If you are interested in foods that pack a mighty punch on the nutritional ladder, you need look no further than seed sprouts. Seed sprouts are highly nutritious containing a good variety of vitamins, minerals, plant enzymes and protein depending on the variety. They can be eaten in salads, mixed into stir fries or added to smoothies click here.
Another great feature of seed sprouts is that they can easily be grown at home. When grown at home they are eaten at their freshest and therefore contain a high level of nutrients. You do not have to be a green-fingered expert and they only take a matter of days to grow rather than weeks or even months for other vegetables. All you need is a small place e.g. windowsill, a container that you are going to use as a sprouter, the seeds and some water. Seeds can be sprouted in a jam jar or in a specialised sprouter. Specialised sprouters can be purchased for between £5 and £20 (though there are also some much more technical and expensive ones) depending on the type. Seeds can be purchased online or from garden centres. When you think of seed sprouts, you probably think of Mung beans – these are the most common ones sold in supermarkets. However, there is a wide variety of seeds that can be used for seed sprouts which all have their own unique nutritional properties.
Seed sprouts are also a great way to get kids interested in healthy eating and vegetable growing. They love to eat what they have grown themselves!
Some of the more popular seeds to sprout, along with their nutritional benefits are:
Aduki: Vitamin C, iron, protein
Alfalfa: amino acids, vitamins A, B complex (inc. B12), C, E and K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, selenium, zinc and chlorophyll
Almonds: amino acids, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamins B and E
Black eyed beans: Vitamins A, B3, B5, C, amino acids, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorous and zinc
Broccoli: calcium, chromium, iron, fluoride, iodine, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, sodium, phosphorous, flavanoids, iso-flavanoids, carotene, folic acid, vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, E and K
Fenugreek: Vitamins A and C, iron and phosphorous
Green pea: carbohydrates, fibre, protein, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous and potassium
Lentils: Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C and E, iron, manganese, sodium, phosphorous and zinc
Mung: Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B12 and C, iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous
Watercress: Vitamins A and C, minerals and chlorophyll