What is sprouting?
To begin with let us understand what is sprouting. Sprouting, in simply washing the grains thoroughly and then soaking the grains or seeds for about 24 hours, and then rinsing it a couple times in between. This process will sprout the grain or seed causing it to grow into a tiny shoot. The grains or nuts or seeds are ready to use when the sprout is about one fourth inch long. It is always a good idea to sprout at home if you can manage the time. It is a very simple process.
How can you incorporate sprouts in your diet?
You can sprout a lot of things, and the most common are seeds, grains, lentils, mung beans, millets, nuts etc. Other foods that can be sprouted are brown rice, buckwheat, rye, millet, barley, wheat, quinoa etc. Almost all these need to be soaked for 24 hours for them to sprout. Once they are sprouted, you can either consume them raw, or also cook them. Sprouted mung beans can be made into a wonderful dish called as kitchari. Sprouted mung beans kitchari is an excellent combination of mung beans and long grain basmati rice.
Sprouting the mung beans makes the kitchari healthier and easier to digest. If you are able to use organic ingredients it is even better. Organic khichri is one of the best food one can have. It is one of the most favored comfort food. Nothing tastes better than a warm bowl of Sprouted mung beans kitchari. Millets can also be sprouted in the same way.
Millet Khichri is also super easy to digest and can be also prepared by sprouting the millet. It is especially great for diabetics, due to its low glycemic index. Besides organic khichri, if you prefer to bake food, you can also use sprouted flour for baking. Its very simple and easy to use. Just substitute the white flour with the sprouted flour of your choice. You can bake great cookies from it. Also sprouted flour can be used to bake multi-grain breads. They taste great and are super healthy. Using sprouted flour increases the protein content of the bread and also makes it very easy to digest.
Sprouts can either be eaten raw or can be steamed or cooked. Besides organic khichri, there are several ways to consume sprouts. You can mix them with your salads or even add them to a curry. You can steam the sprouts if you prefer it to be consumed soft, and if you like the crunch, you can roast them a little and add have it as a snack. Either ways, you can mix it with your salad along with the other salad vegetables, chicken, tofu, seeds, tofu, etc. and make a great high protein salad.
What are the benefits of sprouting?
- Sprouting reduces the starch in the grains or seeds or legumes and makes it easier to digest. Sprouting reduces the flatulence caused by certain grains, beans, and legumes.
- It increases its bio-availability of the nutrients to the body, which means that the nutrients that are available from the grains and seeds are easily absorbed by the body.
- Sprouting increase the nutrient value of the food. For e.g. it increases the vitamin C, folate, fiber, and amino acid in the food.
- Consuming sprouted brown rice particularly bring down the blood sugar levels in diabetics.
- Sprouted grains and legumes are particularly beneficial for vegetarians, since they are considered as high-quality proteins and also increase the absorption of vitamin C, and some minerals like zinc and iron.
- Sprouting also helps in controlling the blood sugar levels. It reduces the glycemic index of the grains and hence so slows down the release of sugar in the blood.
So to conclude, the way to go is sprouting your grains and if possible go organic! Why should you go organic when sprouting?
Choosing the organic way can prove to be a more healthier option, and of course sprouting them at home. The reason being that the conventional grains found in the market could be sprayed with pesticides. Even if you go the conventional route and are sprouting at home, you can make sure that the grains are thoroughly washed. If ideally you can use organic grains, legumes, beans, etc. then it is a great choice. Organic foods will be free of fertilizers and pesticides and also there is more availability of vitamins and minerals to your body.
Organic foods will also increase the immunity of your body. It will help the body fight against all the detrimental factors from the environment as well as food. By consuming organic, you are also helping conserve the environment. In fact, we are also able to help the farmers live a healthier life since they will not be exposed to harmful pesticides and fertilizers.