By Elise Watness, Staff Writer
Whether your ground is frozen or wet, winter can make the thought of fresh garden plants seem like nothing but a summer dream. If everything outside is dormant, we can still grow a simple garden in the kitchen.
Sprouting seeds, beans & grains on a window sill provides protein and vitamins, and a crisp, sweet garden taste. Seeds, dried beans, and whole grains from nearly any supermarket can be grown in a mesh-covered jar in a few days to a week. Recommended soaking times vary around 4-12 hours. Rinsed twice daily, seedlings are usually ready to eat in 2-5 days.
Sprouts go with anything. Sprouted alfalfa or clover are fantastic on a sandwich or salad. Mung beans are signature in Asian dishes from pho to pad thai. The Whole Grains Council wrote that sprouted grains have an enzyme that make them easier to digest and increase the bio-availability of vitamins and minerals, which explains why so many people are eating sprouted grain breads. Sprouts are nutritious powerhouses because
every seed contains the nutrients necessary to begin growth. Seeds are human’s most durable and concentrated foods, Harold McGee stated in On Food and Cooking. Plant proteins are the highest in quality, and green lentils are especially full of them. Vitamin C is so high that it prevented hundreds of scurvy deaths in India in a 1940s famine. Enthusiasts boast sprouts’ abilities to strengthen immune systems, boost metabolisms, and increase energy.
Did I mention they’re delicious? Check out Ann Wigmore’s The Sprouting Book or sproutpeople.org for information and supplies.
Elise’s Sprouted Hummus Recipe
In a food processor, blend:
- 2 c. sprouted chick peas (a.k.a. garbanzos) (after day 2)
- 1/2 c. sprouted quinoa or sesame seeds (after day 2)
- 2-3 Tb. tahini
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 c. parsley sprigs
- enough water to make a paste consistency
- salt & pepper to taste
Eat on crackers, chips, vegetables, sandwiches, or spoons.
Sprouted chick peas are carbohydrates, fiber, calcium and protein. They also have magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A and C.