We are certainly no strangers to sprouts in our family. Even after making the decision to pursue a plant-based diet, every time we bought a stir-fry meal kit we were bound to throw a packet of sprouts into the basket at the grocery store.

We started growing our own about 5 years ago after I found a sprouter in William Sonoma in NYC. Back then, we sprouted only the seeds that came in the kit and enjoyed many batches of fresh, crunchy sprouts on a hot NYC summer evening. I didn’t even think to do a bit of digging on what else we could sprout and the amazing nutrition they could offer (this was also back in a time when I thought eating salmon twice a week meant I could justify putting away 4 frozen margaritas and a LOT of melted cheese on a Friday and Saturday night)…

After moving back to the UK it took us almost a year to settle into our new home before I dug the little guy out from the back of the cupboard. After a thorough clean it was ready to go, and I started scouting around for exciting seeds to sprout.

So far this spring and summer we have grown two types of sprouts (alfalfa and mung beans). The great thing is they can be grown all year round, no matter how cold your winter is. It’s so easy to germinate and grow them indoors on the kitchen counter, with a bit of research and the right equipment.

10 Interesting Facts about Sprouts

  1. It is beneficial to soak the seeds prior to sprouting as it increases their water content and brings them out of dormancy
  2. The warmer the conditions are where you are sprouting, the cooler the water should be that you use to rinse them while growing
  3. You can sprout in a mason jar, you just need a special lid or try make your own!
  4. You can grow sprouts for your dogs
  5.  …And your cats (think cat grass)!
  6. Ancient Chinese physicians were prescribing sprouts as long as 5,000 years ago
  7. In the 1700’s Captain James Cook had his sailors eat sprouts to stave off scurvy due to their Vitamin C content
  8. All edible grains, beans and and legumes can be sprouted (you can sprout chia and quinoa seeds!)
  9. Alfalfa sprouts contain isoflavones so could help reduce the risk of breast cancer
  10. Kidney bean sprouts are toxic and should be avoided (everything I read suggested it’s the raw nature of the sprouting process that’s thje issue). Camps are also divided on whether soy beans should be sprouted (I say do it if you have the right seeds and equipment!)
Growing Sprouts early days Sprouts high growth

Opinion on sprouts is mixed and as per usual the internet is full of hyped-up articles claiming something of a health-apocalypse if you try sprouting. Especially specific types of beans.

All jokes aside though, you should only grow the seeds, beans and grains recommended by either equipment manufacturers or places that sell sprouting supplies. Also make sure that you rinse them thoroughly – both during the sprouting process and when they are ready before eating them. If the sprouts look mouldy or grey-brown with age, chuck them out. This same rule applies to pretty much all food! 🙂

Also wash your sprouter after every single use, and I don’t mean just run it under the water! Here’s a great safety guide. As with anything, apply some common sense and soon you’ll be enjoying your own home-grown superfood, packed full of the following nutrition:

Vitamin content of sprouts

  1. Adzuki beans
  2. Alfalfa
  3. Barley
  4. Blackeye Beans
  5. Chick Peas
  6. Fenugreek
  7. Lentils
  8. Lima Beans
  9. Mung Beans
  10. Oats
  11. Radish
  12. Red Wonder Beans
  13. Rice
  14. Soya Beans
  15. Sunflower
  1. Vitamin B1, B2, Iron, Pottasium
  2. Vitamin D, E, K, C, Iron, Phosphorus
  3. Vitamin B1, B2, C
  4. Vitamin B1, C, Iron, Niacin
  5. Vitamin B1, C, Iron
  6. Vitamin A, C, Iron
  7. Vitamin B1, B2, C, Iron
  8. Vitamin B1, B2, C, Iron, Niacin
  9. Vitamin A, C, E, Choline
  10. Vitamin B1, B2, C, Iron
  11. Vitamin A, B1, C, Iron, Phosphorous
  12. Vitamin B1, B2, Iron, Niacin, Phosphorous, Potassium
  13. Vitamin B1, B2, C, Iron
  14. Vitamin B, E
  15. Vitamin C, E

 

 

Delicious and Nutritious Ways to Eat Sprouts

There are so many ways you can use sprouts in everyday meals – don’t just think stir-fry!

We add them to wraps as often as we can, and have included a couple of pictures below as inspiration.

Recipe: sprouts and vegan bacon

Sprouts with vegan bacon, avocado and red pepper hummus (on a chia seed wrap)

Recipe: sprouts bean wrap

Sprouts with smoked tofu, mixed seeds, mixed grains and beans (leftovers!) and edamame (on a chia seed wrap)

 

 

 

 

 

You can also add as a topping to:

  • Soups, both hot and cold
  • Pasta
  • Pizza
  • Salad
  • Vegan omlette

The choices are endless..! If you want to try something easy, new and exciting at home this summer, try growing your own sprouts.

 

Simplifying Happy (and Healthy) Choices

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About Michelle

Michelle grew up in a culture where it was normal to eat meat at every meal. Watching close family suffer multiple health problems drove her to learn more about eating for health. After watching Food Inc Michelle took the plunge into veganism and hasn’t looked back since. She is now on a mission to bring vegan inspiration to everyone!