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Some Commonly used Sprouts
Alfalfa Sprouts are one of the finest food sources of saponins. Saponins lower the bad cholesterol and fat but not the good HDL fats. Animal studies have proved their benefit in arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Saponins also stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity of natural killer cells such as T- lymphocytes and interferon. The saponin content of alfalfa sprouts multiplies 450% over that of the unsprouted seed.
Lentil Sprouts are 26% protein. They can be cooked or eaten raw.
Onion Sprouts give distinct onion flavor without the tears and the waste! Onion sprouts are 20% protein and good source of vitamins A, C and D.
Mung Bean Sprouts are good source of protein, fibre and vitamin C. A 3 oz serving contains only 30 calories.
Fenugreek used as spice in Indian food and a digestive aid. It is a very fragrant and nutritious sprout.
Chickpea delicious nutty tasting sprout, filled with Vitamins A and C, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. Contains 20% protein. Hummus can be made from sprouted Chickpeas.
Sprouts are Mini Phytochemical Factories
Canavanine, an amino acid analog present in alfalfa, demonstrates resistance to pancreatic, colon and leukemia cancers. Plant estrogens in these sprouts function similarly to human estrogen but without the side effects. They increase bone formation and density and prevent bone breakdown (osteoporosis). They are helpful in controlling hot flashes, menopause, Pr-Menstrual disorders and fibrocystic breasts tumors.
So how do I sprout ?
You will need a 750ml glass Mason Jar, the dry seeds you wish to sprout, a rubber band and a piece of mesh (I use shade-cloth) to cover the jar.
Put approx 1 Tablespoon of sprouts in the the jar of each type of seed.
We then need to stratify (get them triggered to germinate) the seeds. Cover the seeds with tepid water until about half ways up the jar. Place on your mesh cover with elastic band and leave to stand over night.
Drain water in the morning, and add water to rinse, then pour off water and place the bottle so that the opening will drain any excess water. A dish rack on your sink is perfect for this. Rinse twice a day for the next three days with cold water. When your bottle is full your sprouts are ready.
Common problems sprouting :
1) Seeds do not germinate properly – reason not properly stratified, or not rinsed often enough.
2) Seeds go slimy and smell – reason seeds have not been drained properly after rinsing.
Sprouts can be used in salads, sprinkled on stews and casseroles, in sandwiches, sprinkled on your eggs, eaten as a snack… the uses are endless.
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