In the warm days of spring, one’s thoughts can easily turn to the sprouting of seeds. For the month of March, the Co-op’s Provisions Committee featured the many sprouted products in the store.
What is most interesting and surprising about sprouts is how high they are in protein, vitamins and minerals. During the sprouting process itself, vitamin B miraculously increases 600%, vitamin E is tripled, vitamin C increases sixfold, and protein level increases. Thus, the sprouts are more nutritious than the seed or bean that produced them. For example, broccoli sprouts have many times more of cancer fighting compounds than the vegetable broccoli. These sprouts are also helpful for stomach ulcers, for lowering bad cholesterol, and increasing good cholesterol.
Our Co-op is currently stocking fresh pea sprouts and broccoli sprouts. When you cut them for use, if you leave some leaves at the bottom and water them daily, new shoots will appear that can be harvested in several days. Sprouts can be used in salads, sandwiches, juices, omelettes, breads, and as a snack. The larger, bean sprouts can be used in casseroles, soups, and granola.
Because of the rich nutrients in sprouts, they are an excellent addition to breads. Sprouted breads have no salt, oil fats, yeast, or artificial sweeteners. They are high in protein and fiber, are low glycemic, and gluten-free. At the Co-op we are fortunate to have three brands of sprouted breads: Ezekiel hamburger buns, many varieties of Manna bread (e.g., multigrain, rye, date and cinnamon, fruit and nut, carrot and raisin, millet and rice), and Genesis 1:29 bread. This amazing bread is made from sprouts of these grains and seeds: teff, quinoa, barley, brown rice, spelt, amaranth, soy, flax, rye, corn, kamut, millet, sorghum, sesame, pumpkin, wheat, and sunflower.
Another interesting sprouted product at the Co-op is brown rice protein powder (plain and vanilla) from Heartland. It is made entirely from organic non-GMO sprouted brown rice protein that has a complete array of essential and nonessential amino acids. It is free of gluten, soy, and lactose. As a vegetarian, I find that one scoop in my morning juice every day keeps me from experiencing protein “lows.” One scoop contains 16 grams of protein and 40% of the daily iron requirement. So, I encourage you to try one or more of these sprouted products the next time you are in the store.
Anne Cummings for