Do you remember those days when you would wait patiently for chickpeas and moong dal soaked in water to slit open into tiny tail-like structures? Weren't they fascinating as a kid? The process is called sprouting and sprouts can be a super healthy addition to your daily meals.
While you have a variety of legumes to choose from, there is a technique to get it right. Sprouting may look like an easy process but it needs the right technique and precision to extract all the goodness.
Sprouting is basically a process where seeds and legumes are germinated and eventually eaten raw. When seeds are soaked in water for a certain period of time, they germinate, causing their outer layers to tear open and allowing a young shoot to blossom. Sprouted grains, legumes and beans are believed to be very nutritious and healthy. Grains are soaked in water to soften their outer membranes, allowing them to sprout.
Why sprouting is healthy
Sprouting tends to enhance the nutritional value of grains, legumes or beans. These contain certain anti-nutrients including phytic acid which locks up important minerals. It also inhibits our digestive enzymes that can cause indigestion and intestinal gas. Nutritionist Sheela Sehrawat from the Diet Clinic in Delhi, explains, “Sprouting increases the nutritive value of the ingredients and provides better digestion. The young sprouts have 10 to 100 times glucoraphanin which is an enzyme that protects the body from cancer-causing agents. Further, it provides antioxidants and increases the activity of chlorophyll which helps in detoxifying your body by boosting the oxygen levels in the body.”
What makes sprout salad healthy
This hearty sprouted moong beans salad is a powerhouse salad full of wholesome ingredients like:
Moong beans: This is our star ingredient. You can substitute moong beans with sprouted chickpea beans, black chickpeas, or even white peas.
Potatoes: I used a medium-sized potato, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, pan-sauteed, and added to the sprouts salad. The pan-cooked potatoes add a crunchy touch to our salad.
Tomatoes: Use plum juicy tomatoes for a punch of flavour. Feel free to swap regular tomatoes with cherry tomatoes. Cut them into bite-sized pieces and add them to the salad.
Onions: For an extra pop of flavour, I have used red onion, peeled, halved, and diced thin. You can use any kind of onion for this salad.
Cucumber: A low-calorie and rich in fibre refreshing cucumber is a must for our healthy sprout salad. I peeled the cucumber for that crisp taste and removed the flesh from it. Feel free to leave the peel on if you prefer.
Cilantro leaves: It adds a distinctive flavour and colour to this salad.
Lemon juice: A few squeezes of lemon gives the salad a zesty kick! Do not add too much lemon juice as it may overpower our salad’s delicate flavours.
Spices: Of course, to season our salad.
When combined in a bowl, these ingredients create a beautiful dish!