The benefits of sprouting

4 ways to enjoy GI-friendly grains and legumes

For a nutritional edge, consider the science of sprouting. The process involves soaking grains, nuts, legumes, or seeds in water. This makes the foods easier to digest and improves your body’s ability to absorb their nutrients. Here, four ways to add sprouted foods into your diet.

On salads: Watermelon seeds, rich in healthy fats, protein, iron, and antioxidants, are best when sprouted and dried. Soak them in water for a few days until the back shell comes loose, then roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The seeds make a stellar salad topper.

In a drink
: Rejuvelac is a citrusy tonic made from fermented, sprouted grains. Using just grains (like sprouted wheat berries) and water, it’s also simple to make at home as a tangy drink that rivals kombucha. You can buy it or make your own.

As a pasta
: Alternative pastas include sprouted varieties made from whole wheat, quinoa, or spelt. The benefit is that sprouting enhances the availability of amino acids and antioxidants.

Or a sandwich: Sprouted store-bought wheat breads are often combined with other sprouted foods like lentils, seeds, and quinoa—and the result is additional nutrients plus protein, which lowers post-meal blood sugar response, says registered dietitian Ryan Andrews, author of A Guide to Plant-Based Eating.