A stringy, delicate sprout, alfalfa is a legume that is high in B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Adding these sprouts to your cooking is a healthy way to boost the nutrient content of your meals. Cooking alfalfa sprouts also helps to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination.
Make spring rolls with alfalfa sprouts and other ingredients such as sliced carrots, corn and pre-cooked shredded chicken. Wrap the mix in individual rice papers and steam them.
Toss a handful of alfalfa sprouts into your stir-fry, just as you are finishing cooking it. Let the sprouts cook for about 30 seconds before removing the stir-fry from the heat. This allows the alfalfa sprouts to cook without becoming wilted.
Add alfalfa sprouts to your soups, stews and curries. When the dish is completely cooked, reduce the heat to a simmer and toss in the sprouts. Cook for about 30 seconds and remove from the burner. This will cook the sprouts without making them soft and mushy.
Top pizza with alfalfa sprouts and other vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers and onions. You can also mix chopped sprouts with the tomato sauce before spreading it onto the pizza. Or, add alfalfa sprouts to your pasta and meatloaf dishes.
Place alfalfa sprouts in the fridge after purchasing to keep them crisp and moist for about four to five days.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration issued a warning following several cases of Salmonella bacteria food poisoning due to contaminated alfalfa sprouts. It is important to avoid eating raw alfalfa sprouts unless the FDA deems that it is safe to do so. Cooking alfalfa sprouts helps to reduce this risk, however it is still important to purchase sprouts only from reputable sellers.
Nadia Haris is a registered radiation therapist who has been writing about nutrition for more than six years. She is completing her Master of Science in nutrition with a focus on the dietary needs of oncology patients.