LIFESTYLE

Why You Should Start Sprouting

Sprouting doesn’t get the credit it deserves. In terms of nutritional value, sprouts may just be the most undervalued food around. These tiny but mighty greens are incredibly nutritious, taking the label ‘superfood’ beyond a trendy term and into the world of legitimate titles. It’s a low-cost and easy way to grow veggies at home, no garden space required.

With self sufficiency coming into its own and nutritious greens the new black, we thought we’d explore what makes sprouting so special and why we all need to jump on-board the sprouting train. 

Benefits of sprouting

Sprouting seeds boosts their nutritional content substantially, making the nutrients more available and readily absorbed. For example, when mung beans are sprouted their vitamin C content has been found to be almost 24 times higher than their seed’s value. And some protein-rich seeds, such as lentils, have shown to increase their protein availability, converting proteins into amino acids, which are easier for the body to digest. 

The process of sprouting decreases the anti-nutrients present in the seeds, and because anti-nutrients can interfere with the body’s ability to digest vitamins and minerals, it makes them easier for your body to absorb and digest.  

Sprouting has to be the easiest way to grow nutritious veggies at home. Their no-fail yield allows for versatile vitamins and minerals to be added to everything from salads to smoothies, and even if you lack the green thumb necessary for growing your own food, sprouting won’t hold it against you. 

It’s also a great way to bring a love of veggie growing inside, with their compact home and fast seed-to-harvest turnaround time, a jar of the green stuff grown on your countertop is all you need to spruce up the nutrition content of any meal.

How to sprout at home

When sprouting at home it’s important to use a clean, sanitised jar to prevent any nasty bacteria from developing. A dedicated germinator simplifies the process, providing ideal conditions for seeds to sprout with optimal light incidence for growth and a lid that makes the necessary daily rinsing and draining process a cinch. Most seeds will sprout within about a week, yielding approximately double the quantity you started with. 

When choosing seeds it’s important to remember not all seeds are created equal. Dedicated spouting seeds typically have a higher germination rate and yield the best crop. There’s also the added benefit of knowing seeds haven’t been treated with pathogens. Pathogens can affect germination rates and like most foods, organically grown seeds are best. A.Vogel’s BioSnacky Seeds For Sprouting range are a great choice. They’re dedicated sprouting seeds that have been organically grown, providing a selection of fresh raw seeds that boast a high germination rate. 

Sprouting is a great way to teach kids about growing your own food. The process is easy enough for them to get involved in without their attention waning, and they’ll enjoy seeing the daily changes that take place in the jar. It’s also a fun way to encourage them to eat their veggies (which they’ll be happy to oblige since ‘they’ grew them). 

Easiest sprouts to get you started

Alfalfa and legume seeds are some of the easiest to get you started. Alfalfa is a powerhouse of nutrition, boasting high levels of chlorophyll, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, B2, B3, C and D. When it comes to legumes you can’t go past the humble chickpea. They’re a good source of protein, fibre, and carbs, and their delicious nutty flavour means you can happily snack on chickpea sprouts on their own. 

 

Sarah Vercoe

Article by Sarah Vercoe

Sarah is a freelance writer and award-winning photographer with a special interest in health, travel, and fitness. Based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, she can be found hiking the trails of Noosa National Park, or, more likely, chasing after her one year old daughter, Illyana.

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