Thursday, May 17, 2012

SPROUTS!

My new passion.  Okay, maybe not a passion.  Can a person even be passionate about sprouts?  Sure, the process is kind of fun, especially if you are a nerd like me.  I find it interesting to see the transition from a hard seed to something alive and vibrant.  A little water, a little time, and you are rewarded with a pearly root and sometimes a green shoot or leaves (depending on type, and time).  Perhaps enamored is a better word.  I am "enamored" with sprouting.

While visiting one of my favourite health food stores (I NEVER get there enough, and now she is thinking of selling...but wants the business to continue, so at least she won't be closing.....I hope) I picked up a bag of sprouting seeds.  A salad mix of broccoli, radish, clover, and alfalfa.  I have always liked sprouts, especially when they are fresh and lush and crispy.  And the instructions are easy enough.  I don't know why, in my hippiness, I have never tried making my own.















Rinse, then soak the seeds for 4-6 hours, then drain well.  I used a mason jar, with a piece of tulle held in place over the opening with the jar ring.  Turn the jar sort of bottom up, tilted, in a bowl.  Rinse the seeds and drain well twice a day, until they have sprouted and have their first set of leaves (for this type of sprout, anyhow.  You can also go microgreens, which works slightly different).  For some reason, I was smitten with the vision of a line-up of vintage jars on the counter, in various stages of sprout-ing-ness.  Doesn't that sound cute?  Tell me it is cute or I will make you look at all my sprouts again!














I did the soaking last Saturday.  The sprouts were ready for the fridge (by my taste estimate, anyhow) on Tuesday, but I think it could have waited until Wednesday.  I tried to float off the hulls, but was only partially successful.  I found I didn't mind them anyhow, so didn't press it or try any other methods (like a salad spinner).  Really, that is no time at all.  What other produce can you  harvest in just a few days time?

This is a spicy mix, with the radish in there.  I find the broccoli adds a bit of a bite as well.  Eating them as is, you almost think they are bitter until you are hit with the radish burn.  In a wrap with some cheese and tomato they are awesome!  A bit of chew from the seed coats, crunch from the tails, zing from the brassica and radish, cool grassiness and a bit of sweetness from the alfalfa and clover.  From what I have read, they will keep for several days in a covered container in the fridge.  Every time I walk by, I eat another pinch, so mine won't have to last that long!

Next, mung beans and lentils.  Done soaking, and in the rinsing stage - but not much going on yet.  Mung beans are the bean sprouts we are all used to.  Lentils, as a sprouted item, are new to me.  From what I understand I can eat them raw when the sprout is just a bit longer than the legume itself.  Other beans should be used when the sprout is very small, and should be cooked because they contain compounds that are hard for us to digest.  I am dying to try chick peas!  Sprouted hummous, here I come!

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