The short explanation is that by sprouting, the nut/legume/seed/grain becomes easier to digest and allows you to absorb more of its nutrients. Turning your seed into a tiny plants neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. Phytic acid is not digestible by humans and inhibits absorbption of zinc, iron, calcium, and magnesium. It can also reduce our ability to digest fats, starches, and proteins. (Phytic acid isn't horrible in the right amounts - it binds to heavy metals to prevent their build up in the body and is an antioxidant).
Remember that tune about beans being the magical fruit? Sprouting your legumes breaks down complex sugars, which makes them easier to digest and minimizes intestinal discomfort and magical toots. It also increases the fiber content which binds to fat and toxins as it escorts them out of your body.
Germinating your nut/legume/seed/grain into a tiny plant actually makes them more nutritous as it breaks down the plant wall. Sprouting exponentially increases the amount of Vitamins A, B, and C, to name a few.
There's also talk of sprouts alkalizing the body. That means they reduce excess toxins which are linked to cancer. Always a win there!
HOW TO SPROUT [MUNG BEANS]
You'll need: - mason jar (or other glass container wide enough for the sprous to breathe)
- 3 to 5 TBS dry seeds/nuts/legumes/grains (find them in bulk at Whole Foods or my fav new spot Mom's)
1. Rinse your beans in cool water to clean them.
2. Fill the jar with just enough water to cover the beans. Cover the jar with cheesecloth or a paper towel. Soak for 8-12 hours and then rinse and drain twice. Remove any beans that float.
3. Drain the water and place the jar on its side with the breatheable cloth or towel over the top. They need to breathe and have space to grow.
4. Rinse and drain twice a day (every 8-12 hours).
5. After 2-5 days (dependent on what you are sprouting), throughly rinse, drain, and dry the sprouts. Eat them right away or store them dry in the refrigerator.
AFTER YOU'VE SPROUTED
The internet has lots to say on this topic, but my research has revealed the following to be pretty consistent across the board:
1. Refrigerate your sprouts only after they have fully sprouted and are completely dry. Check for specific refrigeration lifespans.
2. Depending on what you've sprouted, it may need to be cooked before eating. Google it to be safe and check cooking times.
HOW SHOULD I EAT THEM?
However you'd like! I've primarily been using my sprouts on salads and sandwiches. With a little salt & pepper or Bragg's, they are poppable like popcorn. Make burgers, hummus, or bread. They work to dress up pasta, stir fry, pizzas, soups, rice dishes... the options are endless.
Let me know what you've sprouted and how you've used them! I'm looking for an awesome recipe using mung or soy beans sprouts!
*I don't claim to have known any of this stuff before hearing it from people wiser than me and the internet. Check out the links in the text above and these sites for more information.
The Nourishing Gourmet