Spread the Sprouts Around


I remember when "health food" sandwiches started "making the scene" in California when I was a kid. How did we know it was health food? It was made with whole wheat bread and alfalfa sprouts - that's how! I get a kick out of how things can change so radically over time, and then again, not change much at all. Take sprouts, for instance. They're a really great addition to a healthy diet with lots of choices and many great ways to enjoy them. Still, there are plenty of people who narrowly define sprouts as 1) bean sprouts that come in some Asian dishes, or 2) alfalfa sprouts, the classic topping for "heath-food-store" sandwiches.I say broaden your horizons! Sprouts are the very young shoots of germinated edible seeds from vegetables, beans or grains. Remember that just about every seed, nut, bean and grain can be sprouted, and doing so increases its nutritional value. While I happen to like both alfalfa and mung bean sprouts, I am just as enthused about other varieties as well, especially during the summer when I love to add them to my salads and sandwiches. I'm talking about broccoli sprouts, sunflower sprouts, clover and radish sprouts, too. If you've never been a sprout kind of a person, I hope to change your mind! Not only will you be enjoying a crunchy, cooling, tasty treat, you'll also be getting:

  • Vitamin C

  • Folic Acid

  • Phytonutrients

  • Improved digestibility

Here are some delicious ways to put sprouts on your menu:

Sprouts should be kept cold at no higher than 40°F at all times as both temperature and humidity can increase

the potential for bacterial growth. If sprouts are well cooked, this is not an issue, but when consuming them raw, improper handling could potentially be problematic. Be sure to keep them cold and eat them quickly, within a day or two if possible. Remember that each passing day brings a reduction in nutrient levels as well. The fresher the better!Do you love cold, crunchy sprouts, too? I'd love to hear your ideas and favorite recipes!

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