Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sprouting For Health

by Maire Bouvier-Newman

We often talk about the best foods to eat and where to get them. We also see food prices rising out of control and wonder if we can afford the best quality, yet we really want to eat a healthy diet. Well, did you know that there is a simple way to ensure high nutritional value with incredible savings by growing your own nutritious food? No, not a garden. I am talking about growing nutritional food year round with very little effort. It is called sprouting. It was popular in the 1970’s but is experiencing resurgence as people become more aware that their food comes from different countries and that even domestic produce is often harvested before the full nutritional value can develop or spoils on its way to you.

Sprouts are baby plants that have just begun the growing process. They are completely organic because you buy the seeds organically then grow them with pure water and daylight; nothing else. The benefits of eating sprouts are many. They are loaded with nutrients because as a seed begins to grow it releases enzymes, proteins and all of its vitamins and minerals in order to sustain its full potential as a large plant. The nutrient value is best once the first two leaves appear separated from each other. According to Steve Meyerowitz, author of “Sprouts, The Miracle Food”, biologists tell us that in the first 5-10 days, young plants achieve the maximum nutrient density.

What kinds of seeds can be sprouted, you ask? All kinds. From alfalfa (the most common sprout) to radish to red clover (a great blood purifier) to lentils and mung beans (bean sprouts in Chinese food) to green peas to sunflower seeds, many “seeds” can be sprouted and consumed. Grains can also be sprouted then dried and ground into flour to make nutritious breads, bagels, and crackers.

Do you have to be a master gardener to grow sprouts? Hardly. All that’s needed is an adequate container, good organic seeds, a small space on the counter, and about a minute a day for rinsing and draining. That’s it!  And it’s inexpensive too.

There are many things to do with sprouts. They can be eaten as is or added to sandwiches, salads, or even juices. They are crunchy which satisfies much like chips do. Well, maybe not quite like chips, but they are crunchy, taste good, and are good for you. That’s more than you can say for a bag of chips.

Within no time you can become an expert “sprouter”. See for yourself. You will be pleased with the results and the health benefits.


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