Sprouts and Microgreens, what are they exactly?
Sprouts are the very beginning of every plant and when used for food are harvested around 48 hours. Microgreens are slightly older than a spout and are harvested at 7 to 14 days. Athough not mature plants, the enzyme activity and nutrients in these tiny plants have the ability to improve health and replenish a nutrient depleted, stressed-out body.
Sprouts and microgreens are packed with nutrients and enzymes which are beneficial for restoring and balancing hormones. They support the brain and aid in detoxicating the body. Rich in a wide variety of polyphenols, which prevent the buildup of free radicals, they help fight against cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
When foods are sprouted, their proteolytic enzymes increase making them very beneficial as a digestive aid. A study from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service found that microgreens contain 5 times the amount of nutrients as full grown plants in equal weights.
The process of growing sprouts or microgreens is very simple. Dr Mercola has a short video on the process. Sprouts and microgreens grow easily and quickly in a warm windowsill. I like sprouting a mixed variety of seeds for the combination of flavors. I have this sprouter and like this seed combination. Although a sprouter is helpful, you don’t need one. A glass jar works well too.
Sprouts and microgreens make a delicious addition to salads, wraps and cold dips. Whether you grow or purchase sprouts or microgreens, it is important to consume them quickly due to their short shelf life.