There are some superfoods that come from what feels like the ends of the earth — seriously from thousands of miles away. There are others that are finicky — growing only under exact conditions.
Thankfully, not all superfoods are like that.
Sprouts and microgreens are insanely nutrient-dense superfoods that can be safely, affordably, and easily grown in your own kitchen!
Sprouts are full of life and vital nutrition for your body. This is possible because three key changes occur in seeds when you sprout them: nutrition is heightened, anti-nutrition is removed, and healthy compounds are unlocked.
Microgreens and sprouts are very similar, but there is a difference. While sprouts are seeds germinated in water just long enough (about 48 hours) to grow roots, a stem and pale, underdeveloped leaves, microgreens are allowed to grow a bit longer. They are placed soil and need sunlight and grow a minimum of seven days before harvesting.
How do sprouts & microgreens enhance your health?
- Sprouts and microgreens have huge amounts of live enzymes – in fact, some sprouts can have up to 100 times more enzymes and nutrition than fully grown, raw fruits and vegetables! Why do you care about these enzymes? Enzymes are catalysts for all your body’s functions, including digestion. Learn more about enzymes starting on page 30 of “SuperLife: The 5 Forces That Will Make You Healthy, Fit, and Eternally Awesome.” Increased enzymes and digestion allows for increased breakdown and release of more nutrition from the food you are eating, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids — all essential building blocks for your body and health.
- Sprouts and microgreens have incredibly high levels of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, K, and minerals manganese, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. The high amounts and variety of the vitamin and minerals give these needed nutrients to your whole body, including increasing the alkalinity of your body. The more alkaline you are, the more your body avoids disease.
- Along with high levels of vitamin and minerals, the protein and fiber content is increased in sprouts/microgreens. Fiber binds to fat and toxins and escorts them out of your body. This is an important process for not only weight loss, but detoxification as well.
- The sprouting process elevates essential fatty acids.
- When you grow sprouts yourself you reduce your exposure to pesticides, food additives, and other harmful fat-bolstering chemicals that can impede weight loss and have negative health effects.
Never had sprouts and wondering which to try first?
Each sprout tastes different depending on the variety. For example, radish or arugula sprouts have a spiciness to them like their full grown counterparts. Sunflower or clover micro-greens have a nutty flavor to them (yum!). Pea shoots have, well, um, a sweet pea taste to them. Don’t stop after trying just one. There are so many different varieties to try, including alfalfa, mung bean, broccoli, curly cress, flax, mustard, and watercress; so you will absolutely find one you love! If you are not ready to try sprouting your own, you can look for them at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Just rinse them well before eating for the safest experience.
Here are some easy ways to enjoy eating them:
- They make a great, fast snack when you eat fresh and uncooked with a little dressing/seasoning drizzled on top. This one definitely requires a sprout that you love the taste of! A simple dressing is 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar, a few dashes of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, 1 minced garlic clove, and ¼ Teaspoon cracked black pepper.
- Add to tossed salads. They pair well with finely chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumbers. Add Himalayan sea salt and a dash lemon.
- Use in stir-fries with additional vegetables.
- Add to vegetarian sushi and wraps.
- Combine with smashed tomato, roasted red pepper, or basil for a pesto-like topping.
- Add them to smoothies.
- Right before serving, add to the top of soups, stews, or rice dishes as a nutritious garnish.
- Grind to a paste to make spreads or fillings. Add your favorite spices and herbs.
- Top omelets or scrambled eggs with them.