In addition to fruits, berries and nuts, there are numerous grains, vegetables and seeds that deserve the name Superfood. They score points with vitamins, minerals and secondary plant substances.
Supergrains and Superveggies - even more Superfoods
- Written by VeVeRo
- Published in Blog
- Date: Wednesday, 27 November 2019 16:41
- Read: 7 times
Part III: Plant power from grains, vegetables and sprouts
The term superfood covers so many foods that we at VeVeRo have dedicated a small series to them. The first part was about trendy berries and fruits from Germany and Europe as well as from overseas. Part two belonged to the fats: Nuts, almonds and vegetable oils provide healthy fatty acids that make us fit instead of fat. In the following article we turn to Supergrains and Superveggies, seeds, grains and vegetables that are raw, processed or germinated real nutrient bombs. Read also how you can grow your own sprouts at home.
Grain - old varieties rediscovered
They are on everyone's lips in the truest sense of the word: original cereals with healthy ingredients. Emmer, spelt, one-grained wheat and co. experience a comeback. And the pseudo cereals, hardly any health-conscious cuisine without millet, quinoa or buckwheat, to name just a few. They provide high-quality protein, B vitamins and a comparatively high amount of iron. Quinoa is available in different colours, which also taste different. In the case of millet, a distinction can be made between varieties with larger and smaller grains, such as the teff.
It is worth soaking teff for up to two hours before cooking, as this reduces the phytine content. The substance hinders the absorption of micronutrients such as iron or zinc. Buckwheat tastes a bit bitter and nutty. It can be served as a cutlet, soup or breakfast porridge and is partially suitable as a flour substitute.
The three pseudo cereals are gluten-free and can be grown in Germany. However, many varieties - also organically grown - come from Asia or South America.
Superveggies bring colour to the plate
The more colourful and varied our diet, the more different nutrients our food provides. The great colours of the different kinds of vegetables already indicate their special ingredients. Red and orange vegetables such as peppers and carrots provide plenty of beta-carotene. The precursor of vitamin A keeps eyes and mucous membranes healthy.
Green vegetables provide particularly high levels of iron and folic acid. Iron is essential for oxygen transport in the blood, folic acid plays an important role in cell metabolism. Both are, for example, abundant in broccoli or kale.
Red cabbage, on the other hand, gets its great colour from anthocyanins. These blue-red dyes are secondary plant substances. There is evidence that they have an antioxidant, blood pressure lowering, anti-inflammatory and even antibiotic effect.
Red cabbage tastes raw as a salad or cooked with strong spices such as pimento, bay laurel and juniper berry. Since red cabbage is frequently cultivated in Germany, it is a genuine local superfood.
Sprouts and Microgreens - small but oho
Sprouts and Microgreens are spicy supplements on breads and salads. They grow from leguminous planets, cereal grains and seeds of vegetables or herbs. With sufficient water, time and light, small nutrient bombs are created.
To avoid misunderstandings: seedlings and sprouts are actually something different. A seedling is a young plant that develops from a seed. It includes the sprout, first small roots and leaves. The sprout is actually the above-ground growing part of a plant. In the kitchen, however, the term sprouts is also common for seedlings.
For some time now, the term microgreens has also been used. These are young plants that can grow up to the first real leaves. For example on a cress sieve. This takes about 10-14 days, after which the seeds are harvested just above the seed. If the plants are to grow longer, they need a little soil. A classic microgreen is cress. But also seeds of alfalfa, radish, beetroot, coriander, basil, broccoli or red cabbage grow quickly.
In sprouts we also eat seeds and roots. They ripen even faster than Micorgreens.
Growing sprouts - this is how it works
First you need a seed variety suitable for germination and ideally a germination glass. This can drain off excess water during germination. To activate the seeds, they are first soaked. At the end of the soaking time, rinse the seeds well again, they are now ready to grow in the germinal glass.
Hygiene is a top priority! During germination, the seeds must be rinsed two to three times a day so that they do not spoil. After three to four days the harvest time begins for some varieties. Eat the sprouts soon, then they are the best! It makes sense to wash the sprouts before eating them. A mixture of one part apple vinegar or lemon juice and approx. 15-20 parts water is suitable for this. The sprouts remain in it for 10 minutes. The drying succeeds in the sieve or in a salad spinner, thereby also many seed shells will separate.
Many varieties are suitable for germination that are also considered superfood when fully grown: for example broccoli, buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, linseed, beetroot or red cabbage. Grains such as oats, barley or wheat and classics such as alfalfa, radishes or mung beans also enrich the diet and nutrient intake. It is important that legume sprouts are not eaten raw, for example blanched briefly. Otherwise they contain inhibitors and substances that clump the red blood cells. Exceptions are alfalfa seedlings, mung beans and lentils.
Remark: The topic lectin, the substance of the plants for the defense of rodents, is extensive and not black&white as so often described. We bring a blog post to this topic.
The inner values of the seedlings
The special thing about seeds is that they contain everything a plant needs to grow. During the germination process, the content of some substances even increases. For example, sprouts provide vitamin C, plenty of B vitamins, high-quality protein and secondary plant substances. These include carotenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, glucosinolates and phytosterols. There is evidence that many of these substances are anticarcinogenic, most of them antioxidant and many antimicrobial.
In addition there is another advantage of germination. The above-mentioned phytic acid, which can hinder the absorption of micronutrients, is degraded. It is found in cereals and pulses.
Superpowers thanks to Superfoods?
Although superfoods do not give us superforces, they are a valuable part of our diet. If you want a balanced and healthy diet to keep you fit and fit, it is best to use foods with plenty of valuable ingredients. And the so-called superfoods certainly offer that, no matter whether berries, sprouts, nuts or vegetables.
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