Sprouting grains and legumes has become an increasingly popular health trend. But what exactly is sprouting, and what are the potential nutritional benefits?
Sprouting refers to the process of soaking and germinating grains and legumes. This process can increase the nutrient content of these foods, making them easier to digest and potentially providing other health benefits.
Benefits of sprouting include:
- Increased nutrient content: Sprouting can increase the amount of vitamins and minerals in grains and legumes. Think of that small bean sprout eventually turning into a full plant. All that nutrient density that eventually spreads across the whole plant is concentrated in that tiny sprout! Sprouted grains contain higher levels of B vitamins and vitamin C, while sprouted legumes have increased levels of vitamin A and vitamin C.
- Improved digestibility: Sprouting can break down some of the complex carbohydrates and proteins found in grains and legumes, making them easier to digest. Those with IBS symptoms may be able to tolerate sprouted beans without the gas and bloat they have been used to.
- Reduced anti-nutrients: Some grains and legumes contain anti-nutrients, such as phytic acid, that can interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients. Sprouting can reduce the levels of these anti-nutrients, improving nutrient absorption.
How to sprout:
- Pour your grains or legumes into a large bowl and fill with water to cover them up. Cover with a dishtowel just to keep out any dust or bugs and let them sit out on your counter overnight.
- Pour into a colander to rinse. Let sit out covered by dish towel again, and rinse 1-2 times per day. Can do this for several days to really see a sprout form, or can just let sit out one day to at least get the process starting.
- Once sprouted to your liking, use as you would any other bean! Make chili, Italian Wedding Soup, Smoky Chickpeas & Spinach, or make your own hummus!
Will you be sprouting this month?