Should your sprouts have a certain length before you can eat them?
Can you cut, chop and blend sprouts, or should they be eaten whole?
How do you best keep the nourishment in the sprouts?
Can all sprouts be eaten raw?
You can find the answers here.
SHOULD SPROUTS HAVE A CERTAIN LENGTH?
Sprouts of Lentils, Chickpeas and Beans must have a minimum of 1/2 – 2 cm long root, before you should eat them raw. This is because legumes contain lectins that are neutralized as they develop their roots and sprouts.
When you grow leaf sprouts – ie Radish, Sunflower, Endive, Clover, Rape, Pik kale etc. – you will usually cultivate them until they unfold their leaves and the leaves develop deep color. You could in principle eat them as soon as their root is 1 cm long, but you get a much better taste and yield by letting them grow until they have unfolded their colourful leaves.
The last group is Pea, Fenugreek and Corn. You can eat these three with either 1 cm root or with leaves.
CAN YOU CHOP, CUT & BLEND SPROUTS?
When you decide how to use your sprouts in a dish, an easy tip is to compare them with fresh lettuce. Sprouts respond to chopping, cutting, blending and heat like lettuce leaves.
You can easily cut your sprouts for a salad. You can chop them into a nice green garnish for a sandwich. Or blend them into a delicious smoothies or dip. They just start to turn brown in the cut surfaces after a while – like sliced lettuce.
A trick for you to maintain a fresh look is to drip the sliced sprouts with lemon juice. Another trick is to wait to cut them shortly before serving. A third is my favorite: You can serve the food with small bowls of sprouts grown on cotton. Then your guests can cut the desired sprouts for their own food.
HOW DO YOU GET MOST NUTRITION FROM SPROUTS?
Your sprouts are at their nutritional peak when they have reached the recommended length that you can read on the seed bag. That is, for lenses, chickpeas, peas and beans, a 1-3 cm long root. For leaf sprouts when the leaves have unfolded fully and developed color.
Just as fresh lettuce your sprouts will keep better, if the plants are kept with a bit of their roots intact. It is incredible to think about, but your sprouts will continue to grow in the salad or lunch box as long as the plant is intact.
As all greens, the nourishment in the sprouts begins to oxygen as soon as you cut, mash or blend the plants. Therefore, if you do not eat the sprouts whole, you will get the most nutrients from the sprouts by eating the food shortly after preparing the dish.
CAN ALL SPROUTS BE EATEN RAW?
No, one of the sprouts shown in the SPROUT LIST should not be eaten completely raw. That is chickpea.
Chickpea is unique because it contains trypsin inhibitors. You should not feel any effect from that substance from small amounts of Chickpea sprouts. But if you make a large bowl of raw hummus made from raw, sprouted chickpeas, you can get a stomach ache.
Trypsin inhibitors prevent digestion of the proteins in the Chickpea. It is the Chickpea’s defense against an animal digesting the entire Chickpea, so that the Chickpea’s ability to remain a plant is lost.
The solution is that you sprout your Chickpeas until the root is 2,5-3 cm long. Then you give the ready sprouts a short boil for 5 minutes. Cool them off and then you can eat them in your food. The short boil barely affect the nutrients in the sprout. But the germination + boil will neutralize both lectins and trypsin inhibitors in the sprouted Chickpea.
All the other sprouts in the SPROUT LIST apart from Chickpea you can eat raw.