I like produce. I like to grow it. I like to eat it. I like to create recipes with it. I’m also kind of a nerd and like to get to know my produce. I like learning new or fun tidbits of info about the produce I’m growing/eating/baking. If you’re a weirdo like me then buckle up for this new series as I dive into a plethora of produce facts and share them with you. Here we go:
1. If you’re trying to lose weight, incorporate sprouts! Sprouts provide the body with the type of enzymes that make carbohydrates and proteins more digestible, maximizing the absorption of nutrients found in food. Plus, because sprouts are high in fiber, they can help you feel full longer and normalize blood glucose levels.
2. Although the most common sprouted beans are the mung bean and the soy bean, other types of legumes that are often sprouted are alfalfa, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, and white beans.
3. During World War II when meat was limited, scientists recommended that people eat bean sprouts because it was one of the best ways to get some extra protein in the diet.
4. If you have allergies, listen up! Sprouts act as a natural anti-histamine. They contain diamine oxidase, a natural enzyme that acts as a “scavenger” for histamine and decreases its levels in the body.
5. The Chinese have been eating sprouts for centuries for rejuvenation and healing. Makes sense that so many of their dishes contain them!
6. Sprouts can be consumed raw but one primary concern in eating uncooked bean sprouts is the risk of food-borne diseases. That’s why I always take a pass on them if I’m at a salad bar!
7. Sprout a pretty much a powerhouse of nutrients. Check out just a fraction of their long nutrient list: the Vitamin B-complex vitamins as well as Vitamins, A, C and K; omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids; amino acids; and the minerals iron, copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. Sheesh, sprouts!
8. Bean sprouts are pretty common in many East Asian dishes, and appear in Asian recipes for more than any other cuisine. They are a common ingredient in stir-frys, spring rolls and soups, or even combined with rice or noodles.
9. Sprouts can be easily germinated on your kitchen counter! Most beans can be germinated in glass jars and are ready to eat within 3 to 4 days.
10. Beans were often brought along on long sea voyages where they were sprouted and eaten while at sea to prevent scurvy.
Had you heard any of those fun facts before? Do you have any of your own to add? Is there a particular produce item you want to know more about? I take requests!
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