Newly germinated beans and peas sprouts are, well, sprouted. They have a firm but tender new shoots of seeds and beans. A fresh, crunchy texture and slightly sweet flavour is their lure. Sprouts can grow from the seeds of vegetables such as broccoli and radishes, from grains such as alfalfa and buckwheat, and from beans such as lentils and soybeans, each takes on the flavour of its host seed.
Alfalfa Sprouts are not only the most common small sprout variety, but also the tiniest , with 2-3 inch (5-7 cm) white tails, tiny green tops, and a tender, moist, and delicately crisp texture.
They are one of nature’s finest snack foods. Crunchy, highly nutritious, a source of antioxidants, as well as a tasty addition to sandwiches or salads. In fact, you can’t go wrong munching a bowl of fresh sprouts while watching a DVD with your family!
Bean Sprouts are crunchy, faintly bittersweet and the colour of pearls.
Garlic Sprouts Though it is actually the seed of a Garlic Chive plant the Sprouts taste just like Garlic!
Mixed Bean Sprouts are packaged to combine a delightful contrast of colours, flavours, and textures.
Sprouts with the buds attached and that have a fresh crisp look. Avoid dark and slimy sprouts or any that are musty smelling. Sprouts can be placed in a plastic bag and refrigerated for up to three days.
Sprouts should never be kept for any length of time in an airtight container or they will go mouldy very quickly. Being more delicate the best storage method is in its original ventilated container – just rinse it out, dry well and replace sprouts for no more than two days of storage. If they are bulk sprouts, try placing a paper towel (preferably unbleached) in the bottom of a plastic container, pour in the sprouts and cover loosely with plastic wrap or better yet, a clean cloth. Bean sprouts can be kept in an uncovered jar of water in the fridge, but change the water every day.
Can be frozen if you’re going to cook them later – considered the “yin” and a “cooling” food in Chinese medicine.
Rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove dirt and sand. Discard any soft or browned tails or tops, as well as the roots. Contamination cannot be removed by the washing of sprouts. Therefore, it is suggested that the sprouts be quickly stir-fried to remove the potential of harmful bacteria.
Do not tear or cut the sprouts until you are ready to use them, otherwise torn cells will release enzymes that deteriate the vitamin C.
Cleaning Safety Habit: Government health standards indicate to wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils and counter tops with hot water and soap between the preparation of raw meat, poultry, and seafood products and the preparation of uncooked produce. If plastic or other non-porous cutting boards are being used, run them through the dishwasher after use.
Sprouts can be the main ingredient or a garnish. Commonly used in Asian cuisine. Experiment – here are some more delicious cuisine to stuff or top sprouts:
- Sprouts are a great snack – just fill a bowl, have a seat, and start munching.
- Good for a taco filling
- Great in stir-fries, cooking no longer than 30 seconds to avoid wilting (usually reserved for mung bean & soybean sprouts)
- Unexpected on pizzas
- A powerful juice source
- A friend of soup
- Necessary on sandwiches
Quick & Easy Suggestions:
Fancy up a store-bought pizza with sliced, cooked asparagus & feta cheese scattered generously
Butter a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil & place asparagus in centre. Add a little white wine, salt & pepper – grill 10 minutes, seam side up
Slice blanched asparagus spears into bit-sized pieces. Toss with sliced strawberries, toasted pine nuts, spinach, and poppy-seed dressing or a lemony vinaigrette
Dip Store-bought artichoke dip combined with snipped chives, grated Asiago & broil until top is golden. Served with chilled cooked asparagus spears & pita wedges
Steam in warm pan, glaze with olive oil & balsamic vinegar, turning often. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese.
Boil fettuccine, adding chopped asparagus for last 2 minutes. Drain. Stir in garlic buttered sautéed shrimp, lemon peel, and some pesto.
Top cooked burgers with cooked, sliced spears. Spoon generous dollops of Béarnaise sauce over asparagus. Scatter with chopped chives.
Tightly wrap slices of smoked salmon around cooked, chilled asparagus spears. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Dip into Japanese salad dressing as sauce.
Mix a little honey and grated lime peel into sour cream. Toss with sliced cooked chicken, asparagus spears, and cubes of cantaloupe. Spoon into Butterhead lettuce-leaf cups. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
The protein value is only available when cooked.
Add sprouts to a stir-fry at the end of cooking to maximize crunch – for no more than thirty seconds.
- High in Vitamin C, K, B, D, niacin and beta-carotene and a good source of minerals including copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, silicon, sulfur, zinc and they are a great source of chlorophyll. Whew, no that’s nutrition!
Helps to strengthen the immune system, mucous membranes, and even the skin!Have cancer-fighting properties, may lower risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as the LDL bad
cholesterol in our bodies.
May prevent menopausal symptoms, PMS, and osteoporosis.
May soothe arthritis and soothe digestive, reproductive, and glandular tracts.
Bean & Alfalfa Sprouts are rich in protein as well as vitamin A, the vitamin B complex, vitamin C and vitamin E, as well as various minerals and enzymes. So these sprouts may be particularily good protectors against cancer, fatigue and the immune system. In addition, they are a good source of fibre, and folate, and are low in calories. .Please Note Alfalfa sprouts are not recommended for the diet of pregnant women, since this sprout can play host to e-coli bacteria and listeria – uncomfortable for an adult, but can be deadly to an unborn baby. Alfalfa sprouts also contain the amino acid canavanine, which may inhibit the natural immune system. Mature alfalfa, on the other hand, does not contain this amino acid.
- Sprouted beans have less carbohydrate than the beans from which they grow! Beans contain starches and sugars to produce green shoots called sprouts.
- It’s ironic that this health food may cause ill health. Sprouts are a nutritionally concentrated, pesticide-free, locally grown, fresh produce available year round. Eating alfalfa sprouts is statistically safer and healthier than drinking water or eating meat, dairy, or poultry.