If you haven’t already entered the world of sprouting: welcome! As part of a traditional practice with nutritional benefits to boot, it’s an exciting place to be. Before we go on, let’s give a hand to the celebrities of the sprouting world: grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. The spotlight tonight is on a new celeb: quinoa. Being a “pseudocereal,” quinoa fits in nicely between grains and legumes.

Why Quinoa?

Quinoa basically gives you superpowers, that’s why. Well, okay, maybe you still won’t be able to fly, but quinoa does have super health benefits to make your body feel like it could fly! For instance, it’s high in manganese, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, fiber, folate, and zinc. Quinoa also boasts more vitamin E than any other grain. Packed in between all these nutrients are a plethora of flavonoids that offer concentrated antioxidant strength.

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And you can’t forget about all the fuss over quinoa’s protein content. Quinoa is a featured source of plant-based protein because it contains two prized amino acids, lysine, and isoluence. These two amino acids are commonly too low or not included at all in other plant proteins but not quinoa! Quinoa also has heart-healthy fats so overall it’s a pretty awesome staple for meals. To learn more about quinoa, check out these health benefits, tips, and recipes!

Sprouting

sprout quinoa vegan diet

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Sprouting is a simple “set and go” process that leaves you with even more nutritional benefits than when an ingredient is intact in its initial state. Quinoa will germinate, which, in turn, allows for easier digestion and absorption of nutrients. Sprouting and soaking also decrease the level of phytic acid, an enzyme inhibitor, that can block absorption of vitamins and minerals, and can cause poor digestion and disruption of healthy gut bacteria. Sprouting is easy although you have to be patient for those little sprouts to grow. Here are the steps to make about 2 cups of sprouted quinoa:

  1. Rinse 1 – 1.5 cups of quinoa thoroughly with cold water. Place the quinoa into a 1-quart mason jar. Fill this jar to the top with more cold water. Let it soak for about six hours.
  2. Pour out the water and put a sprouting lid on the jar. This lid can also be used as a strainer. Or, you can use a fine mesh strainer. After you pour the water out, set the jar with the sprouting lid on upside down in a bowl/container to catch excess dripping water.
  3. About every 6 or so hours (or whenever you have time to/remember), rinse the quinoa with water, pour out, and put the jar upside down over the bowl again.
  4. It will take a day or two for sprouts to form. Once you see little-thread-like spouts coming from the quinoa, place the quinoa on a tray or plate and cover with a cloth or parchment paper to keep away dust. Move this tray away from direct sunlight and keep at room temperature. Allow time for the quinoa to fully dry out
  5. Store in a sealed plastic bag or sealed glass container in the refrigerator to keep cool and ensure freshness. It’s best to use these sprouts within two weeks!

Now What?

Now that you have all these little quinoa sprouts full of crisp nutty flavor, it’s time to have fun in the kitchen! Sprouted quinoa is great in salads and sandwiches, just like alfalfa sprouts, and is also a delicious addition to stir-fries. Get creative and you can’t go wrong.

To learn more about sprouting and sprouting grains, check out these great articles! Health Benefits of Eating Sprouts + Sprouting Tips and How to Sprout Your Own Healthy Grains

Resources: How to sprout quinoa/Healy Real Food Vegetarian

Image Source: Shutterstock

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