“Stop treating your stomach like a compost and start treating it like a garden!” Steve Meyerowitz aka Sproutman
By Dana Zia
How’s your year of wellness going? Mine is doing good so far, which I think is a new record that I actually made it to the middle of January still inspired. It feels so good to be eating healthy and caring for myself. One of the habits I love to do but had totally forgotten about is growing my own sprouts.
Sprouts are probably the number one super foods that you could possible eat. They are nutritional complete, chocked full of vitamins, minerals, proteins, chlorophyll and enzymes. They are low in calories and contain nutritional super powers. Amazingly enough, the industrious Chinese discovered their nutritional value over 5,000 years ago.
The reason sprouts are so super charged is because they contain all the elements a plant needs for life and growth. The endosperm of the seed is the storehouse of carbohydrates, protein, RNA, DNA and nutrients. When sprouts are used as food, the powerful life force in them is released into the body. These essential nutrients, only found in live foods, signal the body to generate healthy cells and fuel us with new vigor and life. Sprouts are basically miniature fountains of youth!
There is just one tiny problem; you really can’t buy them anymore ever since commercially grown sprouts have gotten a bad reputation of handing out tainted sprouts occasionally. Fortunately this is an easy problem to cure…grow your own. Growing you own sprouts is easy and safe, takes very little equipment, provides fresh, organic, produce all year long, and is really cheap. Oh, I forgot to mention, it’s actually quite fun.
The simplest way to get started is to get a quart mason jar, buy a screened lid at Mother Nature’s, or make your own and get sprouting. (You can also get sprouting seeds from Mother Nature’s.) I personally like to use a sprouting cup from Frontier Natural Products which are fairly affordable and you get a higher quality of sprout.
I have experimented with many a sprout tray and found my favorites are the “Easy Sprout” and the “Sprout Master.” These trays, seeds, and directions on how to grow sprouts in trays and in a jar are on the web. My personal favorite is sproutpeople.com. A very good book to read about how to sprout and the enormous benefits of them is “Sprouts; the Miracle Food” by Steve Meyerowitz aka “Sprout man.” Meyerowitz, who is a passionate believer, healed himself of asthma and severe allergies by eating lots of sprouts.
You can sprout just about any seed that hasn’t been roasted. Some of the favorites are;
Alfalfa sprouts are what people typically think of when you mention sprouts. They are chocked full of protein and antioxidants.
Broccoli sprouts have just recently become popular after it was discovered that they abound with the amazing cancer-fighting phytochemical, sulforaphane.
Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are a good source of fiber and can be sprouted to make delightfully delicious hummus.
Lentil sprouts, (one of my favs) are very tasty and can be eaten raw or cooked.
Mung bean sprouts are super high in protein, fiber and Vit C. They should be sprouted in the dark to avoid a bitter flavor.
Radish sprouts taste just like radishes, bright and fresh. Loaded with Vitamin C. They are great on sandwiches or in salads.
There is something completely satisfying about growing your own food, especially in the dead of the winter. I am always amazed with how clear and vital I feel after eating sprouts. You will be able to feel the difference almost immediately. You will feel like a super sprout yourself by eating and growing your own sprouts with very little effort.
Legume Sprout Salad with Asian Peanut Dressing
This recipe is a treat for the senses with its bright colors and medley of flavors. I sprouted lentils, chickpeas, peas, mung and adzuki beans for this. To make this a main dish, add a can of albacore tuna. Tahini, sesame paste, can be substituted for the peanut butter. Remember to use as many organic products as possible. Serves
2 to 3 cups legume sprouts
1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced
3 or 4 carrots, grated
1 or 2 sweet peppers, chopped
Asian Peanut dressing
1 cup of chicken or veggie broth, low sodium
3 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter or tahini
1 tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce
4 tablespoons of rice vinegar
1 tablespoon of white wine
½ to 1 teaspoon of hot sauce,
(I like to use Sriracha Thai)
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large shallot, minced
Prepare the veggies and toss merrily in a medium bowl. Toss all the dressing ingredients into the blender and frothify. Artfully plate the veggies on a beautiful plate and drizzle with the dressing. To life!