Grow your own salad at home!

Annmarie Payne

08 February 2017

So what are sprouts?

A sprout is basically just the ‘in-between’ stage of a seed becoming a plant. If you stop to think about it, a sprout possesses all the energy, goodness and power that enables it to be transformed from a small seed to a big strong plant. It contains all the nutrients for the baby plant to grow for the first few days before it can feed itself. It is no wonder then that this is the best possible stage of the plant for us to consume, as the nutritional value is at its highest.

Why are sprouts so good for you?

Sprouts do not contain chemicals or additives as they are eaten in their true natural form, providing us with a direct link to nature. This is something that Alfred Vogel regularly recommended. You don’t even have to cook them. In fact, the best nutritional benefit comes from raw sprouts – a healthy and nutritious convenience food for once! The good news is that this great little power food is quick and simple to grow at home – you don’t even need a garden! The only ingredients required are the seeds you sprout, water and air – transforming the tiniest corner of your kitchen into a mini-garden.

Today, sprouts are making a comeback with nutritionists speaking very highly of these little ‘power pellets’. But do you know just how good they are for you? Here are a few facts to get you started:

  • Due to the fact that they are basically ‘baby plants’, they contain high concentrations of valuable enzymes, proteins, mineral substances, trace elements and natural vitamins
  • Sprouts also contain excellent fibre that is beneficial to the intestines and regulates the digestive process
  • Since they grow right up until the moment they’re picked, practically no nutrients are lost.

How to enjoy your sprouts

Eating sprouts may be a new concept to you, but the benefits speak for themselves. Once you’ve tried your first sprout, I’m sure you’ll agree that they taste delicious. Here are a few serving tips so that you can make the most out of them:

  • Place in a bowl on their own or with a dressing of your choice. Makes an ideal side dish.
  • Sprinkle on top of or mix into a salad.
  • Add to sandwich fillings.
  • Add to a stir fry just before serving. It is best not to cook sprouts as they lose nutrients if heated.
  • Use them as a garnish. Sprinkle on top of dips, soups or stews before serving.

Here are a few recipe ideas to get you started:

Bruschetta with fresh sprouts
Baked sun-dried tomato falafels
Miso paste and little radish sprout sandwich
Cucumber and feta cheese salad

There is a sprout variety to suit every taste; from nutty to spicy, delicate to hot – why not try them all.

But why bother growing your own?

Quick and easy to grow, there are lots of good reasons to try your hand at sprouting for the first time. Here are a few to give you a taster:

  • They keep growing right up until the moment they’re picked, so you can’t get fresher!
  • Sprouts are instantly available when they are at their nutritional best.
  • It is an inexpensive source of fresh produce, especially throughout the winter months.
  • You can have a constant supply of sprouts by timing batches so that one is ready to eat while the other is just starting to germinate.
  • Kids love them! Children are far more likely to eat food what they have helped to grow, so sprouting is a great way of getting some healthy food into them.

It couldn’t be simpler: just rinse, soak, rinse, soak and watch them develop. You’ll have a mini organic garden in the corner of your kitchen in no time. They’re always on the grow!

For best results use organic, GM free, non-irradiated seeds such as BioSnacky.

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