I promise, the last post about sprouts in a while. Wheat sprouts were successful!! And so delicious!! Once again, a light saute and some salt make a delicious accompaniment for any meal!
Lastly, I leave you with a good link to a last weekend’s Living on Earth. It featured Will Allen, who founded Growing Power, an urban farm and education center in Milwaukee. He’s a pretty cool dude, and so is this program, which dealt with our food system past, present and future.
So you remember my euphoria from last week, when I raked up the courage to try sprouting my own beans and was successful!! I enjoyed adding mung bean sprouts to my meals all weekend, and eagerly got to business trying to sprout my favorite nut, the Almond.
I’ve been following the same instructions as last week, but three days later, and nary a sprout in sight, I got a little curious. I’ve been checking on them quite often, so I don’t think that they failed to sprout because they are too wet or dry….but then a tiny wriggling thought came from the back of my head, and I went to google.
Turns out that little thought was right…. since my almonds are pasteurized, they won’t sprout.
The common claim the FDA makes is that pasteurizing almonds does not affect the actual nut in any way. I did believe this (kinda…) but now it actually makes me a little sad. Because something chemically did change in there.
Now I’ll have to find some other good seed to sprout. Perhaps sunflower?? I’m planning on trying wheat kernels next, then probably soy nuts.
Hopefully those sprouts will work smoothly!
In the midst of finals last semester, I discovered Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread. Excellent as toast with a little salt, butter, or peanut butter, it made an excellent study snack. But it also added another reliance on the grocery store…so as I rested over Christmas break, I realized the recreating this sprouted grain bread would be the perfect food project for the semester! I have to bake bread, but, more importantly, first I have to learn how to sprout beans, grains, and nuts.
First: the health facts. Why is sprouted bread the new health craze? Sprouting is essentially taking any nut/seed/grain, soaking it in water, and allowing the seed to germinate – to start growing. By doing so, you awaken the plant from it’s dormant state, and instead of a dried bean or grain, you have an alive little plant. It also changes the chemical makeup inside of the bean, and greatly increases nutrient content. This radio script from Farm International has a nice explanation as well as instructions on how to sprout grains.
I’ve known that sprouts are good for you for a while, but I had two main concerns:
1. I had no idea how to sprout grains.
2. I didn’t really know if I’d like how they tasted.
In tackling number 1, I looked at many website instructions, my mother’s Rodale’s cookbook, and, still confused, settled for this video. Starting about 4 minutes in, he has instructions for sprouting grains in a ball jar. Instead of the mesh he uses to cover the jar, I am using cheesecloth and a rubber band.
As for number 2….have to try it before I know!
I started with Mung beans – it’s touted as one of the easier beans to sprout. It it has been! Kind of fun to see your own little plants growing! And, even better… they taste kind of nice! It’s nice to have something so fresh tasting in the middle of winter! Though, thus far I’ve liked them better when I put them on a little frying pan for a minute and salted them a little….the light cooking makes them a little softer and richer in flavor.
Next up will be soy beans and wheat kernels. I’m really excited for the wheat because the sprouts are supposed to be very sweet – you can grind them up and use them to sweeten bread or other items.
Good luck! If I could figure it out, I’m sure you can too. Let me know if you try it out!