Monday, April 14th, 2008

Sprouts Are Super-Bad-Ass!

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

I know that when most people hear that I love sprouts, they automatically presume that I don’t shave my legs and that I hug trees in my spare time. And, when people learn that I grow my own…look out, because I might as well be from another planet – haha. But, when people learn how easy, fun, nutritious and inexpensive it is, they’re all too eager to ask me how to do it. Right now, I have alfalfa, radish, broccoli, and mung sprouts growing in mason jars on my counter. They’re adorable. (Oh yeah, and I “do” shave my legs!)

“Sprouting” is when you cultivate seeds in a non-soil environment just long enough for them to “wake up” from their dormant stage, burst into life, and sprout little, tiny stems and tiny leaves… and then you gobble ‘em up! Sprouting is one of the best tools you can use to helping you stay on the Raw lifestyle path. I’m going to let you in on a little secret (the gardeners among you might know this already)… aside from the physical/health benefits of eating sprouts (which many people speak about) few people recognize sprouting for what it does to your mental outlook. The process of growing your own sprouts is simply amazing! When I walk into my kitchen every day and see these little babies growing from seed to fresh sprout, it makes me smile and I’m reminded about the pure, “living” lifestyle I lead… it’s impossible to miss it, because these little foods are growing and sprouting before my eyes. It inspires me and I reflect on the clean, pure, fresh, and green lifestyle I’ve chosen for myself. It imbues a kind of energy, like warm sunlight shining on me, that is hard to describe, but every bit as real as their food/nutritional benefits. And, if you have kids…this is one of the best activities that you can do together. It’s an awesome way to get kids excited about eating sprouts.

My week has been filled with enjoying many salads comprised mostly of sprouts. They’re delicate, hearty by the handful, and bursting with delicious and nutritious juicy flavor in every bite. There is no doubt that sprouts are one of the healthiest foods you can consume because they’re considered a “pre-digested” food, making them more easily assimilated by your body. It’s during the sprouting process that the seeds’ protein transforms into amino acids, and the starch converts to simple sugars, making these optimal for digestion. They are a good source of vitamins A, C, E and B-vitamins; hence, they are a source of anti-oxidants. Plus, they contain chlorophyll. See? Gone are the days of pushing sprouts to the side. They are a staple in my lifestyle.

Get this! Researchers at John Hopkins University found that broccoli sprouts can have as much as 30-50 times the concentration of protective chemicals found in the mature broccoli plants. Even though they can be a little stinky, they taste delicious so don’t let a little stench put you off. And, alfalfa sprouts have saponins in them, which have been found to bind to cholesterol to help prevent it from being absorbed into the body. The University of Toronto shows that dietary sources of saponins may lower the risk of human cancers, too. Pretty bad-ass, huh?

I enjoy sprouts in many different ways. I eat them in salads, juice them, add them to my smoothies and simply snack on them by the handful all by themselves (before I leave the house, I throw a few handfuls of them into a baggie, squeeze a little fresh lemon, lime or orange juice on them, and toss it into my cooler for the day, along with my mason jars full of fresh green juice and green smoothie). They’re such a light and refreshing snack. If you’re signed up for my next class on April 26 (Weight Loss & High Energy), get excited because I’ll be teaching you how to easily grow your own! If you’re not signed up, you better do it today because I only have a few seats left.

Cheers! I’m off to munch on some more sprouts.

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