They are obtained from many seeds, are easy to grow, and give every dish a burst of freshness and color.
Have you ever seen or tasted dishes decorated with fresh and crunchy leaves of all shapes and colors? Often, they are so beautiful that they look more like a work of art than an edible product: they are the sprouts, the sprouted seeds of legumes, cereals, and other plant species of which everything is consumed, grain and sprout.
Tasty, rich in nutrients such as vitamins and enzymes, they are easy to digest and have been known since ancient times as therapeutics for a number of pathologies, from kidney pain to digestive disorders, to cramps.
The types of seeds that can be germinated are many, all different. The most used are green soya, chickpeas, beans, lentils, wheat, sunflower, oats, millet, and rice. Preparing them is easy and cheap and allows you to always have fresh vegetables available, rich in nutritional properties useful for strengthening the body's natural defenses, and to give a touch of liveliness and color to every dish.
First, wash and let the selected seeds soak for 6-12 hours. After this time their volume will have increased thanks to the water they have absorbed. In this phase, the germination of the seed begins, which swells and breaks, making the small sprout that absorbs all the nutrients of the grain come out, acquiring a thicker and more defined consistency: if placed on the ground it would give life to a real seedling. At this point, place the drained sprouts in a food container, or on a plate, cover them with a damp napkin, and place on an overturned plate.
Let them germinate in this way, rinsing them twice a day for the first 2-3 days, then only once. The chickpea and soy seeds should always be rinsed twice a day. Wait for 5 to 6 days, until the sprout has reached a height of 3-4 cm, then you can use them as you wish. Growth times vary according to the external temperature and the type of seed chosen. Once ready, wash them, dry them, and enrich your dishes with these colorful leaves.
Sprouts can be eaten raw without any dressing, in salads with oil and lemon, or cooked, although by doing so much of their properties will be lost. They can also be added to mayonnaise or sauces to dress fish and vegetables, or inserted into the fillings of pasta or ravioli, or added to risotto or other cereals to give a touch of crunchiness.
In the transformation from seed to sprout many biochemical changes take place: complex carbohydrates are transformed into simpler sugars (this is why sprouts have a sweetish taste), proteins are reduced into amino acids, mineral salts become more assimilable by the body, vitamins increase, in some cases double! In general, they become more digestible than the seed itself and much richer in beneficial substances. Seeing is believing!