Sprouts – the tender, young shoots of vegetables – are appearing more and more in grocery stores. Why? People are starting to realize that they are incredibly good for you – especially for vegetarians looking for ways to add protein to their meals.
Sprouts are estimated to contain about 35% high quality proteins. They are crunchy and delicious when fresh and can be easily added to salads or as garnishes to just about anything. Because we eat with our eyes first, they can help immensely to make your plate look appealing. These tender, little delights are also packed with vitamins, fiber and fatty acids – all essential for health.
Besides, add in low in calories. Have I convinced you yet? According to realfarmacy.com, “minerals bind to protein in the seed, grain, nut or bean, making them more useable in the body.” As well, “they actually contain oxygen and regular consumption of raw bio-genic foods … is valuable to health”.
So where do you find them? There are actually a number of places. At Eastern Market, check out the Rising Pheasant Farms booth in Shed 2. These kids grow pea and other sprouts within the city limits of Detroit, pick and bag them, and transport them to the Market on bicycles. Their sprouts are so fresh sometimes I eat them on the way home!
At other local markets like Plum, Papa Joe’s, Westborn you can usually at least fine “cress” You can always find it at Japanese grocery stores like One World Market in Novi. These are the living sprouts of watercress. They come in a square, plastic container where the moist sprouts are still growing inside. (BTW, sprouts will last about a week in your fridge. Just clip off what you need if they are growing or if they are cut, keep them covered with a damp paper towel.)
Best yet, you can grow your own, right in your kitchen! I use sprouting trays. (Check out Sprout People online or the one I use which is http://www.growingmicrogreens.com – Cost: about $50 for tons of sprout making.) Obviously, find a system that is the size and configuration that works for you.
If I’m having a dinner on Saturday night, I’ll start the seeds one week to ten days before (depending on the type of seeds) and they are always ready in time. You simply check the PH of your water (instructions provided) then pour water in the bottom of a plastic tray. To that, you add a fibrous “pad” on which you sprinkle the seeds. You then mist the seeds with a sprayer bottle every 12 hours and keep them covered for 4 or 5 days. Then you uncover them and watch the miracle of growth. My kit came with all different kinds of seeds which harvest between 7 and 10 days. Just be careful that they don’t get too much sun or they will shrivel up. Don’t ask me how I know that. J
I highly encourage you to get some sprouts into your diet! The health benefits are immeasurable.