The unloved sprout
Why are sprouts not more popular?
Whatever the actual reason, sprout availability is not what
it could be.
- Part of the problem is simply that sprouts do not keep very
well - and need refrigeration in order to stay fresh.
- Another part of the problem seems to be that there is only a
relatively low level of awareness concerning the health
benefits of eating sprouts.
- The nutrition in a number of excellent sprouts is bound
up with fibre. This fibre can be broken down by chewing it
- but the process is labourious - and the best extraction
method involves relatively expensive dedicated equipment.
- Perhaps some of sprouts' healthy qualities weigh in against them.
They are low in fat, calories, sugar and patented artificial
ingredients - essential items, if supermarket shelves are
anything to go by.
Many of the sprouts that are available are not
sprouted far enough for my tastes. Sprouted mung
beans are available, for example - but they are white.
Most growers recommend keeping mung beans in complete
darkness - to avoid the bitterness that comes with the green
Sunflower, aduki, lentil and chickpea sprouts are
similarly sold in a very young state. These sprouts are
often rather sweet. They have not yet converted their stored
energy reserves into growth - and there is no little or no
Generally, I like my sprouts green. I'm prepared to eat
almond and apricot kernels after only soaking them - but
most other things that can realistically be sprouted I like
to take through to whole plants.
Others seem to share my tastes - the so called microgreens
are considered to be upcoming citizens in the sprouting world.
In particular up-market gourmet restaurants seem to have
finally discovered that microgreens are tastier -
and less fibrous - than their fully-grown cousins - and are
using them to add delicate flavours to side salads and
garnishes. Perhaps this will herald an upturn in fortunes
Anyway, the desirable properties of sprouts as food seem to
be too great to pass up due to availability problems.
Fortunately, these problems are not insurmountable - and a
fine solution to them exists - grow your own sprouts!
Go back to Tim's sprout farm.
Tim Tyler |