anything from mung beans to lentils to barley is fair game; the most popular and illustrious sprout of course being the alfalfa. Be warned though that some legumes or grains aren’t meant for sprouting and can be hazardous to your health, such as kidney beans. Thankfully instructional guides come with at-home sprouting devices that can lead you to blissfully safe sprouting.
However, if the parental duty of sprouting your own doesn’t sound like a walk in the garden to you, then hit up your local market or grocery store and they will more than likely have a few tasty types to select from.
Why eat your sprouts? Nutritionally speaking sprouts are bursting with goodness, packed with digestible fibre, proteins, amino acids, Vitamin A, C, D and E, B vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals, most of which help with damaged cell repair and protect us from illnesses such as osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Of course, specific nutrition and health benefits vary from sprout to sprout. Mung bean, lentil and soybean sprouts are high sources of protein, clover, broccoli and alfalfa sprouts have cancer fighting properties, and radish sprouts have more vitamin C than pineapple.

Still not convinced? All health jargon aside, sprouts are a tasty and nutritious way to fancify those hor d’oeuvres, salads or sandwiches, as well as dress up any delish dish from hearty rice bowls to savoury soups. From the peppery goodness of the broccoli sprout to adding the essence of onion (minus the tears) via onion sprouts, to kicking it up a notch with spicy mustard sprouts, the culinary options go on.  And because there are so many varieties to choose from the options are continuously growing.  Perhaps now that you are aware of the budding health benefits as well as the tantalizing culinary tips to eating and growing your own sprouts you may want to consider hopping on the sprout wagon.

Filed under: Eat Veg elifelines Food of the Month Nutrition