If you are looking to increase protein in your meals, get long-lasting energy and save money, then look no further than sprouts.

While the law of gravity is in full effect 24/7, sprouts defy this law. They break through the ground (and often even asphalt) and grow upwards, towards the sun. If you want to have this kind of groundbreaking, gravity-defying energy, then start incorporating sprouts in your meals.

While legumes and seeds contain the building blocks of life in the form of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids, their dormant energy can only be awakened by sprouting.

Recent research by the American Cancer Society has backed what holistic nutrition has known for years: that sprouts contain anti-cancer properties, high levels of active antioxidants, concentrated amounts of phytochemicals and significant amounts of vitamins A, C and D. 

SPROUTING MADE AS EASY AS 1-2-3!

1. Soak mung beans or lentils in cool water overnight

2. In the morning rinse the beans and put them in a strainer. Leave them in for the afternoon, preferably away from direct light.

3. Rinse the beans twice during the day and leave in a strainer overnight. They are ready to eat the following morning.

Watch your sprouts as they grow. I find it absolutely fascinating seeing them come to live!
You can also sprout adzuki beans, whole green peas or chickpeas, but they do require a little more time than lentils or mung beans. I don’t recommend sprouting other beans since research has shown they are toxic.

Z-TIP: If you are on a tight budget, buy a one-pound bag of either Goya whole peas, chickpeas or lentils for $1 each at your local Publix. One pound of dry beans can yield about four pounds of sprouts, which means this rich protein food costs only 25 cents a pound!

Here are some great ways to serve up sprouts:

·    Add to salads

·    Combine with other vegetables in wraps, roll-ups or stir-fries

·    Use as garnish on top of soups, stews, omelets or scrambled eggs

·    Mix with hummus and add to sandwiches

·    Mix with nuts and enjoy as a savory snack

·    Juice sunflower sprouts

WHERE TO BUY:

If you don’t want to grow your own sprouts or simply want to try different varieties, my two favorite local companies for the best quality product are Got Sprouts? and Universal Living Sprouts.

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About Alina Z.

Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida,  Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinaz.com, or follow her on Facebook (facebook.com/CoutureFood) or Twitter (@CoutureFood). The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.