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Easy ways to include sprouts in your diet


sprouts - vigilant20Sprouts are the healthiest additions to salads and other dishes. Source: vigilant20/Flickr

Legumes, nuts, seeds and beans are full of protein, dietary fibre and other essential compounds. In the form of sprouts, their benefits shoot up, adding an impressive amount of vitamin, mineral and enzyme content to your diet. Proteins change when legumes and pulses are soaked, and the nutritive value improves greatly.

Lysine, an amino acid essential to boost the immune system, increases in content when pulses are sprouted. The vitamin content shoots up as well, especially those like A, B, C and E. During sprouting, minerals like calcium, magnesium combine with proteins contained in the seeds, grains, nuts or beans, making their absorption in the body even more efficient.

Sprouting beans at home is extremely hassle free – thoroughly wash and soak the grain or nut you wish you sprout overnight, drain the water in the morning and transfer to a container lined with a clean muslin cloth and leave it covered for two days. Easily available at almost all grocers even if you don’t want to sprout beans and seeds at home, sprouts are one of the cheapest forms of protein. Once you have your sprouts ready, make sure you try out these easy, delicious recipes that not only add variation, but a whole lot of nutrition to your diet.

Sprouted mung chila
A Gujarati snack, the chilla makes for a great breakfast dish. Usually, besan (gram flour) batter is used to make this spiced pancake of sorts. Using sprouted mung paste (green gram) is another popular variation and is far healthier than the original. All you need is a cup of sprouted mung beans, some spices and a few common veggies like ginger, carrots, and peas. The addition of oats adds more fibre and nutrition to keep you sated for long.

Sprouted channa salad
A lot of nutrients found in sprouts maybe lost or compromised when exposed to direct heat. The best way to consume sprouts without losing their goodness is to cook them lightly. Salads are, of course, an excellent choice of health food and the addition of sprouts just makes the combination better. Sprouted black gram when lightly sauted  in a dash of oil, has a mild, nutty flavour that helps enhance the flavour of healthful salads. Serve as a side dish, or eat as is, as a light meal.

Sprouted mung bhel
More often than not, sprouted mung is reserved for dinner, tossed with a bit of turmeric powder, curry leaves, chilli powder along with ginger garlic paste. Unlike sprouted black gram, sprouted mung beans can be consumed raw. This mung bhel recipe is extremely easy to fix and is bursting with flavour and crunch from chopped veggies, coriander tangy tamarind chutney and chaat masala.