Posts Tagged ‘sprouts’

Bombay Buckwheaties

I found some buckwheat at the back of the cupboard. Obviously I bought it; I just don’t know why I did, as I have never eaten it, and I was not sure what to do with it.

If I was a gardener… and it was autumn…. and I had big empty vegetable plots…I could have planted it as a “green manure”. You sow it all over your beds over winter, and it kind of harvests and fixes nitrogen in your soil, and the spring plants benefit greatly. But wait…let me see… no, no and no, to all of the above. Perhaps one day 🙂

As I was in sprouting mode, I sprouted some…… and….. it was gross. But in case (after that introduction) anyone ever wants to sprout it, the instructions are below.  So anyway, facing this large mug of icky sprouts, I had an idea. I dehydrated them into a Bombay Mix, and, oh yes, it was good. I am trying to save some for my husband but it’s really moreish.

Buckwheat Bombay Mix

  • 1 1/2 cups of baby buckwheat sprouts (see below)
  • 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/8 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/8 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup date paste or liquid sweetener of choice
  • 1/2 tablespoon soft coconut oil OR  alternative oil plus 1/8 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • If you like spiciness, add something hotter….

Mix well, and dehydrate until crunchy, or failing that, bake at 180 C until golden and toasty. (How many minutes, I do not know, as I dried mine) Another way to dehydrate these is to mix with liquid sweetener like honey, and other nuts, seeds and flavourings of choice, for a granola. (Buckwheat is not related to wheat, and is gluten-free.)

One cup of buckwheat contains over 80mg of magnesium. Magnesium relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow while lowering blood pressure. Rutin and other flavonoid compounds  in buckwheat help maintain blood flow, keep platelets from clotting excessively and protect LDL (“bad”) cholesterol from free radical oxidation into potentially harmful cholesterol build-ups. All these actions help to protect against heart disease.

Wonderful!

 

Sprouting Buckwheat

  • Soak your buckwheat groats overnight.
  • Rinse very well. When soaked, buckwheat groats go kind of slimey. This is totally normal, and all you have to do is rinse and rinse in a sieve until the water runs clear.
  • Once completely clean, drain off all water, and leave your groats, covered.
  • By evening you should see tiny tails emerging; it is very quick to sprout. However, you could rinse very well, and leave one more “cycle”- i.e overnight.
  • In the morning, rinse again, and spread out between paper towel to dry thoroughly. You can refridgerate in a tupperware, or use immediately.

 

Sprouted wheatberry salad

As my wise sister once said- “A salad is only healthy, when it’s healthy”. What is more, a salad is only filling, when it’s filling.

My salads are all… plantified, as might be expected by now. A healthy salad does not have to be fat-free; on the contrary, a good dose of healthy fat will add to the nutritional value of your lunch and help satiate you. Some vitamins are even better absorbed in the presence of fat. But we are talking healthy fats here, so definitely think avocado rather than bacon bits, and a creamy home-made almond-based dressing rather than a shop-bought sour-cream affair.

As for being filling; obviously leaves and most vegetable-fruits are quite high in water and you need to eat more of them to feel full. Add some denser things like grated root vegetables, crumbled up walnuts/pecans, seeds, an avocado, or make your dressing a bit more satiating than just salt and balsamic. (By satiating I mean fatty!)

The other thing you can do is make a cooked grain salad;  I don’t mean white pasta, I mean a grain, like it grew in the earth; quinoa (Okay, it’s a seed), cooked wheat berries, wholegrain rice or bulgur wheat (okay, okay, bulgur wheat is processed. But it’s similar in taste and texture to couscous but more nutritious, as couscous is white unless otherwise stated) Then balance your cooked grain with lots of raw vegetables for colour, crunch and lovely-jubbly antioxidants and vitamins.

Of course if you are feeling particularly earthy and plant loving, you can make a sprouted grain salad instead of cooked grains. You won’t be able to sprout most shop rices or barleys because they have been blanched, or bulgur wheat (it’s not a whole grain and it’s been partly cooked) Try wheat berries or quinoa, though quinoa, being so tiny, is kind of….crunchy when you sprout it. Almost gritty. Not cool. Wheat berries are chewey, and I really like them now.

For example:

  • 1 cup sprouted wheatberries
  • 1/4 cup of dried apple pieces (Did I mention I love my dehydrator?)
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1 cup chopped Romaine or Little Gem lettuce
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot ((optional….as is everything in a salad isn’t it?)

 

 

 

 

Dress with:

  • 3/4T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1t honey

By the way, I love having a nearly-two-year old. They don’t turn their noses up at anything! Isaac was eating raw kale, wheat sprouts, red onion….it was a beautiful bonding moment.*sigh*….

Sprout, Connect with the earth, c’mon, you know you want to!

Okay, I am seriously not trying to be all mother earthy, but one of the reasons I like sprouting is that I feel more connected to nature. It’s the same as gardening, only waaaay quicker till harvest day.

 I love that, if you want to add some sprouts to your salad, you have to have thought ahead and begun sprouting them a couple of days before.I love that, because it reminds me of our dependence on the sun, and water for our food to grow- not Tesco…. 

 I love that you have to be patient, you cannot have it now-now-now. You are basically planting your wee crops on your wee windowsill, caring for them, and waiting for harvest day.

I love that when you eat them, you are eating food that is still living; full of it’s natural enzymes, and in many cases the nutritional content, in particular vitamin C, is multiplying by the day. Yes, multiplying! As opposed to depleting, which is what happens once you pick a fruit or vegetable from the plant, and leave it sitting around. In some cases, the grain or seed has no active Vitamin C until it germinates; wheat, for example. Once germinated it turns into a tiny plant, and within 2-3 days it is packed with Vitamin C. How cool is that? I love it.

Oh, and it takes “local” to a new level. Hello? How many air centimetres from windowsill to salad bowl?? Dig that carbon footprint reduction baby!

Loads of people think they don’t like sprouts, but that’s like saying “I don’t like vegetables” ; they all taste completely different, so I bet there are some you could enjoy. You can sprout beans like mung beans, pulses like chickpeas, seeds, like sunflower/broccoli/alfalfa…..grains, like wheat berries, seed-grains like quinoa. And a very very long etcetera.

You won’t be able to sprout anything that has been heated, as it’s enzymes, and ability to “wake up” and begin to reproduce itself,  are dead. So, most oat groats and barley will not sprout unless you source them from somewhere that specifically mentions that it does not blanch them. I bet oat groats, sprouted are delicious. Next on my list.

So here is how you sprout. You don’t need anything fancy. I just do it with a sieve and covered container.

The short explanation: Soak, Drain, Rinse,Drain,Rinse, Drain, Rinse, Drain, Refridgerate, Eat.

The slightly longer explanation:.

  • Soak your little seeds/grains/beans.Overnight is fine, some need less.
  • Drain well. You want them to be moist, but not sitting in water or they may rot.
  • Leave them covered, for about 8 hours. On a counter top is fine. You want them in darkness, so cover the container completely if you use glass.
  • After about 8 hours, rinse, and drain, and leave again.
  • It’s just a rinse and drain cycle until you like how much they have sprouted. Basically, if your kitchen is not too hot, morning and evening is adequate. If it is very warm, maybe once at lunchtime aswell in case they dry out.
  • Once you like the look of your sprouts, spread them out well on paper towel to dry a little, and then keep them in the fridge in a tupperware for your salads and wraps. They will pretty much stop growing in the fridge, but will still be alive. Hooray!
  • Eat. (see below)

For more specific info for each bean/seed/grain, go to www.sproutpeople.org It is a really really cool website if you want to start sprouting. If you live in the US you can buy organic seeds/grains/beans fromthem for sprouting (they have everything you can imagine) but mainly I like it for the information.

Then, eat your sprouts. Raw or cooked? I always eat mine raw, because when I don’t want to kill all the multiplied nutritional goodness, and I just like them as they are. Mainly in salads, and in green wraps, or regular wholewheat wraps. Sprouted wheatberries are nice sprinkled on overnight oats, or onto home-made muesli or granola, or smushed up with raisins and cinnamon in a food processor- see here.

 Some people sprout, though because it reduces cooking time. A newly sprouted chickpea can be steamed in about 10 minutes, by all accounts. Others sprout for digestibility; some people do not get on well with wheat, but when sprouted, can digest it fine. (The sprout people have more info about why this is so)

And that’s all there is to it! The cheapest and easiest way to eat Super Foods; I do believe they take the nutritional biscuit (appropriate phrase? not sure) for super-ness, even if the “gurus” have not classified them as “Superfoods”.  Plus, you get the warm glow of knowing you grew them yourself.  *Satisfied sigh*.

PS. Here’s a nutritioney bit, if you are interested. Many sprouts like clover, broccoli and alfalfa contain concentrated amounts of phytochemicals (plant compounds) that can protect us against disease. Plant estrogens are also abundant in sprouts. They increase bone formation and density and prevent bone breakdown or osteoporosis. They are also helpful in controlling hot flashes, menopause, and PMS.

Alfalfa sprouts are one of our finest food sources of another compound, saponins. Saponins lower the bad cholesterol and fat but not the good HDL fats. Animal studies have proved their benefit in arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular health.

Sprouts also contain an abundance of highly active antioxidants that prevent DNA destruction and can protect us from the ongoing effects of aging. Not surprising, since they represent the miracle of new life, in the plant world. And we can choose to eat it. Thank you!

Inside-out B.L.T

OK, so there’s no bacon in it, obviously. But there is my unctious smoky walnut pate that I have created and feel very proud of. That’s my bacon and it’s just the way I like it.And, yes, my sandwich is inside out.

So. One day, some time ago, I was recipe googling, and I came across something called a “raw wrap”. What on earth is a raw wrap? I wondered….all for some extra raw wholefood plant ingredients in my day, I clicked on the link. I was deeply disappointed. It was like a burrito affair (no beef of course) wrapped in a leaf. A lettuce leaf. It may have even been a collard green leaf which are considerably tougher and…greener in appearance. “Are these people on drugs??” I thought. “Who would trade in a lovely floury wrap, even a wholemeal one, for a leaf?!

 And here I am now. Rolling lettuce leaf wraps. Willingly. Joyfully. And totally enjoying the taste, and texture. I could not help but end it up here.It was unavoidable really. You see, it’s the law.

The key to loving a “raw wrap”, or green wrap, is a beautiful pate/spread base. God is kind, and has given us the avocado, so you need go no further than that. Just mash it and eat it in it’s bare naked glory, or add whatever you fancy (salt, lemon or lime juice, cilantro, red onion, chilli peppers) Then top with grated carrot, chopped tomato, diced celery, corn, chopped olives,the list goes on.

However, if you want to get a little more elaborate…though it’s not really that elaborate (just throw into a mini chopper and whizz) you can make a yummy healthy nut or seed based spread. In this case, my smoky walnut pate.  There are lots of other wonderful options; home made hummous, sunflower seed pates, cashew cheeses, olive pates. I will add recipes for spreads and dips as I go along. I still think the avocado is king, for majestic simplicity and versatility. And deliciosity just plain yumminess.   Not to mention, hello? HOW good for you?

So. Here is how to roll your own. It’s as easy as….rolling up a leaf. Place your lettuce leaf, for example a romaine leaf, or a round, frilly type “continental lettuce” (sorry to all you gardeners out there. I don’t know many lettuce names)

Spread generously with your smoky pate, or spread of choice. Be generous.(Looking at my photo, I was quite stingy…) Top with your choice of fillings, in this case: walnut pate, chopped tomato, avocado, and- don’t forget your wheat sprouts! That’s the very best way to eat wheat, alive and bursting with enzymes and nutrients. Sprinkle your “bread” on the inside of your wrap, and a pinch of sea salt if you like.

Note to self, spread to the edges.

 .Now roll, roll, roll, and enjoy.

rollaliciously raw deliciousness, full of life!

Bet you never knew that there are some roll-ups that actually nurture your beautiful organism! Wishing you all a great day!

Sprouted Wheat Cinnamon Cereal

I am a great lover of cinnamon, but not a great lover of sprouted wheat. My head loves sprouted wheat, I mean, what’s not to love about these little babies, when you sprout them, their nutritional value explodes. Attention:

Research undertaken at the University of Minnesota, USA, showed that at 3 days of sprouting, much of the original carbohydrate is converted to natural sugars, making it less mucus forming. During the 3 days of sprouting, the antioxiadant vitamin E content can increase 300%, vitamin C increase 600%, and the B vitamins have been found to increase from 20% to 1200%, with B17, the ‘anti-cancer vitamin’ 100% more than in unsprouted seed. The protein content increases by 300% in the third day of sprouting, compared to the unsprouted wheat seed.

Hungarian doctors have developed a potentially effective medicine against cancer known as Avemar This drug is made from….no kidding….wheat sprout extract and apparently in animal research it has been proven effective in preventing the occurrence of metastasis in cancer cells.

Nevertheless, I don’t find them that tasty, they’re just….alright, and I think it’s against the rules to eat something you do not really enjoy “just because it’s good for you”….So, having said all that, for some reason, once in a while I sprout a small handful of wheat……ok, let’s see….nope, still don’t really like it….until I was sent this recipe by Karen Knowler, and in return for using her wonderful recipe, here comes her shameless plug; Karen is known as “The Raw Food Coach”  and publishes “Successfully Raw” – a free weekly eZine for raw food lovers . If you’re ready to look good, feel great and create a raw life you love get your FREE tips, tools and recipes now here. (note from me: When you sign up for her newsletter you get a fantastic free e-book called “Go Raw for a Day”)

So….It is actually a recipe for Essene bread. But when I tasted it, I liked it so much that I did not bother even dehydrating it into bread; I chopped it with some banana  and some almond milk and enjoyed it as is…or rather, Was. With my head, AND my palate. And it only has 3 ingredients; now, my cup runneth o’er! Read on.

I normally eat my sprouts after 48 hours of sprouting because from then on they feel a little hairy, and that just seems…wrong….(though I do like alfalfa sprouts which definitely score highly on a scale of one to hairy) So, I may not have quite as many zeros on my nutritional info as the University of Minnesota, but I can live with that.

If you have never sprouted grains/seeds/beans before, it is very easy, and there is lots of information online. I shall write a post on it at a later date due to current time constraints.

Take your itty- bitty sprouted wheat berries , and remember this is LIVE food, it is still alive and still growing and is packed ful of nutrients and enzymes….and begin.

  • 1 cup wheat sprouts (a scant 1/2 cup dry wheat will become about a cup of sprouted wheat)
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Put into your food processor, (for these quantities, a standard food processor may be too large. I use a Mini Chopper and think no kitchen should be without one) and blitz until the raisins are pulverized and the grains are somewhat broken down (I like a bit of texture). Please note, this really does not taste raisin-ey, or sprout-ey….it does, however, taste cinnamon-ey. I just thought I’d say.

Add chopped banana, cold Almond milk (for example) and some chopped pecans if desired, and above all, enjoy!

photo soon………..

P.S. Following my joyful discovery of cinnamon wheat sprout cereal, I began to see wheat sprouts in a new light, and am looking for new ways to genuinely enjoy them. You can cook wheat berries, as an alternative grain in cooked meals, but once sprouted, I would certainly not eat them any way but raw, why would you annihilate all of those wonderful vitamins??Any suggestions welcome.

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