Just Eat It: Sprouted Quinoa Breakfast

17 05 2010

May seems to be a sprouting month, with the sun shining in Calgary and gardeners anxiously awaiting the May long weekend to get their pots and gardens growing. We are included in that group and ready to dig the garden. This past weekend we spent doing the spring clean up, getting the pots out, cleaning off the lawn furniture and cutting the bit of lawn we have. I am excited to see how the perennial bed turns out as we moved things around late last year. We spent the weekend in the midst of the plum tree in full bloom and the smell kept us smiling. The Nanking Cherry’s are blooming and buzzing with bees. Our white peonies are already 2.5 feet tall, flower buds are forming and ready for a June premier. Peonies are my favourite and although they bloom for short time they signal summer is here. When they bloom I’ll be sure to share!

Back to sprouting. This month’s Yoga Shala Just Eat It recipe is Sprouted Quinoa Breakfast. Sprouting quinoa, legumes, grains and seeds is easy. The best thing about sprouting is that you have healthy food ready to eat with no additional cooking or preparation. You just need a little patience and that’s exactly what us yogis are working on everyday :). This breakfast is easy, it can be made ahead and ready to eat after your morning practice.

To sprout the quinoa, use a glass jar and replace the lid with cheesecloth and an elastic band. Place 1 cup or more of quinoa in the jar and cover with filtered water. Let soak for 4-8 hours, you’ll see sprouts start to grow in just four hours. Rinse it once or twice by pouring out the water through the cheesecloth and adding fresh filtered water. After soaking, drain and place in the fridge, it will keep for 3-4 days. If you really like sprouting buy a sprouting jar like this one. It makes sprouting super easy. (See previous blog entry on sprouting.)

On top of 1/3 cup of sprouted quinoa, add diced apple, banana, orange and pear and a 1/4 of diced avocado. Sprinkle with a variety of sprouted, raw or lightly toasted seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, flax and nuts like almonds, walnuts and cashews. Don’t have a lot of quinoa, use the left over brown or wild rice, mix it together. Eat it.

Eat well, Be well,

Nat

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Sprouting, what fun!

13 05 2010

I bought a sprouting dish at Planet Organic years ago and started using it finally last year. Again, something so easy I didn’t do it. Well, now I am addicted and we have sprouts growing at all times in our kitchen. I have experimented with a bunch of different seeds, legumes and grains. I believe that Community Health sells sprouting trays and I recommend picking one up. You can buy the seeds/grains/legumes bulk or buy packages of them. Mum’s Sprouting Seeds sells a bunch of seed options on their website and has a bunch of info to sprout on your own. You can buy the packaged ones at Planet and Community. I recommend buying their Easy Sprout, which I love for sprouting quinoa. A fellow health food junkie Trina introduced me to this fantastic little sprouting buddy. I now have quinoa ready for eating in the fridge all the time.

Now, you don’t need these special tools to sprout, you can use a jar. Put cheese cloth over the opening, secure with an elastic. Add the seeds/grains/legumes to the jar, cover with filtered water, you need to soak the sprouts for 2-8 hours, depending on what they are. Just think quinoa, small, less dense 2-4 hours. You’ll see them sprout in 2 hours. Wheat berries 4-6 hours, larger and more dense. Rinse them a couple of times, draining water through cheese cloth, replace with fresh filtered water. When they are finished soaking rinse really well, leave in jar, no water, cheese cloth on top for air circulation. Leave in fridge or counter and watch them sprout, rinsing once or twice a day (not all need this though). I think they sprout faster on the counter, but then I refrigerate them. There are so many options and it is fun to experiment. When you order an Easy Sprout you can order a sprouting chart or google sprouting charts, there are lots of references. We have tried the Mum’s Wheat Berries (long greens, sweet and crunchy, pictured in the bottom tray below), Spring Salad (small, nutty-spicy sprouts), Red Daikon Radish (bright red and spicy), Crunchy Bean Mix (packed with protein rich legumes, pictured in first picture below when first placed in tray) and my favourite at the moment, Ancient Eastern Blend (mix of fenugreek, lentils, kamut and adzuki beans, pictured on top tray below).

Update to this blog: What do you do with the sprouts after you had fun growing them? (why I shouldn’t blog after 8PM)

I add them to salads, smoothies, rice, quinoa, wraps, to toast, anything really. Find ways to incorporate them. Sprouts are packed and concentrated with vitamins. Enjoy!

Eat well, Be well,

Nat






Real Raw Food

24 03 2010

When I took that raw food ‘cooking’ class last year we learned about a great raw food distributor out of BC, Real Raw Food. I recently did another order and in 48 hours had a box full of raw organic nuts, raisins, coconut butter and cocao nibs at my door. The shipping costs are low ($12 this time) and there is a minimum $100 order, but that is easy to reach if you use these ingredients a lot. Compared to buying them bulk at organic markets, it is worth it.

By the way the company that we did the raw food class with was Feel Alive. Tammy was a real raw foodie, the real deal. She made raw food approachable and doable. Even though totally raw herself, she encourages ways to incorporate raw eating into parts of your life, there is goodness all around.

Want raw food inspiration? I got Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen recipe book as a gift. It was my introduction to raw food and raw food movements a few years ago. Ani Phyo is very well known. I like her simplicity and style. She is not the only one out there, if you google raw food there is lots, a bit overwhelming actually. I have loved everything I have tried out of Ani’s book. As well, she gives an overview of raw food basics and techniques. I am not advocating a raw diet, I don’t subscribe to one diet but I do eat more raw fruits and veggies in the summer than winter that’s for sure. There is a lot of goodness to raw eating so do what makes sense to you. If you just eat 8-12 servings of fruits and veggies a day your health will change (and there won’t be room for as much crap, right).

Be Well, Eat Well, Nat