Chitrangada has nutrition in mind when cooking for her family. Making tasty nutritious food is a skill she has perfected over the years.
What Is Sprouting?
Sprouting is the process of germinating seeds, beans, and even whole cereals (such as wheat).
These sprouts can be consumed, either raw, or cooked, preferably raw in a salad, or sandwich.
The health experts have time and again recommended sprouts for their health benefits. It is said to contain high fibre, vitamins, protein, and minerals, which have a very positive impact on our metabolic activities.
It is especially recommended to those who want to reduce weight and prefer a low-calorie diet. Since it is consumed mostly raw, cleanliness is very important.
You can make healthy sprouts at home.
It is highly recommended by nutritionists to include sprouts in our daily diet, especially at breakfast. Though easily available in stores and markets, it is a good and healthy idea to cultivate them yourself at home.
How to Grow Sprouts at Home
- Take 2 cups of green gram (hari moong in Hindi), and 2 cups of black gram (kale chane in Hindi) separately.
- Wash them thoroughly, 3 to 4 times in clean water, to remove dust or any other unwanted ingredient from them.
- Soak and cover them in clean water, and leave them overnight. The container, in which you soak the pulses, should also be cleaned properly.
- Next morning, you will find the pulses have swollen up.
- Take two pieces of clean muslin cloth, and soak in clean water. Squeeze excess water. Spread and transfer the swollen grams separately, on to the cloth, and tie them.
- Keep in a container at room temperature, and cover with a lid. The container should be such that water does not stagnate at the bottom. The muslin cloth should remain damp. If it dries up, sprinkle some water to make it damp again.
- The sprouts should begin emerging within 5 to 6 hours. If you want longer sprouts, keep for a longer time. In the warm season, the sprouts come faster, as compared to the cold season.
- Once germinated, the sprouts can be preserved in a container, in the refrigerator. They can last for 4 to 5 days comfortably.
Photo Guide: Black Gram Sprouts
Benefits of Eating Sprouts
- According to nutritionists and health experts, the sprouts are a powerful source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc., needed to prevent cell damage by the body.
- Raw foods contain ample amounts of oxygen, which is valuable for our bodies.
- It is essential to include roughage in our daily diet, and the sprouts are a good source.
- The sprouts also have a good amount of B group of vitamins and vitamin C.
- It is also helpful to women, with the onset of menopause, as it eases symptoms like hot flashes.
Read More From Delishably
Important Safety Guidelines
- The pulses must be washed carefully because they are mostly consumed in raw form. Any toxins or dust should be washed away completely. That is why making sprouts at home is safe, as compared to buying from the stores, because you can take all the care, which may not be possible, where large scale germination process is done.
- The water used for soaking, etc., should be clean because it enters the grams.
- Some people are unable to digest raw food. So, you can steam or boil it lightly. Having a bowl of sprouted green or black gram with breakfast keeps you active throughout the day. It can also be served as an evening snack.
5 Easy and Nutritious Sprout Recipe Suggestions
1. Raw Sprout Chaat
Mix a handful of green gram (moong), black gram (chana), or other sprouts along with finely chopped, onion, tomato, finely cut green coriander leaves, a pinch of salt and few drops of lime juice. Toss it and enjoy a healthy snack in the morning. You can add finely cut green chillies, if you like it hot.
2. Boiled Sprout Chaat
You may boil the green gram and black gram sprouts, if you do not like them raw. But boil only till they are tender. Do not over boil as it will destroy its nutrients. Add finely cut onion, tomato, cucumber, green chilly and green coriander.
3. Sprout Soup
Take one cup of green gram sprouts, two cups water, a pinch of salt and half teaspoon finely grated ginger. Cook for five minutes, on medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pan. Let it cool a little. Mash it with the back of a spoon or blend lightly with a hand blender. Heat it again for a few moments and serve warm. You may add pepper powder and butter, if you desire.
4. Sprout Cutlets
You can grind sprouts into a paste. Add finely cut onion, garlic, ginger, green chillies, few drops lemon juice, salt to taste. Flatten into a round shape on your palm and shallow fry them in a flat pan on medium heat. If you don't want to fry, you can also grill them in the oven. Serve hot.
5. Stuffed Sprout Paratha
Boil some sprouts, until they are tender. Grind them in a food processor. Mix some salt, grated ginger, one teaspoonful aniseed and finely chopped green coriander leaves. Knead some soft whole wheat dough. Divide them into small balls. Fill in one teaspoonful of the sprouts mixture and carefully seal the edges. Flatten on your palm and then carefully roll them onto a rolling board. Cook on both sides on a medium-hot flat pan. Apply butter if you like. Serve hot.
Use your imagination to create many, more nutritious recipes with your own homemade sprouts.
Further Suggested Reading
- Sprouts: Are They Good for You? Pros and Cons, Nutrition Information, and More - WebMD
Find out what the research says about sprouts, who should avoid them, and how they may affect your health.
- Raw Sprouts: Benefits and Potential Risks - Healthline
Though raw sprouts have many benefits, they can also cause food poisoning. So do the benefits outweigh the risks?
- Health benefits of sprouting: Why you must have them regularly - Times of India
Sprouts are a powerhouse of nutrition that you should add to your diet.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: I tried to make black channa sprouts, but they are only sprouts and are not fully grown sprouts. How can I ensure my channa sprouts become fully grown?
Answer: Once the sprouts have come out, it can grow even longer, if you keep the same warm temperature and other conditions, for some more time. Sprouts grow faster, in warmer days, as compared to colder days. In the winter season, it may take a little longer to grow sprouts. In the Summer season, they grow very fast.
Question: I soaked the Chana for making the sprouts but it resulted in a bad smell and became sticky. What did I do wrong?
Answer: Maybe you had soaked the Chana, more than the required time. Once the Chana or the other pulses absorb the water and swell, you should sieve the water away. If the water remains longer than that time, it might give a bad smell and become sticky.
After removing the water by the process of sieving, you can cover them (as explained in the article) for germination or sprouting process. Once the sprouts grow, you should store them in the refrigerator.
Question: My Chana sprouts have turned black after a few days, is it still healthy to eat them?
Answer: To answer your question about Chana sprouts turning black; it depends on how you are storing it. After the sprouts have grown, I keep them in the refrigerator, in a suitable box, with a lid. It helps to retain the moisture. This can last for more than a week, after which, the same process of sprouting can be repeated, as mentioned above.
If kept at room temperature, the sprouts may turn black, although I haven’t seen this happening because I store them in the refrigerator after the sprouts have grown. Turning black may not be unhealthy, but the taste may not be as good as fresh.
I would suggest you store the sprouts in the refrigerator, once the sprouts have grown.
Question: Can I eat black gram sprouts and mung sprouts together?
Answer: Yes, of course, you can. I generally combine them together in a bowl, for my breakfast. You can checkout the combined sprouts recipes, in the article.
© 2012 Chitrangada Sharan