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.
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.
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 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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 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.
- Try replacing alfalfa sprouts in this Humdinger sandwich
- Or, add to this superfood salad
- How about throwing some on top of this tofu, veggies, and shiitake stir fry?
- And hello, quinoa sprouts would be perfection in any of these sandwiches
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
Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.
For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
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