Legumes are one of nature’s hardest working superfoods. Under Australian Dietary Guidelines, these nutrient-dense multitaskers are recognised as both a vegetable and a protein, and they’re officially a “functional food”- which means they deliver benefits above and beyond their nutritional value.
However, like all of us, legumes are complex little creations and the process of sprouting them ensures they reach their full potential!
Let’s take chickpeas for example, one of the most nutritious legumes. Chickpeas are a winning source of protein, dietary fiber and micronutrients like iron and magnesium, but they can also contain antinutrients. Antinutrients such as tannins and phytates interfere with digestion and reduce your body’s absorption of the very nutrients that legumes provide.
If you want to unlock and absorb the full nutritional power of chickpeas, the solution lies in the natural process of germinating and sprouting. Or as we like to call it, “Mother Nature’s Food Processing.”
Sprouting reduces antinutrients
Germination reduces and even eliminates the impact of antinutrients. When a seed starts to sprout, it kicks off a chain of tiny biochemical changes that allow it to modify and grow. As a result of these changes, the levels of vitamins and minerals increase and the number of antinutrients decrease, ultimately enhancing your body’s ability to absorb the good stuff.
The sprouting process also improves the flavour and appearance of legumes, and because it makes chickpeas easier for your body to digest, you’re much less likely to experience bloating or wind.
To unlock all the potential benefits of your legumes, choose high quality spouts and make sure you follow the instructions carefully and don’t leave them for longer than recommended. This will help stop nutrient degradation and maintain the quality of taste, appearance, and smell.
Sprouted legumes like chickpeas, mung beans and red lentils are a healthy and affordable way to enhance a plant-based diet. And did we mention versatility? Salads, dips, roasted snacks and even tacos! Is there anything these little natural wonders can’t do?
And if all you can think about right now is tacos, click here for the recipe.