Happy, Healthy Kitchen – Sprouting
I have 6 or 7 close friends who have planted vegetable gardens in their backyards since quarantine. Maybe you are new to gardening or live in a small space? Sprouts can easily be grown on your kitchen countertop in a quart mason jar, with low light available. They are inexpensive compared to the ones you find in the store. Sprouts can be a super simple way to add more nutrition to your salads, smoothies, sandwiches or wraps. Sprouts are little powerhouses; full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, essential amino acids and a good source of antioxidants. They are rich in protein, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and vitamins C and K. They are a beneficial part of a health promoting diet and can help reduce the risk of disease. Sprouts have higher insoluble fiber and can improve digestion. Raw sprouts can act as a prebiotic on your stomach before a cooked meal. Adding them to your weight loss plan at 25-35 calories per cup can help you stay full longer. Eating sprouts has been proven to assist with healthy blood sugar levels. One study with people who have type 2 diabetes had half eat 60 grams of lentil sprouts per day along with their normal diet, while the other group made no changes and consumed their normal diet. After 8 weeks, those eating the sprouts had experienced a 10% reduction in levels of hemoglobin A1c, a marker of blood sugar control. These levels increased by 12% in the control group. Sulforaphane is a powerful anticancer compound naturally found in broccoli sprouts.
Amazon has many budget friendly sprouting options, in addition to a variety of seeds to purchase. Sprouting seeds options include alfalfa, dill, broccoli, radish, clover, mung bean, kale, adzuki, lentil and more. Try out different types to see the ones you prefer. Each one should come with sprouting instructions. Just soak a few tablespoons of seeds overnight. Rinse them initially a few times really well. Be sure to water them (or soak the seeds) two times per day. Turn the jar over in a bowl or dish rack to drain them thoroughly. They will generally be ready to eat in 4 to 6 days. Remember to refrigerate them and avoid eating sprouts with a strong smell or slimy appearance.
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