Super Sprouting (Super Recipe Included)

SPROUT SOME GOOD

There is something so empowering about the word “superfood”. Although lately the word may have been distastefully regurgitated by health-food product advertisers, I still perk up when I hear of a new product that may give me a new “superpower”. While items like goji berries, golden berries and kombucha have all been discovered and highly promoted, I was surprised that something as power-packed as sprouted grains and legumes wasn’t already on my radar. And well, let’s just say my health food trend-meter is always on high alert.

I first came across a neatly pressed package of sprouted broccoli several months ago at a local vegan festival. After the vendor presented his pitch, I shelled out $5 and made the purchase. After the package arrived home, it sat unopened for months. Primarily because I had no idea what it was, how to eat it, or what benefits it provided. But during a sporadic kitchen cleaning, the lovely green box came back into my life. I became eager, and after a quick internet search I discovered I had a superfood in my cabinet (Yay!). To my splendid surprise I learned that adding a fabulous taste  and flavour to classic dishes, salads and sandwiches wasn’t the sprout’s only role. Sprouted grains and legumes such as broccoli, chickpeas, quinoa and buckwheat are considered to be an easy, meat-free and highly digestible protein source. They also have a distinctively crunchy texture and juicy, sweet but subtle taste. Packed with minerals, vitamins, healthy disease-averting compounds as well as protein, they are also great for overall digestion. In addition sprouts allow for better absorption of key minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. And if all that wasn’t enough, many will be glad to know that the uncomfortable, bloated feeling that can follow a meal of lentils or soy will be averted if you opt for the sprouted version!

So that’s all great right? But how do you incorporate sprouts into your diet? I brought my researching skills to the kitchen and found a DELICIOUS Broccoli Sprout Salad Recipe that seriously made me feel a little more like superwoman. This recipe makes a great side dish or main course. Try it out tonight!

Broccoli Sprout and Arugula Salad with Blackberries and Papaya (serves 4)

Ingredients

1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons all-fruit blackberries preserves
2 tablespoon flaxseed oil (optional)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces broccoli sprouts
6 cups of baby arugula (about 3 ounces)
1 cup cubed papaya
1/2 cup chopped almonds

1 cup fresh blackberries

Preparation:

1. In a small bowl, combine grapefruit juice, blackberry preserves, flaxseed oil and olive oil. Whisk together until the well blended and slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper and set aside

2. In a large bowl, combine broccoli sprouts, arugula, papaya, and almonds; toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat. (Refrigerate remaining dressing for another use)

3. Divide greens among four serving plates. Top with blackberries and serve!

To find out more information about a variety of sprouted grains/legumes, and instructions on how to sprout your own at home  (as well as other delicious recipes) check out Alive Magazine’s September issue here .
 
So, the reason I love “superfoods” is this: although there is no magical potion or powder (that I’ve discovered) to give me superwoman wings, these tasty new sprouted alternatives sure make me feel pretty fly 🙂
Happy Sprouting Lovelies!
-Elina
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Superfood Super-Easy Quinoa Salad

Ever since I decided to dedicate myself to an all-plant-based diet I started collecting original vegan recipes, but I also began experimenting in the kitchen and tweaking ingredients to make dishes my own. As my collection grows, I hope to share these yummy ideas with all of you. This quinoa salad was one of the first things I successfully created and I’ve made it ever since. It’s simple, super-packed with vitamins, nutrients and anti-oxidants, easy to make, easy to store and can even be served to your carnivorous friends (perhaps as a side dish), whom I believe will chow it down with great delight!

Here is what you need:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 of an avocado, diced
  • 1/4 of a large red onion, diced
  • 1/2  cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 medium tomato, diced
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of cucumber, diced
  • handful of raisins, goji berries or dried cranberries (optional)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Juice from 1/2 lime or lemon
  • Dash of salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of water

Directions

  1. Bring quinoa and 2 cups water a saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, chop and dice your vegetables on a wooden board.
  3. Transfer the veggies to a big bowl (enough to hold the veggies and quinoa) and add salt, pepper ,olive oil, lime juice, and dried berries. Cover and set aside.
  4. Remove quinoa from heat and fluff with a fork. Set aside and allow to cool (about 20 minutes)
  5. Add the cooled quinoa to the mixture in the bowl and lightly toss
  6. Cover and refrigerate,
  7. Allow the salad to cool for approximately one hour and serve as a main dish on its own, or a side dish with goodies such as baked tofu or grilled tempeh. YUM!!!

Happy Eating!

E