Sprouts are fun and easy to grow and are delicious, alkaline and packed full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. These fun little projects are also a great source of vitamins E, C, B and A as well as potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and protein. Sprouting unlocks the nutrients & protein inside the plant cells more readily and makes the protein found beans as well as nuts & seeds more bioavailable and more digestible. Sprouting as well as soaking, or fermenting foods also significantly reduces enzyme inhibitors, greatly increasing the digestibility and absorption of all nutrients in food, including amino acids.
For a more in-depth look at why sprouting is so awesome, check out my guy Dr. Josef Marcela’s article.
Step #1 Select Your Bean & Quantity:
Use organic beans such as adzuki, lentils, mung beans or chickpeas. The beans beans will at least double in size during sprouting, so only prepare as many sprouts as you can eat in about 4 weeks. The fastest to sprout are mung beans and lentils, especially if you live in a humid climate. My favorite beans are adzuki beans (shown here) for their nutty texture, high protein and iron and anti-oxidant content. Most dry beans are good for sprouting but you want to avoid black beans as they can be toxic. Note that “split” beans or peas will not sprout.
Step #2- Soak Your Beans:
Place your beans in a wide-mouthed glass jar and fill with filtered water until the beans are covered by about 4 inches of water (use this rule for any amount for beans). Allow them to soak in the water overnight, or for about 8 to 12 hours and then rinse and drain them very well as they can go off if they are too moist. I do this several times inside the jar. Cover with a piece screen from the hardware store (shown here) or a piece of cheesecloth. Leave the jar in a semi-lit place while the beans sprout (I like my kitchen near the window).
Step #3- Rinse Your Beans:
Rinse and drain the beans well 2-3 times per day. The easiest way is to add water through the screen over the top as you can fill it and drain it without having to remove it. Watch your sprouts grow over the next few days. You can stop sprouting after 2-3 days or when the tails are about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long or as long as the body of the bean. You can also keep them growing up to 4 days for large, plump sprouts. Note: chickpeas or garbanzo beans get bitter if you sprout too long so you just want the very tip to be sprouted.
Step #4- Rinse and Store:
Finish sprouting by giving your beans a final rinse and then placing them in the covered jar in the refrigerator. Sprouts should last about 2-4 weeks; however, it will depend on the length of sprouting and amount of moisture on the beans when you placed them in the refrigerator. Make sure that you smell the sprouts for spoilage after 2 weeks and toss them if you are in doubt or you can gently cook them in a soup which is what I do if they are not super fresh as they still have plenty of nutritional value!
I toss them in to salads, in a stir fry (at the end so they stay raw), right before I serve a soup or into a pasta. I also put them in to smoothies to add some living food and some extra protein! (more…)
Nothing is more satisfying (and easy to cook) than a simple vegetable soup. Warm your belly and your kitchen with this simple, hearty and healthy recipe that will be done in a flash and will leave you full for hours!
Curried Lentil Veggie Soup
I did an event this last Sunday at Teena’s Pride Farm with Chef Julie Frans. She was the guest chef and I gave her a helping hand and took home some incredible fresh and local produce to boot. This recipe for Green Goddess Gazpacho was a hit and I wanted to share it.
Keep your eyes out for my version that will most certainly make an appearance in a cooking class soon. It is refreshing, cleansing and all around dee-lish. Oh, and did I mention easy? A great recipe for the new year! Come visit Teena’s Pride on the first Sunday of every month, I will be the guest chef on February 2, 2014!
Green Goddess Gazpacho
Recipe courtesy of Chef Julie Frans, Essencia Restaurant + Lounge
1 cup vegetable stock or water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 medium fennel bulb
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and rough chopped
4 scallions, ends removed and rough chopped
1 medium cucumber, rough chopped
1 medium green apple
1 jalapeño- seeded, optional
1/2 cup pistachios
2 good handfuls of spinach or other greens
A good handful Italian parsley
A good handful cilantro
1/2 cup mint leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
2 teaspoons toasted cumin
1/3 cup full fat Greek yogurt, optional
Fall makes me feel like soup, even if it is still 80+ degrees. This recipe is hearty, creamy (though vegan), quick and YUM! It is also good made with a variety of veggies so you can experiment!
Creamy Cauliflower Parsnip Soup
1/4 cup coconut oil or butter
1 large yellow onion, medium dice
8-10 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into medium florets
1 pound parsnips, skin on, diced
8-10 cups low sodium vegetable broth
4 large bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Salt and white or black pepper to taste
Makes about 6 servings
This soup is amazing. It is quite unexpected how tasty it actually is, and how easy. Good warm or cold, full of flavor, packed with healing ingredients and just all around wonderful…make it already!
Spring Pea & Coconut Soup with Ginger
2 cups organic frozen peas
1 medium organic cucumber
1 can coconut full fat milk
1 cup veggie broth or coconut water
1 inch piece of ginger, rough ends removed
3 large garlic cloves
A large hand full of cilantro or mint
1 small Thai chili or a few slices of a jalapeño (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
A dash of honey*
1 Tablespoon liquid amino acids, soy sauce, fish sauce or a good pinch of salt
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 medium avocado, diced
1/2 cup peas, thawed
6-8 mint leaves, chiffonade
1 Tablespoon olive oil
A good squeeze of lemon
Salt to taste
Makes about 6 servings
This nourishing and hearty soup was inspired for my mother who just underwent major surgery. She needs easily digestible, protein rich and comforting foods. This soup fits the bill. Feel free to get creative with some spices and truly any other veggies that appeal, cauliflower, broccoli or zucchini would be divine. Whether you do it by the book or add your own twist, your and your loved ones are sure to feel it’s healing nature…be sure to cook it with a lot of love…always.
Healing Creamy Vegetable Miso Soup
3-4 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium red onion, medium dice
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 inch piece of ginger, tough ends removed and chopped
2 large parsnips, unpeeled and roughly chopped
3 medium carrots, rough chopped
2-1/2 pound acorn squash, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (leave skin on)
1 cup lentils, brown green or red
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth*
1 can coconut milk, full fat
1/2 pound of firm tofu
1/2 cup miso paste, white, yellow or brown**
1 small bunch of cilantro
Makes about 8 servings