The Conscious Choice
Sprouts as Snacks
My relationship with sprouts started in my childhood. Lentils and Beans have been a part of my life since I can remember. My favorite being the yellow mung and the red (masoor) lentils.
Historically, Indians have been consuming lentils and beans for centuries. Predominantly a vegetarian population, the protein element in beans, kept the people strong through droughts, famines, and tough days. It is a significant part of our diet even now.
I have always had sprouts as part of my food while growing up in the hills of Meghalaya, the northeast region of India. Hailing from a small town called Shillong, where earlier burgers and pizzas were practically unknown, my favorite street food vendor was the “Channa Wala,” aka the “Sprout Vendor”! The local snack box, displayed outside my school, would wait for me when the school bell rang at the end of the day!
I cannot express the delight I felt seeing the spread: colorful sprouts, sprouted peas, mung beans, and black chickpeas. Slightly cooked sprouts thrown in, with mung crisps, black salt, raw mango powder, chili, coriander, onions, and lemon juice, all tossed together made an after school snack, which I happily munched on, on my way home.
Even at home, growing up, a simple sprout salad was a regular feature, and mung beans were the dominant sprouts to rule in my house. As I studied nutrition over the years that followed, I learnt more about the nutrition powerhouse that existed in the sprouted seeds. It’s then I realised that thanks to my Mom, something small yet powerful played such an essential role in my childhood.
Benefits of Sprouts
- Sprouts are easy and cheap to grow and, like locally grown vegetables, offer additional environmental benefits by avoiding pesticides, food additives, and pollution from transportation.
- They provide a powerful source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes that fight free radicals as sprouting can increase their potency by 20 times or more.
- Because they are oxygen dense, they protect the body against bacteria, viruses, and abnormal cell growth.
- Soaking and sprouting increase the fiber content in sprouts substantially, which facilitates weight loss as the fiber binds to fat and toxins to remove them from the body.
- Vitamin, such as A, B, C, and E, and essential fatty acid nutrients increase in sprouting, and minerals bind to protein, making them more easily absorbed.
- Sprouts alkalize the body and protect it from disease, including cancer.
- Sprouted seeds, grains, legumes, or nuts help support cell regeneration.
- Due to their richness in dietary fiber and low-calorie content, sprouts offer substantial help in your weight loss goals.
Most sprouting seeds are best procured from organic stores or suppliers as they do not get irradiated or processed in any way. Nor are they genetically modified. The word USDA Organic will quell any fears you may have regarding choosing non exposed seeds and nuts.