Protein Packed Snack with A Nutrient Dense Punch
As a women’s health coach, I work with a lot of busy mums. These bloody superheros are the glue keeping everything BUT with all the best intensions in the world their nutrition sometimes is falls by the way-side. This is one of the reasons, I am always looking for quick, easy & powerful hacks to up their (and my) nutritional game.
If you’re looking for something to pimp-up your next snack or meal, I’d encourage you to give sprouts a go.
Easy to digest
Packed full of nutrients like folate, phosphorus, calcium, protein and vitamin K
Easy to grow, all you need is water and two days
Perfect for people with gut absorption issues, leaky gut, IBS or if you generally react with gas and bloating when eating beans or legumes
Increases nutrient absorption including B12, iron, magnesium & zinc
Unlocks beneficial digestive enzymes
Tip: if you usually react to beans or legumes, try a few sprouts first and wait 2 hours before having a more generous portion.
The reason that some people struggle with indigestion is because we aren’t designed to break down anti-nutrients in plants. Anti-nutrients block the absorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Luckily, sprouting and soaking seeds can break these anti-nutrients down, making grains, seeds, beans & legumes more digestible and at the same time, unlocking healthy compounds found in plant foods. (1)
Studies have found that sprouting increases the availability of nutrients. This includes folate, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, zinc, protein and vitamin K.
Soak bean/legume in filtered water (see chart below for timings for different plants)
Leave out on the side, out of direct sunlight in a sprouting jar or tray for at least one day.
They are ready to eat as soon as you see the little sprouty tail
Pop them in the fridge in the same jar with an airtight lid and store for 2-3 days
Tip: The sprouting jars and seeds from Avogel uk health are a good place to start
In fact these little gems have more nutrients than the full grown plant so a handful of these gems on your eggs in the morning or over a salad or soup is a total non-brainer.
If you're a total beginner, mung beans are a great one to start.
Quick to sprout & really yummy.
Thanks to Dr Axe for his sprouting chart below which provides timings and ideas for different beans, legumes, grains and seeds to soak and then sprout.
Beans and Legumes
Chickpeas: 8–12 hours soaking, 2–3 days for sprouting
Lentils: 8 hours soaking, 2–3 days for sprouting
Adzuki beans: 8 hours soaking, 2–3 days for sprouting
Black beans: 8–12 hours soaking, 3 days for sprouting
White beans: 8 hours soaking, 2–3 days for sprouting
Mung beans: 24 hours soaking, 1–5 days for sprouting
Kidney beans: 8–12 hours soaking, 5–7 days for sprouting
Navy beans: 9–12 hours soaking, 2–3 days for sprouting
Peas: 9–12 hours soaking, 2–3 days for sprouting
It’s not recommended to sprout red kidney beans as they contain a very toxic lectin called phytohaemagglutinin.
Buckwheat: 30 minutes–6 hours soaking (time varies), 2–3 days for sprouting
Amaranth: 8 hours soaking, 1–3 days for sprouting
Kamut: 7 hours soaking, 2–3 days for sprouting
Millet: 8 hours soaking, 2–3 days for sprouting
Steel Cut Oats (Irish Oats): 6 hours soaking, 2–3 days for sprouting
Quinoa: 4 hours soaking, 1–3 days for sprouting
Wheat berries: 7 hours soaking, 3–4 days for sprouting
Wild rice: 9 hours soaking, 3–5 days for sprouting
Black rice: 9 hours soaking, 3–5 days for sprouting
Radish seeds: 8–12 hours soaking, 3–4 days for sprouting
Alfalfa seeds: 12 hours soaking, 3–5 days for sprouting
Pumpkin seeds: 8 hours soaking, 1–2 days for sprouting
Sesame seeds: 8 hours soaking, 1–2 days for sprouting
Sunflower seeds: 8 hours soaking, 2–3 days for sprouting
Broccoli seeds: 12 hours soaking, 2–3 days for sprouting
Broccoli sprouts are a favourite of mine as they can help the body with estrogen dominance by regulating your hormone levels and reducing the amount of estrogen present in your system through detox pathways. Estrogen dominance can affect a woman’s body in many ways including abnormal menstruation, headaches, bloating, anxiety, breast tenderness, endometriosis, fibroids, hormonal weight gain and some cancers (breast, ovarian & uterine).
My go-to ‘running out of the door’ snack is a spoonful of hummus with a pinch of mung bean or alfalfa sprouts. Super yummy, packed full of protein and it will keep you full and stop those sugar cravings in their tracks.
The kids love them too.
For more protein snack ideas, check out my recipe for these nutrient dense chocolate balls.
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Let's take care of you.