Have you ever had a taste of freshly made vegetable juice? It’s one of the most nourishing foods out there. And today I’m going to show you just how to make this type of fresh veggie juice. How to Make Vegetable Juice Video Veggie Juice Ingredients The beauty of making vegetable juice is that you…Read More
Learn one of the most useful and versatile kitchen tricks: how to grow your own sprouts. Dishes that include fresh sprouts tend to be more multidimensional, super nutritious, and definitely more fun!
Sprouting Guide Video
(If you’re reading via email or feedreader, click here to view the embedded video.)
Why You Should Learn to Sprout
- You can grow sprouts yourself in the winter to get tons of nutrition without spending tons on produce.
- Keeping dry seeds and beans for sprouting is a great way to be prepared for natural catastrophes that might leave you without food. All you need is some water to sprout.
- It’s very satisfying to watch seedlings and beans awaken and sprout in front of your eyes. It reminds us of the magick of nature.
- You can eat a variety of different beans and sprouts that you might not be able to buy in stores if you sprout them yourself.
- Sprouts make a great addition to so many meals and they add a great texture to salads too.
How Sprouting Boosts Nutrition
Photo credit: Sriram Bala
Sprouts are much more nutritious than the dormant seed or bean from which they spring from. By “awakening” these seeds, we are actually eating all of the live potential energy of the sprout.
Because of the higher water content in sprouts as opposed to dry seeds and beans, we find a higher nutritional content. Sprouts contain absorbable protein, and contain increased calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and C.
Growing Your own Sprouts is Cheap & Easy
Another benefit to growing your own sprouts is the cost efficiency. Seeds and beans are inexpensive, and can yield an almost unproportional amount of sprouts.
You can also buy sprouting seeds and store them for long periods of time without spoilage. Contrast that with a bunch of lettuce that does not last more than one week in the refrigerator.
Sprouts are one of the most economical foods and some have called them the foods of the future. Sprouting your own seeds and beans is so simple, and yields such savings and benefits that I cannot recommend it enough.
Do it Yourself – How to Sprout
- Soak seeds overnight in a bowl with water.
- The next morning, drain water and rinse with fresh water once or twice.
- Place in a sprouting bag, or sprouting jar without any water. (Should still be humid, not completely dry.)
- Every morning and night rinse with fresh water, to keep the sprouts wet and clean of mould.
- Ensure the sprouts never dry up, and repeat process until your desired length or age of sprout.
- Rinse out with fresh water and serve immediately in salads, wraps, smoothies, juices, breads/crackers, or just eat as a snack.
Sprouting Tools and Resources
I personally use a nut-milk bag, which resembles cheesecloth, for my sprouting needs. (As you might have seen in the video.) It’s inexpensive, and versatile because you can also use it to make nut milks too.
I’ve tried sprouting in jars, (though not with the Tribest Automatic Sprouter) and I prefer the flexibility and ease that a sprouting bag seems to provide.
Feel free to experiment with what works best for you, depending on the climate where you live.
One great source of sprouting information that has been around since 1993 is Sprout People. You can buy sprouts and sprouting kits from them as well.
What Are Your Favorite Sprouts?
Now I’m curious if you’ve ever grown your own sprouts and which ones are your favorites. I’m partial to mung bean sprouts, and buckwheat sprouts personally.
1. Drink Green Smoothies.
If you’ve been here before, you’ll know how much I love green smoothies. Blend 60% whole fruits, 40% green leafy veggies, add water, and you’ve got yourself the best tasting veggie dish ever.
Fresh zucchini pasta!
2. Use vegetables instead of pasta noodles.
You can get a Spiral Slicer or a Mandolin Slicer at most cooking stores, but failing that just use a vegetable peeler to create fun noodle shapes out of veggies. Try zucchini, spaghetti squash, and eggplant. Top with your favorite pasta sauce.
3. Dehydrate some Kale Chips.
Instead of reaching for those starchy potato or corn chips, why not get your greens in? You can dehydrate your own kale chips with a dehydrator, or alternatively use your oven on the lowest setting. You’ll find the kale chip recipe here.
4. Guzzle some Green Juices.
Green vegetable juice is on equal footing with green smoothies. (Read the juicing vs. blending post.) You’ve got all of those nutritious green minerals and vitamins, and they’re going straight into you without the fiber.
5. Puree vegetables into soup.
You can either use a blender or a juicer to make fresh, yummy veggie soups. Try a mix of carrot and cucumber and add your favorite spices, or give it a little kick with some fresh ginger.
6. Try new vegetables and find creative ways to eat them.
See what’s available in your area and surprise your senses with exciting new vegetables. Why not chop broccoli up into salads? Shred some turnips, or use Bok-Choy as a dipping veggie.
7. Shred carrots, cabbage, and other “tough” veggies into an easy slaw.
With a food processor or by hand, shred those tough “winter veggies” into an easy to enjoy slaw. You can top it with your favorite salad dressings or invent your own. Plus it’s so easy to grab some in a container when you’re on the go.
Photo by Tamara P.
8. Marinate vegetables.
Chop up some of your favorite vegetables and marinate them for a few hours to soften them up and give them that extra taste. I like a mix of olive oil, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. I’ve marinated mushrooms, broccoli, string beans, asparagus, and the list goes on.
9. Make your own pasta sauce, and add chopped or pured veggies.
If you usually buy pasta sauce, why not chop or puree your own fresh vegetables into it to make it that much healthier? Alternatively you can make fresh veggie pasta sauces with your blender.
10. Steam a sweet potato.
This isn’t raw, but then this isn’t about being 100% raw. If you’re craving that warm comforted feeling, reaching for a steamed sweet potato is a healthy non-processed starch way to go.
11. Add a green powder to your drinks.
If you’re on the go and fear not being able to get enough greens in, then green powders are the way to go. I recommend a blue-green algae like Spirulina, and there are tons of other great green powder products. Add them to your water, smoothies, or on top of salads.
12. Make an avocado chocolate pudding.
Check out Erin Huggins’ take on a raw chocolate avocado pudding, rocking the yum. It’s so easy to make and kids will love it!
13. Eat celery sticks and other veggies with almond butter and a drizzle of sweetener.
Turn ordinary vegetables into satisfying sweet, salty, crunchy snacks. Experiment with different nut butters, and your choices of sweetener like raw honey or stevia.
14. Cut up greens & other veggies and add to grain dishes.
It doesn’t matter if you eat cooked or raw quinoa, brown rice, or barley, you can still use this tip. Simply chop up fresh vegetables like spinach, cucumbers, and other veggies and put them into your grain dishes.
15. Drink Raw Gatorade.
Instead of reaching for a sugary drink after a work out, why not embrace the fruit and veggie duo in Raw Gatorade? To make raw gatorade blend water, bananas, and celery.
16. That’s a wrap.
You can make tons of great vegetable rich entrees with wraps. Simply wrap veggies up in a leaf or a gluten free tortilla, and add your favorite sauces or spices. Even the wrap itself can be a vegetable, like a collard leaf, a cabbage leaf, or even a lettuce leaf. Yum!
Photo by Darwin Bell
17. Make veggies available at all meals, and not just as a side dish.
Yes, that means breakfast too! The key to eating more vegetables is to treat them as a central theme to all meals.
18. Make a vegetable sandwich with anything that won’t fall out.
When eating out ask for a vegetable sandwich instead of the extra heavy meaty variety. With a veggie sandwich you could end up with a lovely looking salad, between 2 slices of bread. You can make raw bread in a dehydrator, so don’t discount this option if you’re all raw!
19. Make your own veggie salad dressings & dips.
When you blend your own salad dressings, you can sneak more veggies into the dressing itself too! Try blending avocado, cucumber, as well as sea vegetables and add some spices. Yum.
20. Have sliced veggies on hand at all times, and get yourself a good dip for snacking.
We’re a lot more likely to reach for the veggies instead of the chips if they’re already in snack form. When you get home from a shopping trip, wash and cut your snacking vegetables and store in the fridge for easy access. Then either make your own delicious veggie dips or have a healthy alternative on hand for when the snacking strikes!
21. Eat your salad before your main meal.
This ensures you get your veggies in before you get full. Plus a good salad before a meal will keep you from overeating the foods that aren’t as good for you.
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Today I’m sharing a fun video of the transformation that took place in my backyard.
I never really considered myself as having a green thumb, but after going raw and coming home I realized how much fun it can be to grow your own food. Not only does growing a vegetable garden help you reduce the costs and the impact of shipping food for your consumption, but it’s really fun!
Here’s a quick video that shows my backyard and home garden as it gets a makeover.
If you’re reading this via email click here to watch the video.
Home Garden Makeovers
The redesigned garden is really working well for us. Last year’s garden was great, and we harvested a lot of very delicious vegetables.
I know this year we are going to be surpassing our yield, and we are already reaping the benefits with fresh vegetables like spinach, Swiss chard, baby lettuce, and radishes for our salads. Oh, and running out to the garden to grab some spinach is so much more fun than getting in a car and driving to the store when you run out!
Hopefully this video will inspire you to undertake a little bit of gardening of your own. You don’t need to have a big backyard to start a garden, in fact, it’s probably easier to start small and expand year after year.