Sprouts and Green Shoots by Daphne Lambert

Why sprout?

Maximises the nutritional potential of the seed

The sprouting process increases nutritional content and the bioavailability of nutrients. Typically 5 days after sprouting, the sprouts will have the highest concentration and bioavailability of nutrients.

Quality over quantity

As you increase your intake of high nutrient food (increased quality) the desire for unhealthy, low nutrient processed food diminishes. The greater the quality of food the less quantity you require helping enough healthy food to be available to nourish all peoples.

Easy storage of food

Grains, beans & seeds are all relatively easy to dry and store, most could, if hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen last up to ten years. Low energy input Seeds are an energy efficient way to store and prepare food NB sprouting uses water so need to create a system where the rinse water is recycled

The greatest vitality in the life cycle of a plant is in the sprout, they have potent medicinal properties and high nutritional value. Germination inactivates enzyme inhibitors, starches are converted into simple sugars, proteins and fats are broken down into an easily digestible form and vitamin content increases. The sprouting process makes the seed far easier for us to assimilate and metabolise, which explains why grains and legumes, many of which cause allergies and intolerances often do not cause these symptoms when sprouted. Many ancient cultures knew the value of sprouting seeds. They were mentioned in Chinese writings dated around 2939BC and ancient documents found in The Vatican library refer to sprouted seeds.

There are so many varieties of seeds to sprout but some have more health benefits than others. Alfalfa originated in central Asia & the middle East. The Arabs found it a highly strengthening food for themselves and their horses and named it al-fal-fa, which means father of all foods. Alfalfa sprouts clean and tone the intestine and helps remove harmful acids from the blood.

Broccoli has become a popular sprout because of its delicious flavor. In 1998 Johns Hopkins University declared broccoli sprouts and other crucifer sprouts to be particularly high in sulforaphane, a glucosinolate shown to have a variety of health benefits including anti cancer activity. Clover sprouts are very similar to alfalfa sprouts, clover originated in Europe and has been used for over 2,000 years as a cover crop to improve soil.

Clover sprouts contain the most significant dietary sources of isoflavons of any sprout variety. Traditionally used to reduce menopause symptoms and improving bone mineral density Mung bean sprouts have been cultivated in the orient for thousands of years. Mung bean sprouts, are a good source of protein, fiber and vitamin C

Lentils (green or brown) are very easy to sprout and especially nutritious. Pound for pound they contain as much protein as red meat but in a totally digestible form without the fat and cholesterol. High in potassium, iron, vitamin A, folic acid and fiber.

Green shoots While sprouted seeds have been shown to have a wealth of health giving properties, allowing seeds to grow to the next stage of their development gives different and much needed additional benefits. The development of leaves and the growth of grass allows plants to start making chlorophyll along with an increased level of soluble fibre and additional phytonutrients

Green pea sprout greens High in fiber, protein and carbohydrates, iron, potassium, vitamin A, thiamine and riboflavin these greens provide excellent nutrition The high chlorophyl content helps purify the liver, builds the blood and helps with digestion. They contain plenty of bioactive lecithin that helps to reduce the plaque inside arteries.

Sunflower sprout greens are a good source of protein They are rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc and vitamins A, B, D and E, including vitamin D

Wheat grass is a rich source of vitamin A and vitamin C, it contains a balanced range of B vitamins, is a good source of calcium, phosphorus & magnesium; contains sodium and potassium in the right balance; provides organic iron which helps improve blood circulations. Wheat grass is highly alkanising.

How to sprout

Pop a couple of tablespoons of seeds into a ½ litre glass jar and cover generously with filtered water, fasten a piece of muslin securely over the top. Soak seeds for eight hours (except buckwheat which you need to soak for just 15 minutes) In the morning drain off the soak water and rinse well. Turn the jar so that any water can drain out, place the jar on its side in a warm place, but not in direct sun light. Rinse the sprouts morning and evening. It is important to keep them moist, warm (room temperature is fine) and well drained, until the desired length. Once the sprouts are ready rinse in a colander, wash thoroughly, drain, put in a bowl, cover and store in the fridge. When alfalfa & broccoli sprouts are 1” long place in a bright place for a couple of days to green up

Geo sprouting jars complete with a screw top mesh lid can be purchased from www.ukjuicers.com

Seeds can be purchased from http://shop.wheatgrass-uk.com/index.php/seed.html

How to grow green shoots

Materials: 2 x seed trays

Organic compost and soil, 50/50 peas,

sunflower seeds, wheat, barley or spelt grain

· Soak the seeds/grain for 12 hours, drain, rinse well and allow to germinate for 12 hours. Keep covered to retain moisture.

· Mix the soils together and put into the trays. Moisten the soil so it is damp

· Spread the seeds evenly on the tray

· Water thoroughly and place in a bright spot. Keep moist. Harvest peas/sunflower at 3” - 4”, and grains about 6”

RECIPES

Spinach & alfalfa salad

serves 4

1 large handful alfalfa sprouts

110g spinach, shredded

50g olives, stoned & chopped

6 sorrel leaves, finely shredded

1 large avocado, peeled, stoned & diced

25g chopped walnuts juice of ½ lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

In a large bowl toss the avocado with the lemon & olive oil. Combine with all the other ingredients & serve.

Sprouted broccoli salad

serves 4

4 handfuls sprouted broccoli

2 tablespoons dulse snipped into small pieces

2 tablespoons of shelled hemp

Dressing

2 tablespoons hemp oil

juice of half a lemon

small bunch chopped parsley

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

twist of black pepper & good pinch salt

Mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl and toss in the sprouted broccoli, dulse & hemp

Sprouted quinoa salad

serves 6 175g

sprouted red quinoa

20 cherry tomatoes cut in half

1 small raw beetroot finely diced

200g spinach shredded

200g rocket

1 small bunch mint finely chopped

dressing

6 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic finely diced

1 red onion finely diced

1 tsp ground cumin

zest of 1 orange

twist of black pepper & good pinch salt

In a large bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients together. Toss in the quinoa, tomatoes, beetroot, spinach, rocket and mint and serve.

Pea shoot salad

serves 4

2 large handfuls of pea sprouts

8 radish finely sliced

1 fennel bulb very finely sliced

2 tablespoons of soaked sunflower seeds

Dressing

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

4 tablespoons olive oil

good twist black pepper

½ teaspoon salt

Mix the salad dressing ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, toss well together and serve.

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