Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Be the gentle difference

Yes, we all know this saying: "Be the difference you want to see in the world." Thanks Gandhi. After a gruelling few months of threading a thesis together on how to grow sustainable food systems, I pretty much realised that it comes down to personal change. Nothing is as powerful and as sustainable as someone deciding that s/he is going to do things differently. There are a lot of ways in which efforts could be supported and these should not be disregarded, but that moment of enlightenment, if you would allow me this word, is the essential first step.

Another lesser known quote of Gandhi's inspired me to share one simple thing you could do differently with you: "In a gentle way, you can shake the world." Having been engaged with finding easy, affordable and fun ways of making my own diet more sustainable, I've discovered and grown to love the art of sprouting. Sprouts are wonderful. Jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes, they are one of the most complete and nutritious foods that exist. And did I mention easy, affordable and fun?


This is how you do it. You can sprout seeds (e.g. alfalfa, oats and sunflower seeds), grains (e.g. rye, what and rice) and legumes (e.g. lentils, soy beans and my favourite, chic peas). Seeds and grains need to be soaked for 6 hours, while legumes have to be soaked for up to 13 hours. Once you've drained the soaking water, use a recycled homemade sprouting kit to get those babies growing. I use various glass jars of all shapes and sizes, squares cut from the bags which generally hold oranges or onions and the elastic bands that hold the bunches of vegetables together that Michelle and I buy from markets or get in our CSA bags. You can soak the seeds, grains or legumes in the jars. Once you have drained the water, cover the mouth of the jar with a square and secure it with an elastic band. The bottle is then turned upside-down and placed in a larger jar standing upright. Place the jars in well-lit area, but not in direct sunlight. You should rinse the sprouts in the morning before your breakfast coffee/tea and in the evening before you brush your teeth. Michelle took a picture of all the ingredients necessary for my recycled sprouting kit.


You could also buy a simple sprouting kit if the bottling system is overwhelming. Another picture from Michelle's picture maker. The round tower of trays is Michelle's sprouter, which she bought from Divine Foods.


Depending on what you have in the jar, sprouts take two to four days before you can eat them. The little root should be at least twice as long as the fat round bit of the sprout. You can keep sprouts in the fridge for up to a week, where they will continue to grow and increase their vitamin content. Gentle little shakers.

Use them in stir-fries, salads, soups, on sandwiches or as a snack. Nom nom nom. Enjoy.


gec said...

Ek wou nog altyd weet hoe doen mens dit. Soy bean sprouts here I come!

Michelle said...

Readymade sprouters are for suckers! Long live the homemade version!

Anonymous said...

Now I know, bless you sprout goddesses!