Friday, March 2, 2012

Sprouting 101 - The Recipes

My mother is a good cook.  She took to it at a young age watching her mother.  My children say, "Mom, you're a good cook, but Abuelita (Grandmother) is better."  I don't mind that at all.  She doesn't use a lot of recipes but goes on memory and tastes as she prepares her food.  I have called her on various occasions trying to replicate Guatemalan dishes she has prepared with much frustration because I just couldn't make it quite like my mom does.  Well, the amazing thing is that after years of cooking for my family, I've found that I'm doing the same thing - prepping by memory and tasting as I go.  I'm by no means a great chef, but I like to make food that my family enjoys.  The new challenge for me is to find raw food recipes that my family likes.  I have tested these recipes on my family and they have given me the thumbs up.  With this in mind.  I consider these recipes guidelines and not hard and fast recipes.  Please adjust the ingredients according to your liking.

I love buckwheat!  It is highly mucilaginous (slimy), but the slipperiness can be rinsed off with water and a fine sieve.  I can easily have bowlfuls of buckwheat and almond milk when sprouted for about one or preferably two days for breakfast.  If you can't tolerate the idea of eating it straight, here is a recipe that is very tasty.  My son and husband like it.  I'm still working on my daughter.  She can be a little pickier.

Sprouted Buckwheat Cereal

Sprouted Buckwheat Cereal
1 cup sprouted buckwheat (sprout for 2 days)
1 cup nuts of choice soaked overnight (e.g., almonds, pecans, walnuts or a combination)  (I used almonds only in this recipe.)
1 cup combination of dates and/or raisins
a couple of drops extract of choice - like vanilla, almond or anise.  (experiment)
1/8 cup coconut flakes (optional)
a pinch of pink Himalayan salt ( or whatever salt you have on hand) 

Process nuts in food processor until granular.  Place in bowl.  Process dates and raisins until granular and also place in bowl.  Do not over process or you'll make an unappealing paste.  Add buckwheat, extract, coconut flakes and salt.  Mix all ingredients.  When I serve this cereal I add almond or coconut milk to the bowl.  If you own a dehydrator, you may also dehydrate buckwheat.  I hear that buckwheat has the consistency of rice crispies when dehydrated.  I fly high with this kind of a breakfast! Yum!
Strawberry Oat Groat Cereal
Another variation on the above recipe is to use oat groats.  (Oat groats will not sprout, but will become alkaline and increase in nutrition when soaked)
1 cup oat groats soaked overnight
1 cup nuts of choice soaked overnight ( I used almonds)
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup or more of dates and raisins
a drop or two of vanilla
a pinch of Himalayan salt
Process ingredients in a food processor.  Process oats alone, then  nuts, strawberries and date/raisin combo.  If you don't process each ingredient alone, you may end up with a paste.  Add these to a bowl, mix in vanilla and salt.  I also have this with almond milk.  The milk turns pink!  (Do you remember having strawberry Quick! when you were a kid?  My mom gave us some for a very short time in my childhood.)

Sprouted sunflower seeds are great sweet or savory.  You can add them to either of the above recipes or in this pate spread. 

Walnut Sunflower Seed pate' wrapped in chard leaf

Walnut Sunflower Seed Pate'
1/2 cup walnuts ( soaked overnight)
1/2 cup sprouted sunflower seeds (soaked overnight)
1 stalk celery
1tbsp chopped onion
1 tbsp or more of parsley
Juice of one lime or to taste
Himalayan pink salt to taste
Process onion, parsley and celery in a food processor.  Add walnut, sunflower seeds, lime juice and pink Himalayan salt.  For the photo, I spread the pate on a chard leaf and added broccoli slaw from Trader Joe's as well as mung bean sprouts.  Alfalfa sprouts would be good with this too.  Wrap it up and enjoy!  When I made the wrap with the walnut sunflower seed pate' and prepped it for the shot, it looked plain, so I added a salsa that I had left over in the fridge, just to give the plate some color.  I won't give you that recipe because it was just thrown together for one of my meals one evening.  Here is a recipe that I am not embarrassed to share with you.  I bring this salsa to parties for larger groups of people so feel free to halve the recipe for a smaller serving.

Pineapple Mango Salsa
1 pineapple diced
2 mangoes diced
1 cucumber diced with skin on
1/2 bunch of green onions chopped
1/4 - 1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
juice of two limes or to taste
pink Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and adjust ingredients to your taste.
Although I haven't tried it, I think this salsa would be great with mung bean sprouts. 
Romaine leaves with peanut sauce, sprouts, cabbage and broccoli slaw

Peanut Sauce Without the Peanuts
I like to make dressings from scratch for my salads.  It just makes it more interesting to add a little variation to what I eat.  This is a recipe that I like.  Again, adjust to suit your taste.  For the photo I spread the sauce on romaine leaves and topped it with shredded red cabbage, carrots and mung bean sprouts.  I like to douse it with extra soy sauce.
1/2 cup tahini (preferably raw)
1/2 cup almond butter (preferably raw)
2 oranges peeled
2 green onions
1 tbsp miso paste
1/2 inch to 1 inch piece of peeled ginger
3 - 4 tbsp lime juice
2 - 3 tbsp soy sauce, Bragg's liquid aminos, or nama shoyu
1/2 - 1 small clove of garlic
1/2 cup water or enough to make this dressing turn in a Vitamix blender.
 Combine all ingredients in a blender.

I have a hard time with sprouted wheat.  It just makes me gag.  I remember going to Jamba Juice in California and trying to down wheat grass shots.  Yuck!  I still am not giving up on wheat grass.  I want to buy a wheat grass juicer at some point and try adding the juice to my smoothies.  The only way I can consume sprouted wheat berries is if I eat them when they are barely sprouted - when the tail just starts to poke out of the berry.  At this point I either put a small amount into my smoothie or I make these amazing treats!

Sprouted Wheat Freezer Fudge

Sprouted Wheat Freezer Fudge (makes about 20 balls)

1 cup sprouted wheat berry  soaked overnight (purchase soft wheat berries)
1/4 cup almond butter (preferably raw)
1 1/2 cup dates
3 heaping tbsp raw cacao powder (or roasted cocoa powder)
1 tbsp raw honey
extra cacao powder or coconut shreds
Process wheat berries in food processor until granular, add almond butter, dates, cacao powder and raw honey.  Make balls out of the paste and roll either in more cacao powder or coconut shreds.  These rarely make it to the freezer in my house.  You may want to double the recipe.  We go through these way too fast because they're so good and nutritious to boot!

I always am sprouting and have either mung bean sprouts or lentil sprouts on my kitchen counter.  I need to start sprouting alfalfa and broccoli sprouts and others I'm not yet familiar with.  I used to have enough just for myself, thinking that my family would not like them.  Ha!  Fat chance!  I started noticing that my sprouts would go missing and would catch my kids with a bowlful of them with their favorite dressing.  Something that would normally annoy me, makes me so happy because my kids are actually eating sprouts!  They haven't been sick at all this winter. Even though their friends are constantly going down with some bug, my kids have remained healthy.  Thanks to some awesome little sprouts!

 Enjoy the Journey!