An Introduction to Sprouted Food:
The Super Food “Powerhouse of Nutrients”
Sprouted seeds, grains and legumes are powerfully alkalizing, enzyme-rich foods. Sprouted foods, or sprouts, are a nutrient-dense, living and growing whole food. Sprouts are alkaline-inducing and packed with vitamins, minerals, micronutrients and anti-oxidants.
From a food energetics perspective, a single seed contains all the information and nutrition required to germinate and become the plant it is suppose to be. When you eat a sprouted seed, you access this life-force and assimilate its related health benefits. That sounds cool, right?
Throughout history sprouts have been associated with long-term health and wellness, as including them in a diet has been found to help boost immunity.
From a practical perspective, sprouts are economical to grow at home, they can be grown year-round, and they provide a big nutritional buck for their square space usage.
Overview of Health Benefits
Sprouts are easy to digest, allowing the human body to quickly, efficiently, and completely access their inherent health benefits. Sprouting the seed pre-digests the seed for us by first removing the outer protective enzyme on the seed that stops it from sprouting before it has been drenched in water. Second, the sprouting starts to break down the concentrated starch into simpler carbohydrates and the protein into free amino acids, so our own digestive enzymes don’t have to work so hard. If you’ve ever had trouble digesting beans properly, try sprouting them and see if the problem goes away.
Sprouts are an excellent source of easily accessible amino acids as well, meaning they are an excellent protein source.
In addition, sprouts that are “greened” in light (sprouts where you want leaves such as broccoli, clover, cabbage etc.) are a good source of chlorophyll, which I personally love and find to be anti-inflammatory, immune-building, and a good source of antioxidants.
Sprouts are highly beneficial foods for losing weight too. Because they are nutrient-dense, they keep one full for a long time and can be satisfying to the stomach. Plus they are low in calories. People assume the taste is going to be bland. In fact, all sprouts have their own unique and pleasing flavor and texture. They can be very simply dressed with olive oil and sea salt and are quite delicious. When losing weight, eating sprouts can help to retrain your mouth to enjoying the taste of simpler flavors and whole foods. This is instrumental in changing eating habits related to food cravings.
In summary, I like to think of sprouts as my fountain of youth. Don’t they just look so beautiful?
How to Integrate Sprouts Into Your Diet
Sprouts are so easy to add to one’s diet – they can be eaten with anything! And especially in winter, when fresh, local produce is more difficult to come by, sprouts provide a consistently reliable source of fresh, high-nutrient vegetables rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, and B vitamins. This will keep your immune system strong and your health in top condition.
Sprouts can be added to every meal! Each sprout has its own unique delicious flavor and texture. Experiment with different sprouts and see what your favorites become. I tell people: Just put them in everything! You really can! And soon you will be building meals around your sprouts!
A few ideas:
- Add to stir-fries
- Cook and serve with rice
- Add to soup or stews
- Add to sandwiches and wraps
- Garnish a steak, a roast or a baked potato
- Add to salads, or make a sprout salad!
- Top a slice of pizza with a handful of sprouts
Have you ever heard of a vegetable that continues to gain vitamins after being harvested? Sprouts do! Sprouts are living foods. Even after the sprouts are harvested and refrigerated, they will continue to grow slowly, and their vitamin content will actually increase. Contrast that with store-bought fruits and vegetables, which start losing their vitamins as soon as they’re picked and often have to be shipped a thousand miles or more in the winter.
Store your sprouts in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator, and they will last for approximately 2 weeks.
Where to Buy Serafina Says Farm Sprouts and Microgreens
Freshly harvested sprouts and microgreens are available at the following places:
Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market on Sundays from 11-2pm (through Feb. 22, 2015)
Available to order for delivery to restaurants, caterers, health food stores.