An Introduction to Sprouts
Sprouts are baby plants, edible at just a few days old, when they are at their peak of nutritional goodness.
Instead of growing to full size, sprouts are harvested after just 3-6 days, which makes them highly concentrated sources of nutrition, especially protein, antioxidants and beneficial enzymes. Similar to ‘activating’ nuts or Chia seeds, this process releases the seed's nutrition and makes it available to us.
A family business of over 30 years, Skysprouts are the UK's largest producers of organic sprouts. Fully organic since 1984, they are rooted in their local community with a firm ethos of independence. Whilst sprouts can be added to almost any dish as a healthy and flavoursome topping, here are Skysprouts' personal favourites - 5 easy, vegan ways to include sprouts in your meals.
Home-made Healthy Baked Beans
Time: 15 minutes
A delicious accompaniment to toast, baked potatoes, roasted veg and poached eggs, this is a great side-dish and can be adapted to be the main event in many meals. We often use this as a pasta sauce, as mixed beansprouts can be used to substitute the protein element of any meal.
Make a tomato sauce, however you like it. We like to chop a couple of onions and a few cloves of garlic and fry them gently. Once softened, add a tin of tomato sauce. Season with vegetable stock, oregano, a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and half a teaspoon of maple syrup. Add a punnet of Mixed Beans and simmer on a low heat for around 5-10 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like your beans.
Taste until it’s how you like it. Serve over a baked potato with curried Mung Mayonnaise.
Curried Mung Mayonnaise
Time: 5 minutes
A favourite in our house, this is an essential addition to baked potatoes. Mung is known as the “detox bean” as it helps the body to get rid of water retention, detoxing whilst providing plenty of nutrients and antioxidants at the same time.
Tip a punnet of Mung Beans into a small bowl, stir in about two tablespoons of mayonnaise (we use vegan mayo), and add half a teaspoon of mild curry powder, to taste. A tiny bit of salt and a really good stir, and you’re good to go.
Cashew Coconut Curry
Time: 20 minutes
Super quick, this dinner can be made in around 20 minutes and is a perfect way to make use of the last of the summer’s courgettes.
To make enough for 2-4, spread around 200g cashew nuts onto a baking tray, sprinkle with salt, and place to roast in the oven on a low heat. Place a big dollop of coconut oil in a wok, but don’t start to heat it yet.
Add 5 finely chopped cloves of garlic, approx. 5 small courgettes sliced lengthways, a punnet of mushrooms, and a big head of broccoli chopped up nice and small. If you have them, it’s always nice to add a tin of bamboo shoots and water chestnuts.
Turn the heat on high and begin to stir-fry everything, making sure it all gets
coated in the oil. Season with a bit of soya sauce. Once it’s softened a little, add 1 tin of coconut milk, 3-4 Kaffir Lime Leaves, and a generous spoonful of vegetable stock.
Let it simmer gently for around 10 minutes until it’s all nice and soft. Keep testing the veg to see if it’s ready.
5 minutes before serving, throw in a punnet of Mung beans. Drizzle with lime and scatter with chopped coriander, before serving with fluffy rice.
Sunflower Seed Smoothie
Time: 5 minutes
Daily breakfast in our house, this is the perfect kick start to wake you up in the morning. Sprouted Sunflower is the most protein-dense sprout, as it is in fact a sprouted seed, not a bean. Full of protein as well as beneficial oils and fats to keep your skin healthy, it’s the perfect addition to a smoothie to keep you full of energy until lunch.
Into a blender, place: a banana, the juice of one orange, a handful of berries, a tablespoon of raw Cacao powder, and a tablespoon of Maca powder. Add a handful of sunflower sprouts (about a third of a punnet).
Add some water, whizz it up and serve.
Sunflower Pesto Pasta
Time: 20 minutes
Our favourite meal to cook when we don’t have anything in the house, as long as you have some sprouted sunflower you’re good to go. Sprouted sunflower seeds provide all the protein you need, so it’s a complete meal.
To make enough sauce for 2, we gently fry olive oil in a pan, with approximately 8 large finely diced tomatoes, 6 cloves of garlic, and a couple of squeezes of tomato puree.
Throw in half a punnet of sunflower sprouts, a few drops of Worcester sauce, a big spoonful of basil pesto, a teaspoon of vegetable stock, and a handful of freshly torn basil. You can also add chopped olives and capers if you wish.
Stir whilst frying gently, until it’s all nice and soft. Pour it into a blender, and pulse it a few times, until the sunflower is broken up. Depending on your preference, you can whizz it up until completely smooth, but we like it with a bit of crunch
left in it.
Serve over brown rice pasta with salad leaves and vegan parmesan cheese or yeast flakes.