You can use sprouts in any dish. Your homegrown sprouts and microgreens are beautiful and fun to use in all types of recipes.
However, some sprouts and microgreens are better suited to certain dishes as I explain in this post.
GOOD DISHES WITH SPROUTS
You can use your home-grown sprouts in all types of dishes.
Sprouts give you the most nutrition if you eat them raw. The easiest dishes for this would be juices, smoothies, dips, salads, or as a filling and garnish for sandwiches and all other dishes. If you use them in juices, smoothies and dips, their nutrients quickly oxygenate, so you need to eat them shortly after cooking.
Sprouts can also be used in warm or hot dishes in pot, oven and wok. In these types of dishes, the robust sprouts of Sunflower, Lentil, Pea, Chickpea and Mung Bean are best for keeping their crispiness and nutrients intact. The trick here is to add the sprouts just before serving or serve the sprouts in a bowl next to the hot dish.
ARE SPROUTS BEAUTIFUL IN ALL DISHES?
Strong tasting sprouts like Radish, Cress, Rucola/Arugula, Endive and Fenugreek have a potent taste. This makes them delicious as decorations rather than the main ingredient in a dish.
Alfalfa/Lucerne, Pea, Sunflower and Clover, on the other hand, are almost neutral in taste. This makes it easy to use them in smoothies, juices or as a base in salads. Neutral sprouts are also great to soften the taste in otherwise strong salads or dips.
If you find the taste of your otherwise mild sprouts somewhat sharp, it may be because they haven’t had enough light during their cultivation. Try to place them in a lighter spot after they have unfolded their leaves. Then the taste should become more round and soft.
SALAD ONLY WITH SPROUTS
You can make a whole salad only with sprouts. In that case, the mild Red Clover, Lucerne, Pea or Sunflower will do well as a base and fill.
If you want more protein, Lentils, Mung bean, Chickpeas and Peas are especially good.
You can then mix the salad up with the flavorful Broccoli, Kale or Rape sprouts. Or you can choose the spicy Fenugreek, Rucola/arugula, Radish or Endive.
Depending on the flavor palette you are going for, you can mix a neutral dressing of walnut oil, salt and pepper. This is how the taste buds of the sprouts still get a rightful place in your mouth.
CAN FOOD WITH SPROUTS STAY FRESH?
The easiest way to understand the durability of sprouts in a dish is to compare sprouts with fresh leaf lettuce. Food with sprouts does not get bad faster than food with fresh salad. Their durability is the same.
Similarly, the durability of dishes with sprouts will be shorter, the warmer or more prepared the sprouts are for the dish. If you have blended, chopped or heated the sprouts, the dish will have a shorter shelf life than if you made a salad with whole, raw sprouts.
If you have used raw, whole sprouts and let them keep a little of the root, they will actually keep growing ever so slowly in your dish. Serving whole unchopped sprouts gives them a very long shelf life, even if you save the salad for the next day.