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nutritious recipes

SPROUTING YOUR OWN SEEDS – WHY & HOW

Heading into the fall and winter seasons it is good to know that, even in the north, we can still grow some of our own food, packed with vitality and nutrients, helping to fend off those pesky colds and flus that are certain to make their come back.

PART 1 – WHY TO SPROUT YOUR OWN SEEDS

Today’s post covers WHY to sprout. In the following posts I will provide specific instructions plus additional information.

Why Sprout?

Sprouting is a great way of adding high quality nutrition to your daily life. Sprouts are the only food source that is still alive when we eat it. The process is easy and can be done by anyone with supplies found in every home kitchen. No extra space is required, even the smallest kitchen will do. Sprouting is very economical and therefore is suitable for any budget.

Any seeds and nuts can be used for sprouting; however, it is best to use certified organic seeds and only those that are intended as food crop rather than farm planting seeds. This minimizes the risk of contamination.

To my knowledge, organic sprouting seeds have not been implicated in any outbreak of food poisoning.

Sprouts contain the highest concentration of phytonutrients per calorie of any food. Phytonutrients provide a great spectrum of health benefits.

Benefits of Eating Sprouts

➣ Great source of nutrition; sprouts are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes
➣ Support and nourishment for the entire body including immune system and cardio vascular health
➣  Very easily digested and assimilated
➣ Improvement of the efficiency of the digestive system
➣ Protection against free radical damage
➣ Very inexpensive
➣ Available year-round even when other vegetables and fruits are not available 
➣ Easy to grow at home
➣ Great variety of usages
➣ Plus lots more

Commonly Used Seeds for Sprouting

Alfalfa – Beans (various) – Broccoli – Chia – Chickpeas – Fenugreek – Lentils – Mustard – Peas – Pumpkin – Radish – Red Clover – Sunflower

NOTE: Most seeds and nuts can be used for sprouting but some may require more equipment and experience than the ones mentioned above.
Avoid sprouting seeds from plants that have poisonous parts.
You can save some of your garden seeds and use them for sprouting i.e. radish, caragana seeds

STAY TUNED for next week’s post on HOW to sprout.

CRAVING BREAD BUT NOT ABLE OR ALLOWED TO EAT IT?

Check this out. This is the best bread ever because it is packed with nutrition, extremely fast and easy to prepare and does NOT contain any flowers or gluten. It has become a staple in our life. Try it and spread the wealth of health.

Ancient Grain, Seed, and Nut Loaf
from The Greenhouse Cookbook

Makes one loaf, or about 10 slices.

Ingredients:          

  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • ¾ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup raw slivered almonds
  • 1/8 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1/8 cup millet seeds
  • 1/3 cup amaranth seeds
  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • ¾ cups gluten-free steel-cut oats
  • 1/3 cup whole flax seeds
  • 1/3 cup psyllium seed husks
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbs pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup virgin olive oil
  • 2 ¾ cups filtered water

 Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine and evenly spread the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, buckwheat groats, millet seeds, and amaranth seeds on the prepared baking sheet. Toast for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, steel-cut oats, flax seeds, psyllium seed husks, chia seeds, and salt.
  4. When the toasting seed mixture is golden, remove from the oven and add to the bowl of dry ingredients; stir until combined. Add the maple syrup, olive oil, and water to the bowl and mix well. We use our hands for this (wet them first). The mixture should feel quite soggy; the seeds will absorb more water as they rest.
  5. Line the bottom and sides of a 8- x 4-inch or 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Pour the dough into the pan and shape the top into a smooth dome with wet fingers. Cover the dough with a clean tea towel or napkin and let it sit at room temperature overnight or for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 F.
  6. Uncover the dough and place the loaf pan on a rack in the centre of the oven. Bake for an hour and 15 minutes, or until the crust is dark brown and sounds hollow when you knock on it. (It may take an hour and a half, depending on your oven.) Remove loaf from the oven and let cool completely, at least 2 hours.
  7. Slice and serve toasted. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.

Green Blessings,

Gudrun

HEALTHY GLUTEN FREE CARROT CAKE

Ingredients (recipe can be doubled)

1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup coconut milk
6 eggs (preferably free range, organic)
1-2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking powder
1-1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1/2 cups finely chopped pecans or walnuts
Optional: raisins

FROSTING

Cream cheese
Lemon
Maple syrup

DIRECTIONS

1. Beat the eggs, add melted butter, coconut milk, and vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl mix together coconut sugar, salt and spices. Adjust spices to personal taste.
3. Add dry mixture (#2) to wet mixture (#1) and mix.
4. Sift coconut flour, add baking powder and add to other ingredients.
5. Mix very well (whisk) until the mixture has no more lumps.
6. Fold in carrots and nuts.

BAKING

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Grease baking dish (approx. 8×4 inches; bread pan)
3. Pour batter into baking dish
4. Bake for about 40-50 minutes. Baking time depends on moisture content. To check if the cake is done, insert fork in the centre; when it comes out clean the cake is done.
5. Take out, let cool and remove from baking pan.

FROSTING (optional)

Choose any frosting you like. I prefer to make it with cream cheese, freshly squeezed lemon and maple syrup. Amounts to taste. You may add pineapple and/or decorate the frosting with walnuts or pecans.

BE CREATIVE – ALL MY MEASUREMENTS ARE APPROXIMATE AND I ADJUST THEM FREELY AS WELL AS SOME OF THE INGREDIENTS.

CRAVING BREAD? NOT ABLE OR ALLOWED TO EAT IT?

Check this out. This is the best bread ever because it is packed with nutrition, extremely fast and easy to prepare and does NOT contain any flowers or gluten. It has become a staple in our life. Try it and spread the wealth of health.

Ancient Grain, Seed, and Nut Loaf
from The Greenhouse Cookbook

Makes one loaf, or about 10 slices.

Ingredients:          

  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • ¾ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup raw slivered almonds
  • 1/8 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1/8 cup millet seeds
  • 1/3 cup amaranth seeds
  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • ¾ cups gluten-free steel-cut oats
  • 1/3 cup whole flax seeds
  • 1/3 cup psyllium seed husks
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbs pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup virgin olive oil
  • 2 ¾ cups filtered water

 Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine and evenly spread the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, buckwheat groats, millet seeds, and amaranth seeds on the prepared baking sheet. Toast for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, steel-cut oats, flax seeds, psyllium seed husks, chia seeds, and salt.
  4. When the toasting seed mixture is golden, remove from the oven and add to the bowl of dry ingredients; stir until combined. Add the maple syrup, olive oil, and water to the bowl and mix well. We use our hands for this (wet them first). The mixture should feel quite soggy; the seeds will absorb more water as they rest.
  5. Line the bottom and sides of a 8- x 4-inch or 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Pour the dough into the pan and shape the top into a smooth dome with wet fingers. Cover the dough with a clean tea towel or napkin and let it sit at room temperature overnight or for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 F.
  6. Uncover the dough and place the loaf pan on a rack in the centre of the oven. Bake for an hour and 15 minutes, or until the crust is dark brown and sounds hollow when you knock on it. (It may take an hour and a half, depending on your oven.) Remove loaf from the oven and let cool completely, at least 2 hours.
  7. Slice and serve toasted. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.

Green Blessings,

Gudrun

STINGING NETTLE – HARVESTING & RECIPES

Harvest the early spring shoots of plants four to eight inches high. You might want to wear heavy cotton gloves or even leather gloves for harvesting. Wash in cold water and remove with thongs from water. I enjoy the stinging feeling when harvesting nettles but most people will have a different feeling about this!

Stinging Nettles have a delicate flavour and pleasant texture. It is important to NOT overcook them.
I consider myself a “free flowing cook”; therefore see the following recipes as suggestions and use your own intuitive, creative senses to adjust the recipes and discover your own recipes.

(1) STINGING NETTLE – BASIC

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups Water
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 cup Stinging Nettle, fresh, young leaves – washed
1 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Sour Cream

Directions
Bring water to boil, add salt and nettle leaves.
Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Drain right away.
Melt butter in skillet, add nettle leaves and sour cream.
Stir well for a minute or two.
Serve as you would use spinach.

(2) NETTLE FRITTATA (by Darcy Williamson)

Ingredients
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups cooked, chopped spinach
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. (freshly grated) nutmeg
8 medium-sized organic eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
Beat together eggs, seasonings and cheese. Set aside.
In a cast iron skillet saute garlic and onion in olive oil until just wilted.
Add Stinging Nettle and heat through.
Pour egg mixture over ingredients in the skillet.
Place skillet in oven and bake until eggs are set, approx. 45 minutes.
Cut into slices and serve hot.

CHIA SEED JELLO

YUMMY – NUTRITIOUS – FAST & EASY

Another one of my favorite recipes, packed with valuable nutrition that is easily absorbed. As always be creative and adjust the recipe to your individual needs and favourite flavours. Great snack to bring to a pot luck which is guaranteed to be enjoyed by all regardless of age.

RECIPE

Ingredients:

1 part (cup) raw chia seeds
2 parts (cups) high quality water, high quality juice or my preference, 1cup water and 1 cup juice 

Chopped fresh or frozen fruits (apples, pears, mangoes, berries, etc.) – adjust type variety of fruit and amount to personal preference; I add lots
Optional: seeds, raisins, nuts, goji berries etc.

Instructions:

Soak all seeds, raisins, goji berries and nuts for about 2 hours (not necessary but preferable for enhanced absorption of nutrients).
Mix all ingredients in large bowl.
Chill in fridge, freezer or right now in the snowy winter wonderland.
The mixture will jell by itself because Chia seeds can absorb an incredible amount of liquid.
Serve and enjoy

The Latin name for Chia is Salvia hispanica, a flowering plant that is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. It is a flowering plant that belongs to the mint family (Laminaceae). It is rich in calcium, manganese, phosphorus and a great source of healthy omega-3 fats and protein. Check the internet for a more complete description.