Sprouts have always been a popular nutritional food for many diet conscious people around the globe. They contain fewer calories compared to other snacks and are excellent sources of vitamin K, C, fiber, and other essential minerals. Most of us are always sceptical about sprouts, as we still have no exact idea about the good and bad effects of sprouts. Recent surveys say that Sprouts have essential therapeutic benefits and have the ability to protect us from diseases. Sprouting is a process of germinating seeds which can be consumed either cooked or raw. There are various types of sprouts such as moong beans, alfalfa beans, clover, soya beans, chickpea, radish, etc. and all these are mainly used in fresh salads, soups and sandwiches.
Health Benefits of Eating Sprouts
A healthy diet plan is incomplete without the inclusion of sprouts into it. Most of us eat sprouts as a morning breakfast, evening snack or sometimes an afternoon meal by adding them to a certain dish. The health benefits of eating sprouts are numerous as they are a rich source of protein, anti-oxidants and other vitamins. Sprouting can be done with various vegetables and legumes. They are extremely easy to make them at home, as we just add some water to soak the sprouts for at least 6 hours. As sprouts are nutrient-dense, they provide various health benefits.
Sprouts, one of the best foods if you are looking for weight loss, as it has fewer calories which help to keep your weight under control. It is an important component of healthy eating habits
Try to include a limited portion of sprouts in your regular diet, as it has a good amount of protein and other nutrients.
Sprouts can be a perfect replacement for lentils in our salads.
Controlling hypertension is one of the most effective health benefits of sprouts and must be included in the high blood pressure diet chart. Most of the heart and blood pressure problems are due to excess intake of sodium. Eating sprouts will regulate blood pressure levels, as sprouts are free from sodium which helps our body to reduce high blood pressure, hypertension and other heart related problems.
Sprouts are the perfect plant based food which can help us to reduce our blood cholesterol levels, which in turn reduces heart strokes and other heart issues.
Sprouts increase the activity of hydrolytic enzymes and also regulates our blood sugar level to provide the required nutrients throughout the body.
Eating raw sprouts will increase our digestion power and can flush out the impurities and detoxifies our blood.
Maintenance of healthy and beautiful skin is one of the beauty benefits of eating sprouts on a daily basis.
Benefits of healthy eating need no new emphasis. These are some of the healthy food facts about sprouts. Remember that sprouts should not be overcooked, as this can flush away the nutrients present in it. One should not completely live on sprouts; they can be included in our regular diet along with other healthy and nutritious foods.
Bad Effects of Eating Sprouts:
Though sprouts are a nutrient dense food, there are always questions raised on its harmful effects on our health. If sprouting is not done in a proper and healthy way, then there are chances for this healthy food to create problems for the human body.
If the sprouts are not cleaned properly, then the bacteria present in the sprout will keep multiplying and finally will keep us sick after consuming them.
Though it a healthy food, it should not be consumed if we are allergic to it. Sometimes, it might even degrade our immune power and thereby making us prone to various infections.
Sometimes raw sprouted beans are hard to digest and in turn will cause indigestion problems.
Sprouts like alfalfa contain a toxin called L-Cavanine which reduces the count of blood cells and also might lead to spleen enlargement.
Sprouts have been linked to the outbreak of E.coli and Salmonella infections and therefore, elderlies, children and people with weak immune system should not eat sprouts.
When you decide to include in food in your daily diet, it is necessary to know its negative effects as well. These are few harmful effects of eating sprouts. Sprouts are one of the healthy foods, but eating too much of it can cause various problems. So, always include a limited portion of sprouts in your salad and also make sure you grow them in sanitary conditions and clean them properly. You can also buy the popular sprout house organic sprouting seeds to make some tasty salads.
6 Healthy and Easy Sprouts Recipes
So, now that you have got an idea about the pros and cons of eating sprouts, here is a list of 6 healthy and tasty sprouts recipes that you can make for yourself and your family members in a jiffy.
Moong Sprouts Salad
This is an exceptionally healthy and tasty recipe that contains the goodness of sprouts along with fresh vegetables that make it an ideal food for weight loss that should be incorporated in the daily diet chart.
Sprouted Moong Brans – 2 cups
Onion – 1 finely chopped
Tomato – 1 finely chopped
Green Chilli – 1 finely chopped
Boiled Potato – 1 Cut into small cubes
Coriander Leaves – 1 tablespoon chopped
Red Chilli Powder – 1/4th tsp
Rock salt – As per taste
Chaat Masala – 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice – 1 tsp
Rinse the sprouted moong beans thoroughly in water, boil the beans till they are tender, and Strain the excess water. Let the sprouts cool, now add all the ingredients – onions, chillies, tomatoes, potatoes, coriander leaves and mix well, add the salt, lemon juice, chilli powder and chaat masala from top, mix once more and serve immediately.
Green Gram Sprouts Soup
This is one of the delicious vegan weight loss recipes that contain very less oil, making it a healthy option for those who are strict about their calorie intake.
Green Gram Sprouts – 1/2 cup
Tomatoes – 2
Garlic Cloves – 4
Coriander Leaves – 1 Tablespoon chopped
Salt -To taste
Ghee – 1 teaspoon
Wash the sprouts thoroughly and keep aside. Chop the tomatoes and garlic finely. Now heat some water in a pan, add the sprouts and tomatoes, add salt and cook it till the sprouts are tender. In a separate frying pan, melt the ghee and add the garlic to it, fry till the garlic turns golden brown, add the soup to it, mix well, sprinkle coriander leaves from the top. Cover the lid and cook for another 5 minutes and serve hot with crunchy toast.
Wheat Sprouts Adia
This is a traditional South Indian recipe that is packed with the goodness of sprouts and lentils that makes it a complete health food for diabetics and calorie conscious people. This wholesome dish keeps you satiated for a long time.
Whole wheat sprouts – 1 cup
Green gram sprouts – 1/ cup
Toor dal – 2 tsp
Urad dal – 2 tsp
Channa dal – 2 tsp
Onions – 1
Red Chilli – 2
Curry leaves – few
Salt as per taste
Oil – 2 tbsp
Wash and grind the wheat sprouts roughly. Soak the channa dal, urad dal and toor dal in water for an hour. Grind the green gram sprouts along with the channa dal, urad dal, toor dal and red chillies to form a coarse batter. Chop the onion finely and mix all the batter with onions, curry leaves and salt in a large bowl. Heat oil in a flat bottomed pan, add a ladle of the batter and spread it to form thin circles. Make a few holes into them, fry till both sides are crisp, dribble excess oil and serve hot.
Sprouted Chickpea Curry
This is a famous North Indian dish that is one of the healthy lunch recipes to lose weight. It can be enjoyed all by itself or paired with rotis and chapatis. It is an extremely healthy sprout high in proteins, fiber and very low glycemic index making it suitable for diabetics.
Sprouted chickpeas – 1 cup
Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
Green chillies – 2 finely chopped
Ginger – 1 tablespoon chopped
Garlic – 2 tablespoons finely chopped
Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Garam masala powder – 1 tablespoon
Onion – 1 chopped
Tomatoes – 2 chopped
Salt to taste
Refined oil – 2 Teaspoons
Coriander leaves – 1 tablespoon chopped
Wash the chickpea sprouts thoroughly and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds and let them splutter and then add the onions, ginger, garlic and chillies. Cook the spices in medium flame for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now, add turmeric, coriander powder and garam masala and mix all the ingredients well, add the tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes mix evenly with the other spices. Add the chickpeas, 3 cups of water, salt and cook on medium flame till the chickpeas are tender. It will take around 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle coriander leaves on top and serve hot with roti.
Alfalfa Sprouts Sandwich
This is a healthy sprouts recipe that is helpful in treating anaemia, improving appetite and relieving problems of indigestion. It is also helpful in fighting infections. So, load up on the health benefits of alfalfa with this delicious sprouts recipe. This nutritious recipe can be easily included in 1200 calorie meals to make it wholesome and hearty.
Alfalfa Sprouts – 4 tablespoons
Basil leaves – 4 teaspoons finely chopped
Mayonnaise – 2 tablespoons
Tomatoes – 4 tablespoons finely chopped
Salt and black pepper powder to taste
Whole wheat bread – 8 slices
Lettuce leaves – 4
In a bowl add the mayonnaise, sprouts, salt, pepper, tomatoes and basil and mix well. Now, toast the bread and apply the prepared stuffing on four bread slices, top it up with the four lettuce leaves, cover with the rest of the four bread slices, cut diagonally to form triangles and serve with tomato sauce.
Spicy Sprouted Red Lentils
This is a tangy and delicious red lentil sprouts recipe with a Mediterranean twist. It contains the goodness of olive oil and it a healthy recipe rich in protein and fibers. The benefits of olive oil for body and overall health are well known. It is heart healthy recipe indeed.
Sprouted red lentils – 1 cup
Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
Garlic – 4 cloves thinly sliced
Cumin – 1 teaspoon
Coriander – 1 teaspoon
Lemon Juice – 1 tablespoon
Salt and black pepper powder to taste
Coriander leaves – 2 tablespoons freshly chopped
Steam the sprouted lentils till they are tender, drain excess water and set them aside. Now, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat, add the garlic and let it sizzle for a few minutes, now add the cumin and coriander and stir for 1 minute. Take the spices off the heat and drizzle over the lentils. Pour some lemon juice over it, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the coriander leaves from the top.
Selection and Storage of Sprouts
Although you can sprout seeds and lentils in your home, but if you are opting for packed sprouts from grocery stores then it is important to select them with great care because they are highly perishable in nature.
Fresh sprouts are crisp in nature with white and moist roots.
Don’t buy sprouts if they are musty, smelly or slimy looking.
Buy only fresh sprouts from reputed stores.
Use up the sprouts as soon as possible.
Wash the sprouts thoroughly with water to get rid of dirt and impurities.
It is best to consume the sprouts right away after buying.
The shelf life of sprouts can be extended by storing them in plastic bags, and it can be kept crisp for up to 3 days.
Delicate sprouts such as alfalfa should be stored in ventilated plastic containers.
Rinsing the sprouts daily using cold water can also extend shelf life.
Mung bean sprouts can be stored in a frozen state for future use.
Hope, these easy to prepare sprouts recipes using minimum oil will help you achieve your target of weight loss and aid you to live a healthy and happy life. Include these recipes in your healthy diet plan and please share your healthy sprouts recipes with us in the comments section below.
Laxmi Sravanthi has completed her B.Tech Degree in Information Technology. She is interested to help people in being fit and healthy. She is working as full time chief analyst and operations manager at TFI.