Copyright by Gabriele Kushi with www.kushiskitchen.com
When spring is around the corner we start to sprout some of the beans and seeds we use in Kushi's Kitchen. Avid gardeners know that March is the right time to start sprouting and grow the seedlings. Then after the last spring frost the seedlings can be transplanted into their gardens.
One can basically sprout any seed, grain, nut and bean. Good spring sprouting foods are Barley, Alfalfa, Mung and Wheat. Sprouting is fun and easy, and the result can be eaten in about 1 week. Kids love helping out, too. It gives them a great visual on how food grows.
The spring season is the time when nature starts to wake up after the long winter month. The seeds in the earth start to sprout and soon new plants are giving us food to eat, oxygen to breath and beauty to look at. Within the macrobiotic philosophy of seasonal eating the spring is the time when eating sprouts makes the most sense. Although one can sprout all year round, using the appropriate seasonal foods.
The upward energy of the spring season correlates with the wood energy of the Oriental 5-transformation theory. The Liver/Gall Bladder meridians are relating to the Wood element. These organs are activated in the spring and cleansing and healing of these organs is given prime focus.
As part of the food that supports the energy of the spring, we used Mung beans in our sprouting adventure. We also sprouted Chickpeas and included them in our recipe for balance. The Chickpeas are more often used in the month after the summer, which we call Indian summer. They correlate within the Oriental 5-transformation theory to the Soil season that manifests the Stomach/Spleen meridian energy system. We also eat chickpeas, among other Soil energy categorized food when we need support for these organs.
When sprouting seeds, beans and grains their nutritional value increases tenfold. Enzymes are more potent and one has to eat less food to get all the nutrition one needs. Thus it could be a perfect food for weight loss.
Sprouting provides an appreciation to how plant life enfolds. Waiting for the sprouts to be ready to eat can also slow us down. Something we could use in our fast food and instant gratification oriented society. Our appreciation for the food we are blessed to eat daily grows, and our hearts and prayers reach out to the parts of the world where food is not readily available.
Using your own homemade sprouts in your kitchen is fun and important, although one can get them year round in Natural Food Stores. In our kitchen we use a sprouting tray and a Mason jar for easy sprouting. We start by using the sprouting tray for the mung beans and the Mason jar we use for the chickpeas.
First we need to get you going on the sprouting adventure. You need organic seeds, beans or grains and a Sprouting Tray and a Mason jar.
Soak: Rinse the beans or seeds and soak in class bowls with room temperature water, for 8 hours.
Rinse: Place beans or seeds on a sprouting tray. 4 times a day drizzle room temperature water over beans or seeds - making sure they stay in place.
Enjoy: In three to six days when sprouts are 1 to 2" long (2 to 5 cm) beans or seeds are ready to eat. Cover and refrigerate to store.
Soak: Add about ¼ cup of beans or seeds to the Mason jar. Secure the screen of the jar using the ring portion of the lid. Rinse the beans or seeds and add room temperature water and soak for 8 hours.
Rinse: Twice in the morning and twice in the evening, drain jar, refill with room temperature water, swirl, and drain again. Invert jar and prop at angle in sink or bowl. Making sure all the water is removed.
Enjoy: In three to six days when sprouts are 1 to 2" long (2 to 5 cm) long, they are ready to eat. Cover the jar with original lid and refrigerate to store.