Why is the kitchen an ideal place for experiencing the union of life? Our daily cooking and eating practices are opportunities to realize that we are both what and how we eat. In turn, our internal health affects our interaction with the world around us. From what state of being do we make our nourishment choices, and what are the impacts of those choices on us, our communities, and the earth?
The earth bears the repercussion/impact of our daily meals. How might they differ if we feel gratitude for the soil, water and air, which, along with sunlight, are the sustaining elements for our food—and therefore us?
We may gain direct experience of how the elements sustain us through growing sprouts in our kitchen, and including these first expressions of a plant’s life in our diets. Not only is sprouting an opportunity to grow food without needing a garden, but it also provides a year-round source of (very) local, fresh food. Sprouting transforms the complex composition of a seed into a more easily digested food; enzymes are activated, and the nutrient content increases.
This sprout salad recipe is a taste of vitality and a reminder of our unity with life on all levels.
how to sprout
You will need: mung or lentil seeds; alfalfa, clover or
broccoli seeds; 2 large glass jars; 2 small squares of mesh;
2 rubber bands.
Place mung or lentil seeds in one jar and the smaller seeds in the other jar. Fill each jar half full of water. Cover the jars with a piece of mesh secured with a rubber band. Length of soaking time varies, but generally plan an overnight soak (8–10 hours).
The next day, drain and rinse the soaked seeds, then drain and rinse again. Leave the jar covered with the screen and tilt at a 45-degree angle, with the screen facing downward to allow drainage. The jars can be propped up in a bowl to achieve this angle.
Rinse and drain the sprouts a couple of times a day. The time needed before harvesting will vary depending on the type of sprout, and the temperature of the environment. Mung and lentil seeds are generally ready when the tail has grown to at least one to two times the length of the body (usually in 2–3 days). The smaller seeds will take slightly longer (up to 5 days) and can be harvested when the new leaves begin to emerge from the seed hull. Exposing them to light will help them to turn green.
springtime sprout salad with baby arugula
2 cups mung or lentil sprouts
1 cup alfalfa, clover or broccoli sprouts
2 cups baby arugula
¼ cup fresh parsley or other herbs of your choice
other optional seasonal ingredients:
1 carrot, grated or julienned
1 cup snap peas (raw or lightly steamed)
1 cup English cucumber, thinly sliced in crescents (grown in hothouses year round)
1 shallot or 2 green onions, finely diced or sliced
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp flax, hemp, or extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp tamari
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried dill, or 1 Tbsp fresh sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
small pinch stevia (optional)
Whisk the ingredients for the dressing together in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, combine the sprouts and remaining ingredients of your choice and toss well with dressing, to taste.
- Use baby spinach or watercress in place of the arugula.
- Add dulse or kelp flakes, nori cut into strips, or soaked wakame, to taste. Use cilantro instead of parsley, and add grated or thinly sliced pickled ginger, and a few drops of sesame oil.
- Change the vegetable ingredients with the season: try sliced green beans, asparagus, chopped tomatoes or peppers, or steamed sunchokes.
Jill Boadway is a holistic chef who empowers people to transform their relationship to the kitchen from the inside out. She offers holistic culinary coaching, customized whole foods cooking classes and meditative dinner events through her business, Conscious Table. Jill is currently writing a holistic cookbook with nutritionist Meghan Hanrahan. Find Jill at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.nourishingartscollective.com