Sprouting peas, beans or grains can improve the nutritional content of your food. Here are a few benefits in short:
- Sprouting increases bio-available nutrients.
- Sprouting decreases carbohydrate content from starches, therefore reduces calorie content.
- Sprouting makes the legume/grain easier to digest and less likely in most cases to cause gas.
- Sprouting grains can deactivate potent carcinogens.
- Sprouting can reduce the amount of fat.
There are lots of articles highlighting how the biological processes that happen during sprouting lead to these facts. Rather than repeat the information, check out these articles from The Nourishing Gourmet and Kitchen Stewardship, where you can read about how phytase released in soaking and sprouting leads to the changes we can benefit from.
It is important to research which grains and legumes aren’t good for sprouting, and which should always be cooked thoroughly after sprouting to avoid stomach aches and gas. It’s also good to be aware of safety guidelines for sprouting, as it is very easy to create toxic mould in the damp, dark conditions of sprouting. Here’s more info. on Sprout Safety. Suffice to say, rinse often. Do not consume if your sprouts are slimy or smell weird, or have anything other than shoots growing out of them. Wash thoroughly and follow FDA safety guidelines.
I prefer to sprout my peas quickly, as the benefits begin as soon as the shoots appear. A lot of articles recommend sprouting for a few days to maximise the benefits, but for me, the longer I wait, the more chance there is that I’ll ruin the batch with some kind of mould. So my sprouting process is about 1.5 days.
Here’s How I Sprout My Peas:
- Rinse then soak a cup of dried peas in water for about 8 hrs.
- Rinse the soaked peas and place in a clean linen/muslin bag. Hang the bag in a dry, dark cupboard for about 24 hrs.
- During the 24 hrs, regularly check on the peas, rinsing the bag to avoid mould formation every few hours.
- When shoots begin to form, you can remove the peas and wash thoroughly.
- You can use the sprouts right away, allow them to sprout for longer, or put them in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Here’s a link to my Sprouted Pea Soup recipe. I hope you found this information concise and helpful. Enjoy!