Give Your Classic BLT A Fresh Twist With Alfalfa Sprouts

If lunchtime rolls around and you're craving something heartier than a PB&J but lighter than a turkey cub, a classic BLT sandwich is the way to go. Crisp lettuce, crunchy bacon, and juicy tomato topped with a smattering of creamy mayonnaise — it's practically got the whole food pyramid covered in one convenient toasted package. And while it's pretty hard to strike out when making this simple sandwich, there are plenty of ways to build an even better BLT, from marinating the tomatoes in tangy red wine vinegar to drizzling the bacon with hot honey for a touch of sweet heat

There's no question whether the results of either method are worth it, but both of those approaches do take some extra time — which you might be short on in the middle of the afternoon. So if you're looking for an especially easy and quick way to upgrade your plain ol' BLT, we suggest freshening it up with a sprinkling of alfalfa sprouts. Let's just say it'll be a BLAST (get it?).

Here's why you'll love it: First, the light, stringy sprouts will instantly add some interesting texture to your sandwich, padding the crunchy ingredients with a mossy fluff of greens. Most importantly, though, they'll round out the taste of the savory, salty bacon with a bright yet subtle earthiness, well-matched by the zesty flavorings of the lettuce and tomato. The best part? Unless you plan on growing the alfalfa sprouts yourself, there's no extra cooking or preparation required.

Alfalfa sprouts add healthy density to a BLT and beyond

Not only do alfalfa sprouts bring a fresher flavor and mouthfeel to any sandwich (BLT or otherwise), but the slender shoots are also an excellent choice if you're hoping to bulk up a dish without quite weighing it down. A cross between an herb and a legume, the unique ingredient is light on the plate, but incredibly dense in healthy nutrients. For one thing, alfalfa sprouts are a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, copper, manganese, and folate, in addition to protein and fiber. Consuming the sprouts may also provide antioxidant benefits and help to lower cholesterol and blood sugar. And at just 8 calories a cup, that's all the more reason to pile them on to your sandwiches, salads, burgers, and more. And when it comes back to your BL(AS)T, you can feel free to load up the maple-smoked bacon and homemade mayonnaise. So long as you've got a trusty package of alfalfa sprouts at the ready, you can easily ensure that your savory sandwich is as healthy and wholesome as can be — and all it takes is a little handful.

You can also take a page from our recipe developer Miriam Hahn and create a more veggie-focused lunchtime bite in the form of her loaded sprouts sandwich, which is stacked with avocado, hummus, tomatoes, and, of course, plenty of sprouts. We won't tell if you sneak on a few strips of bacon, though.