Some people have asked me recently about what to eat during the cold months when transitioning to raw food, especially because the price of fruit and veg goes up and the quality of fresh foods goes down. So what’s a raw foodist to do? Well, in my opinion, winter is the perfect time to start experimenting with sprouting and dehydrating foods. Why not add a new level of excitement and interest to your raw food diet choices!
The sprouting is SO easy and it is super cheap! This is the best way to save money and still have an abundance of raw foods. You can go crazy with sprouting. My favorites (just for ease) are mung beans, chick peas and sunflower. With sprouted chick peas you can make your own raw hummus:
1 c. chick pea sprouts (sprouted overnight)
Juice of 1 lemon or lime (I prefer lime)
2 T. fresh orange juice
1 clove garlic
2 T. raw tahini
Optional seasonings: ground cumin, spike or sea salt to taste, chives, paprika, cayenne pepper
Blend all of the ingredients. Add water to thin to desired consistency.
Very delicious spread on leafy greens or red bell pepper strips or even celery. Enjoy!
If you are unsure of how to begin sprouting, don’t be afraid – actually it is so easy. You don’t even need sunlight, just a jar, container or sprout bag and water.
I encourage all of you to get your seeds wet and your hands dirty and start sprouting this winter!!
The Sproutman website has some useful info on getting started with sprouts.
His instructions are:
Basic Instructions for Sprouting in a Sprout Bag
1. Soak your seeds in a jar of pure water overnight. (about 8 hours).
2. Moisten the bag and pour the soaked seeds in. Rinse and hang the bag on a hook or knob or lay in dish rack. Dripping stops in about one minute
3. Rinse sprouts by dipping the bag in water for 30 seconds, twice daily, morning and evening.
Commentary: Sprout bags travel well, they never break and since they drain on all sides and breathe throughout, mold and mildew are rare.
Another good site, Sprouting at Home, explains what the benefits of sprouting are:
Buy you own 100% cotton sprout bags, just visit my Healthy Bliss store!
Why Eat Sprouts? quoted from The Wonders of Sprouting by Lucie Desjarlais, RNC
“Lots of reasons! They carry plenty of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and enzymes, all necessary for the body to function optimally. In addition to providing the greatest amount of these nutrients, sprouts deliver them in a form that is easily digested and assimilated. In fact, they improve the efficiency of digestion. Sprouts are also deliciously fresh and colourful!
Sprouts are very inexpensive (even when organic), always fresh (they grow until you chew them) and have the potential to help solve hunger and malnutrition problems in our communities and in developing countries, because they are so rich in nutrients, affordable, and easy to transport before sprouting. Sprouts are precious in winter, when the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables is declining as their price increases.”
“(Sprouts) supply the highest amount of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc. of any food per unit of calorie.”
“… sprouts nourish and strengthen the whole body, including the vital immune system.”
So, the dehydrator. Well the best thing about dehydrating in winter is that, although the food is not considered ‘cooked,’ it can still be warm when it comes out of the dehydrator so it is a nice option is you are yearning for something heated for you belly. You can make raw crackers and breads, and again, during winter when you are stuck inside, why not give the dehydrating a try!
Here is an easy recipes for Flax Crackers:
4 cups whole flax seeds, soaked 4-6 hours
1/3 to 1/2 cup Braggs Aminos
juice of 2-3 lemons
Soak flax seeds for 4 to 6 hours in purified water. You will then have a gelatinous mixture, be sure to keep moist and loose for spreading. Add Braggs and lemon juice to taste and mix well. Spread mixture as thin as possible on your dehydrator trays with a teflex sheet on top. Keep your hands wet as this will help on spreading the flax seeds (or use a spatula) Dehydrate at 105 degees for 5-6 hours and then flip the mixture and remove the teflex sheet. Continue dehydrating until the mixture completely dry. Approximately 5-6 hours.
You could add garlic, onions, carrot juice, taco seasoning, Italian seasoning, chili powder, cumin in any combination. Be creative and make up your own recipe.
Start sprouting today – get your own 100% cotton sprout bags!
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