From one extreme to the next but as my Nail Technician, Lisa @ Topaz Nails (she’s very good!) pointed out yesterday when I mentioned how much fat went into the Flaky Pastry for the Pie & Mash ‘that’s probably why they say who ate all the pies!’ So I guess pies aren’t diet food (goddammit)..
Luckily I’ve become obsessed with sprouting anything I have in the cupboard or see in the supermarket! According to the many sprouting websites I have been perusing, SPROUTS are full of nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, trace elements and enzymes. AND supposedly they are anti ageing (that’s me won over already then).. It seems to be a very popular past time as there are countless sites devoted to sprouting & the seeds, equipment and recipes that go with it. I think most people know that beans & grains can be hard for our stomachs to digest, so if by sprouting this makes it easier I am game to try it.. Besides ‘Sprouted Hummus’ sounds a lot more exotic. I’d really like to read ‘Nourishing Traditions‘ by Sally Fallon, it gets countless mentions on line with rave reviews- I’m just nosy, I want to know why!
My Sister bought me a Bio Snacky sprouting jar (pictured above) & a packet of seed mix (I’m not a Budgie I promise) to sprout but you can use a clean jam jar with some muslin cloth over the opening, with an elastic band to secure. Its quite simple- you soak the seeds or beans overnight, drain & tip the jar up on an angle (with a plate underneath to catch any water drips). You should fill the jar with water, swish round, drain & return to position 2-3 times a day. The seeds sprout at different rates & you should test them regularly to see at which point you’d like to stop sprouting and eat them!
I picked up a couple of random packets of seed in the supermarket- once I translated the Turkish using my dictionary I realised I had Alfalfa & Mustard Cress- I vaguely remembered growing Cress at school, so thinking this must be easy I threw them in the Bio Snacky jar, covered them with water & left them to it. The next day I tried to drain the water out & it wouldn’t budge, they seemed to have morphed into miniature frog spawn with a jelly coating covering the seeds. After some Googling I found out that they are one of the seeds which you can’t germinate in the jar! I poured them onto a clean mesh that I had & the jelly soon dried out, the seeds sprouted & grabbed onto the holes in the fabric making it easy to give them a rinse a couple of times a day till I gave them a haircut & put them in the fridge for storage. I love the spicy taste of the Mustard Cress! Although the Alfalfa looks very similar to it once sprouted it is actually quite bland. I think I’d use it as a garnish as it looks quite pretty & wouldn’t over power any other flavours .. Plus it will make me look 17 (here’s hoping!)
I know the above picture looks like a piece of Modern Art but it was actually my best shot at sprouting some Mung Beans into decent sized bean sprouts, the type you would get in a stir fry or associate with Chinese food. From what I have read in regards to sprouting these ones are simple to do, but won’t result in the same thing we get at the supermarket (well in Tesco I rarely see them here in Cyprus- again Tempo you lead the way for random food stuffs). This is because commercial Mung Bean Sprouts are grown using all sorts of trickery & unless you try to mimic some of these techniques you are going to have weeds instead of fat sprouts!
From what I gather the Mung Bean Sprouts need to have pressure applied no not like ‘can you take the bins out at any point in the near future dearest husband’ or else but actually physical pressure & no not whack him with the frying pan! I digress.. I decided to place the beans in a colander after soaking as my Bio Snacky was full with seeds, then I found a heavy glass bowl, filled it with water and placed it on top of the beans.
If you want to keep them as white as possible they must be kept in the dark, hence the tea towel (yes its clean) & then the banana (originally a bunch but they go so nicely in toasted Peanut Butter sandwiches) is to give off its special ripening gases & encourage my sprouts to grow big & strong! I think it worked
The only problem I have now I can sprout a good Chinese bean sprout is where to buy some Mung Beans in Kyrenia, any ideas? If not I will be bringing some back from London next month as I like them in my Chilli Chicken Ramen (more on this later) & I can’t always rely on Tempo they normally only have one or two packs!
I have also sprouted Green Lentils- I really like these they are spicy & nutty tasting and I have found the more of a sprout they grow the more they taste like fresh raw peas, which I love. According to the internet most people eat lentils with just a barely there hint of sprout.. I can’t think why, the sprout is the fun bit! I have been eating them out of the pot as a snack & also throwing on everything I see like sandwiches & soup (Carrot & Coriander).
Sprouted So Far
Mustard Cress Seeds
Next On The Hit List
Black Eyed Beans/Peas
Don’t Bother With:
Red (Orange Coloured) Lentils- I tried to sprout some whilst making my soup, they didn’t sprout they just turned Rank!
To be Continued….
NEVER try to sprout Kidney Beans & eat them! They are TOXIC 😦
Always check with a reputable seed/sprouting website/book if you are unsure about the safety of sprouting/eating a seed or bean/legume/grain.
Some people like to lightly steam sprouted beans & lentils- even steamed they are purportedly better for you than un sprouted.
Introduce them into your diet slowly, you don’t want to shock your gut!