Mzansi’s forward thinking farmers are inspiring ordinary South Africans to cultivate their own food in their kitchens. And if you’re going to take a stab at growing your own food, you might as well start with sprouts, experts say.
Ayanda Siphosothando Satula (30), from Gompo in Emonti in the Eastern Cape, says she was exposed to sprouts about a year ago while she was establishing her own garden.
“My garden is always filled with spring onion, spinach, and a variety of herbs that I can use in my daily cooking. But I needed something that I could use in my salads to give them extra yummy flavour,” she says.
Sprouting is when seeds and legumes are germinated and eaten raw in salads and other dishes.
Packed with power
After noticing how quickly they sprouted, curiosity had Satula wondering if the tails were edible. Turning to a variety of vegetarian cookbooks for research, she was stunned to find out that they were a nutrient powerhouse.
“From then on, I’ve used sunflower sprouts as my special ingredient to add a delicious, nutty, and scrumptious flavour to my salads. Not only do they elevate the taste, but they are super healthy and super easy to grow,” she explains.
Fortunate Tibe, a health enthusiast from Matatiele in the Eastern Cape, says she incorporates sprouts in her daily meals because they are easily digestible. It also improves her gut health.
An added bonus is that she can easily grow them in the comfort of her home without spending money on animal protein.
Sprouts support healthy digestion as they are high in fibre, and they can even improve insulin resistance, reduce heart disease and fight cancer. This is according to Danielle Oldfield, a registered dietitian, holistic health, and wellness coach based in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
“Raw sprouts, especially broccoli sprouts, are full of a compound, called sulforaphane, that can help upregulate your antioxidant system creating a powerful immune system,” Oldfield explains.
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