Sprout, my precious.

You don’t need to belong to the raw food movement to sprout.

I love sprouts! I don’t always eat them raw. Sometimes, I slightly boil or saute them. Other times, I slow cook or pressure cook them. It really depends on how they fit into what I am cooking that day or that week.

Sprouting boosts the nutritional value of the grain, legume or pulse. Sprouting also neutralizes the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors in your body and helps you digest your food better.

I was born and raised in India and I grew up on sprouts. When I came to this country, I got my sprout machine with me. It is not really a machine but it is as efficient as one!

This week, I sprouted whole green moong, bengal gram and muth/moth bean.  I wanted to have a cold organic salad of green moong dal and bengal gram, seasoned with just plain salt and pepper and a bit of lemon and paprika. I know it is really simple food, but I like it.

Organic Whole Green Moong has great antioxidant properties, is high in protein and a load of different vitamins and fiber. If you are not into organic and want a smaller 2-lb packet, this may be an option. 

Organic Bengal Gram  is a good source of iron, sodium, selenium and small amount of copper, zinc, folic acid and fiber. It has phytochemicals called saponins, which act as antioxidants. Here is your cheaper, non-organic, 2-lb option.

First, I took half a cup of whole green moong and half a cup of bengal gram. IMG_1038IMG_1041

I rinsed them and soaked them in water overnight and in the morning around 6:30 AM, I drained the water and put them to sprout in my sprout machine.

At 5 PM, I took them out of the sprout machine and rinsed them. As you can see, there are little tails coming out…! Then, I put them in the pressure cooker to cook. 6-7 quick whistles, and it was done.

You don’t have to pressure-cook them, you can always boil them for sometime. I like my bengal gram a bit more cooked and that’s why I pressure-cook. Whole-moong sprouted can be easily eaten raw or slightly cooked.

Last night, I rinsed and soaked the high-protein powerhouse – Organic Whole Muth Bean. The Turkish variety is a bit different and I am not familiar with it. This is the Indian variety that I grew up with. Here is your 2-lb, non-organic option. Same sprouting process as the green moong and bengal gram.

This morning, all the water was soaked up by the beans. I rinsed it again, and then put it in my sprout machine. My plan is to later tonight, throw it into my slow cooker. This bean should ideally be cooked so tomorrow, I will make the traditional Indian coconut-milk dish called Misal.

Are you wondering where to find the sprout machine? Here are your options!

  1. Victorio 4-tray Sprouter
  2. Garden Alive 2-tier Sprouter
  3. Anjali 1-tier sprout maker (this one comes close to what I have)

Note that sprouting needs the right temperature. When I lived in NJ, sprouting took a bit longer. Here, in LA – you start seeing sprouts in less than 8 hours. Remember not to wait too long – you don’t want mold or fungus growing on your sprouts. Sometimes, they are just root hair, but sometimes it could be mold. Look carefully and always rinse before cooking.

Happy sprouting!

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