SPROUTS: Superfood of the Future — Part 3
Sprouts are economical; toxin-free; easy to store; low in calories and fat; tasty and versatile; and simple to grow.
Make growing sprouts a family hobby.
Providing a powerful nutritional punch, sprouts can be grown almost anywhere in your home or office — for mere pennies and a few minutes of your time. When you sprout a seed, such as alfalfa or broccoli, it goes through a very special process called germination. During germination, seeds become alive and undergo many fast internal changes. And the great miracle of this amazing process is a huge increase in a host of nutrients, which are miraculously created inside the sprouting embryo. Below are some of the things that take place in the germination process.
- Water absorption swells the sprouting seeds from 6 to 10 times their normal size, under tremendous dynamic pressures per square inch.
- Enzymes immediately become active and create a host of nutritional changes.
- Proteins are converted into free amino acids.
- Starches change into simple plant sugars.
- Minerals chelate, or combine in a way that increases their assimilation.
- Vitamin content increases from 3 to 12 times.
- Chlorophyll and carotene content increase dramatically when they are exposed to sunlight.
For those of you who think you don’t have enough space to grow sprouts, check out this YouTube Video of a truck driver who grows wheatgrass and other sprouts in the cab of his truck as he drives across the country. You’ll see how easy it is to grow sprouts at home.
Reasons to Grow Sprouts
- Economical: One tablespoon of seeds, costing less than 50 cents, will fill a quart jar with several ounces of delicious, ready-to-eat sprouts. A 4-ounce package will yield several pounds. And this concentrated nutrition is alive — something that can’t be said for most nutritional supplements that cost much more.
- Toxin-Free: Sprouts are as sweet and pure as Nature intended food to be. When completely natural and organic and sprouting with clean water, they can be free of toxic resides. Go to the best source to get seeds that are organic with 99% rates of germination, grown especially for sprouting. I have always shopped at Handy Pantry for my sprouting supplies and microgreen kits. I’ll write about microgreens (a different form of sprouts) in an upcoming blog.
- Easy to Store: Seeds do not have to be frozen or preserved to keep them from spoiling. All they require is a few glass jars with airtight lids and a cool, dark storage area. They will store easily in very little space for a year or more. One small, lower shelf (heat rises, higher shelves are warmer) in a pantry will hold enough assorted seeds to feed an entire family for months. After sprouting, they can be placed in plastic bags or other containers in the refrigerator, again not requiring much space.
- Low in Calories/Fat: Depending on protein content, one fully-packed cup of sprouts contains only 16 to 70 calories. And these are simple sugars for quick energy. Sprouts contain no cholesterol and provide essential fatty acids. Several, such as alfalfa and red clover (my favorite), are sweet and satisfying to the taste buds and the body. It is almost impossible to overeat raw, live foods like sprouts. They are the perfect weight-loss and body-purification food for the decade and beyond.
- Tasty & Versatile: Bursting with flavor, you may be surprised how truly delectable they are. You can enjoy a wide variety of new taste sensations. Just add or substitute wherever you use vegetables. They take very little time to prepare when steamed, boiled, stir-fried, cooked or even baked into wholesome, homemade breads. My favorite way to eat sprouts is in their raw form. I even make scrumptious raw hummus using sprouted garbanzo beans, raw tahini, and other ingredients depending on the flavor desired. You will find several delicious and easy-to-prepare meal ideas in my new full color recipe book Recipes for Health Bliss.
- Simple to Store: When stored in your refrigerator, they will stay fresh for days — even weeks if rinsed properly. Because they require very little space and travel well, sprouts are the ideal vegetables for campers, boaters, and RV’ers, too. Keep in mind that homegrown and freshly harvested sprouts are much tastier and more nutritious than store-bought sprouts.
In the next blog, I’ll focus on the healing benefits of broccoli sprouts and wheatgrass followed by a blog on how to grow microgreens. For more information on the best foods to eat to boost your energy and metabolism, heal your body, and look years younger, check out my website SusanSmithJones.com and my new e-book The Curative Kitchen: Gratify Your Taste Buds & Revitalize Your Body with Superior Superfoods, Herbs, Spices & Natural Remedies.