Health in a bowl...this incredible salad came to life with leftovers from my Asian-inspired cooking class. What an unexpected TREAT! I found the most amazing sprout seller at last weekend's farmer's market. He sold me a huge well-packed bag (that is still fresh after 5 days!) for only $5! If you consider all the nutritional benefits, that's a steal! He may be my new best friend...:)
Here is what's left after I already made various dishes incorporating these beauties...
Sprouts have been all the rage lately and while I've enjoyed growing my #hamamagreens seed quilts, I enjoy taking a break and trying different varieties. In short, they are young green plants germinated from the seeds of almost anything you can grow, such as nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, and grasses. Some of the most common sprout varieties are broccoli, alfalfa, mung bean, radish, kale, pea, sunflower, and radish.
Sprouts offer incredible health benefits, including enzymes that aid digestion and nutrient absorption. Many people suffering poor digestion, in fact, can trace it back to a lack of digestive enzymes. Eating sprouts and other raw foods can help support this process. For this reason, sprouts are considered a detoxifying food.
From a nutritional standpoint, sprouts are superstars. Highly concentrated in antioxidants, they protect against free radicals that degrade cells and accelerate aging. Not only that, they are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber! The sprouting process also pre-digests the seed, making their nutrients more bioavailable and easy for the body to utilize.
Concerned about lectins? Lectins, aka anti-nutrients - are proteins that protect plants from their own invaders. Some evidence suggests that lectins can make plants difficult to digest, potentially leading to inflammation and leaky gut. Soaking and sprouting grains and legumes (with the exception of kidney beans, which require cooking) decreases the lectin content, makes them more digestible and their nutrients more bioavailable.
If you're curious to read even more on these nutritional gems, pick up a copy of Doug Evans' The Sprout Book. It's an excellent read and he will even teach you how easy it is to grow your own sprouts (spoiler alert, it's really affordable!). Go ahead and "tap into the power of the planet's most nutritious food." - D Evans
Sprouts Salad with Orange-Miso Dressing
1 TB hemp seeds
1 TB apple cider vinegar
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 TB chickpea miso (or sub mellow white miso)
1 tsp tahini
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 cups gem lettuces, torn into bite-size pieces
1 head bok choy, trimmed and chopped
1 generous cup sprouts of choice (I used sunflower, X and mung bean)
½ cup grated carrots
½ cup grated daikon radish
¼ cup mung bean sprouts
¼ cup sunflower seeds
4 green onions, trimmed and white and light green portions chopped
1) Mix dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth.
2) Add salad ingredients to a large bowl.
3) Toss with dressing. Enjoy!
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