Sprouting and Vegan sources of B12 from Lovebee
Sprouting is the natural process by which seeds or spores germinate and put out shoots, and already established plants produce new leaves or buds or other newly developing parts that experience further growth.
In the field of nutrition, the term signifies the practice of germinating seeds (for example, mung beans or sunflower seeds) to be eaten raw or cooked, which is considered highly nutritious.
What are sprouts?
Sprouts are the germinated seed of a vegetable, young plants on their way to full growth – at least until some are harvested from those plants to be, well, sprouts for eating. You can find sprouts pretty much wherever you find food, particularly grocery stores and farmers markets. Some people even grow their own.
The types of sprouts
Most sprouts we will encounter fall into four categories:
- Bean and pea sprouts: These include mung bean, kidney bean, black bean, lentil and snow pea sprouts.
- Vegetable sprouts: These include broccoli, alfalfa, mustard green and red clover sprouts.
- Nut and seed sprouts: These include pumpkin seed, sesame seed, sunflower seed sprouts.
- Sprouted grains: These include wheatgrass and quinoa sprouts.
Some of the more popular sprouts include alfalfa, mung bean, red clover and broccoli.
What are the benefits of sprouts?
- Sprouts are super healthy when eaten raw or cooked
- Sprouting is basically the process where seeds and legumes are germinated
- Without sprouting, these grains, legumes and beans may not be as healthy
- It is easily digestible
- Sprouting increases the vitamins and mineral content
- Doubles the Vitamin A content
- B complex vitamin increases 5-10 times more
- Level of Vitamin C increases
- The bioavailability of nutrients increases
- Proteins are easily digestible
- Cooking time is reduced
Sprouts are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals, varying from sprout to sprout. Sprouts carry essential vitamins, minerals, fibre and are a great source of antioxidants.
For instance, Broccoli sprouts will be loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid and they are a really good source of the powerful antioxidant sulforaphane. You can read our post: 10 Health Benefits of Snacking
Sprouts can also carry other nutrients like B vitamins and minerals like phosphorus and magnesium. Plus, they’re low in things like fat, sodium and calories.
There’s also the appeal of what they can bring to your meal. They bring a variety to your salad, wrap or sandwich. They can add a crunch and even a different flavour besides those health benefits.
The Right Way To Do It
When it comes to sprouting, there are various ways to do so and also many ingredients that can be sprouted such as mung beans, sunflower seeds, also lentils, soybeans, millet, barley, buckwheat, quinoa and black beans.
They all taste good provided you get the technique right. Here’s help.
1. Rinse the grains, beans and legumes properly for about a minute and then place them in a huge bowl or a mason jar filled with water.
2. Make sure the water is double the number of grains as these will absorb some of the water while sprouting.
3. Skim off and throw away any floating grains or debris to avoid any wastage.
4. Ensure that you cover the mouth of the container with a cheesecloth and secure it tightly with support. Keep the container on your countertop at room temperature and let it sit for 3-12 hours depending on the type of grain.
5. Drain the water out through the cheesecloth. Once done, run fresh water through the lid and shake to rinse these sprouts thoroughly. Drain and repeat this process twice a day until the ingredients sprout (it can take about 3-5 days to sprout).
It’s healthier to buy organic seeds, nuts, grains and legumes for sprouting. It is always good to consume them within 3 to 4 days and then repeat the process for a new and fresh batch of sprouts.