Get them while they're young|
I find I often like to eat things young.
Young organisms often seem more tender, juicy and nutritious
than their more elderly relatives.
Applying this principle to vegetables suggests the
consumption of young plants may be of interest.
Sure enough, a wide range of sprouts represent excellent
Sprouts have the goodness of adult plants in a more concentrated form.
They are more digestable and palatable than the seeds they come from.
They lack the calories that are present in the stored fats
which seeds use to store the energy required for their
initial growth spurt.
Many seeds contain enzyme inhibitors - that prevent growth until
the correct conditions arise; and toxins - that are intended
to shield the nutrients in the seed from predators during storage.
During the sprouting process the seed is transformed - and the result
is frequently a substantial improvement from the point of view of
When to pick
In terms of the quality of the suppled nutrition, it seems
to me that the best time to harvest the sprouts is when the
first pair of leaves has emerged. This is usually when the
sprout is most tender and tasty.
The first pair of leaves are known as cotyledons.
These seem to me to usually be the best green part of the
plant - in nutritional terms. They are better than the
other leaves - which in turn are better than stems and roots.
Waiting for later leaves will probably result in more produce
being harvested - but the result will increasingly be more
like a mature plant than a seedling.
Of course, the younger you eat your seedlings, the more
more sprouts will need to be grown - and the more money is
likely to wind up being spent on seed.
Go back to Tim's sprout farm.
Tim Tyler |