Green Is The Color For March and Sprouts
Beans and seeds can be sprouted just by soaking them in water overnight and rinsing and draining them for a few days. A good example is the simple, humble, olive green mung bean. When sprouted, these nutritious beans are very cooling and can be used to detoxify the body. They have a wonderful capacity to cleanse the heart and vascular system and are actually one of the most important beans therapeutically.
The easiest way to sprout is in a sprout bag, which is a mesh bag created especially for this task. Put a cup of dried mung beans in the bag, pull the drawstring tight and put the bag down in a bowl of filtered water and soak eight hours. Use five times more water than beans, because the beans will swell by absorbing water. Take the bag out of the water, rinse the beans, put the bag in a colander in the sink so all the water can drain out and rinse each morning and evening for several days until a sprout tail emerges.
When this happens, all of the stored nutrients are released into a burst of vitality as the bean attempts to become a full-sized plant. The rinse schedule for sprouts depends on where we live. The more humidity in the air, the less we should water to prevent mold. This means we may have to rinse three or four times a day in Phoenix, but only once or twice a day in Miami.
When we eat these tiny, easy-to-digest plants, we are literally getting the best of what the plant has to offer, because this is when they are at their nutritional peak. During the sprouting process, the vitamin and enzyme content increases dramatically, the starch is converted into simple sugars, protein is turned into amino acids and peptones and crude fat is broken down into free fatty acids. The sprouting process predigests the nutrients, which makes them easier to assimilate and metabolize.
Sprouts have gone mainstream and show up in most grocery stores, but there are many varieties we won’t find in a store, but that can be sprouted right in our own kitchen. Use only seeds and beans that are organic, whole and preservative-free, and eat them soon after they are sprouted.
Sprouts make a great addition to salads and sandwiches and we can use them to bring freshness to most any dish. Combine with cucumbers and seaweed and create a refreshing and extremely nutritious salad treat. Here is one of my favorite easy to prepare recipes using delicious mung bean sprouts.
Seaweed Cucumber Salad
1 oz dried wakame sea vegetable 1 cup cucumbers ¼ cup raw hulled sesame seeds 2 cups sprouted mung beans 3 Tbsp lemon juice 4 Tbsp coconut aminos 2 Tbsp sesame oil ½ cup green onion ½ cup red bell pepper 1 large clove garlic 1 tsp Himalayan saltSoak the wakame sea vegetable in enough water to completely cover it for about 30 minutes until the sea vegetables are soft. Drain the sea vegetables and pat dry and cut into small slivers.
Slice the cucumbers into thin rounds and chop the green onion, red pepper and garlic. Combine with the mung bean sprouts, sesame seeds, oil, lemon juice, salt and coconut aminos and toss. Let this marinate for at least 30 minutes or more and then feast on this nutritious and delicious dish.
Brenda Cobb is author of The Living Foods Lifestyle and founder of The Living Foods Institute, an educational center and therapy spa in Atlanta offering healthy lifestyle courses on nutrition, cleansing, healing, anti-aging, detoxification, relaxation and cleansing therapies. For more information, call 404-524-4488 or 1-800-844-9876 and visit LivingFoodsInstitute.com