The new MyPlate model from the USDA places a higher significance on vegetables than its predecessor, the food pyramid. I find that I really have to work to get that many vegetables in my diet! It means making vegetables the focus of my meal – which means I need to find ways to make salads fun, exciting, and delicious!
One of my recent discoveries is that I love alfalfa sprouts. They give a delicious crunch and texture to an otherwise boring salad. The good news is, they are incredibly good for you and easy to grow in your own kitchen!
Health Benefits of Alfalfa Sprouts:
Alfalfa sprouts are among the top antioxidant providers of vegetables, containing beta carotene and isoflavones that protect your body’s cells.
Enzymes, Vitamins, and Minerals
Alfalfa sprouts contain several important enzymes, which help to assimilate protein, carbohydrates and fats. Alfalfa sprouts also contain essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and the bioflavonoids vitamin K, vitamin P, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium, folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine and zinc. Wow!
Alfalfa sprouts are abundant in chlorophyll – found to provide many health benefits, including enhanced delivery of oxygen to cells and tissues, assimilation of vitamins and minerals, and anti-inflammation.
Alfalfa sprouts contain approximately 1 g of protein per cup.
You can grow your own alfalfa sprouts in just a few days! You’ll need a 1 Qt. size canning jar with lid ring, fabric screen, alfalfa seeds, and water.
- Place 2 T. alfalfa seeds in the jar with about 1 cup of water. Let soak over night.
- The next day, place lid with screen (you can also buy these premade) over jar and pour water out. The seeds should remain in the jar. Set the jar on the counter and wait.
- Rinse seeds with water in the jar at least once per day, draining each time.
- Your sprouts should begin to show in a few days! When they are done, rinse once more and then spread sprouts out on a clean dish towel to dry.