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Spring is seen as a time of growth, renewal, of new life (both plant and animal) being born. The term is also used more generally as a metaphor for the start of better times so it’s the perfect time of year to make plans to shift your diet to one of a more plant based instead of heavy animal food. This will not only spur you towards renewed health but it will help alleviate the suffering of animals and at the same time go a long way towards helping environmental issues.
Dust down your sprouter and get your seeds growing. Sprouting is the practice of germinating seeds to be eaten raw or cooked. Sprouted foods are a convenient way to have fresh vegetables for salads or otherwise, in any season and can be germinated at home. They are a prominent ingredient of the raw food diet and common in Eastern Asian cuisine. Sprouting is also applied on a large scale to barley as a part of the malting process.
Sprouts are rich in digestible energy, bio-available vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, and phytochemicals, as these are necessary for a germinating plant to grow. These nutrients are essential for human health and perfect for perking up your liver and helping to detox the heavier foods of winter.
This is the perfect time of year to sprout grain also. I soak our brown rice overnight, rinse it and place it in a colander covered with a towel. I then rinse it twice daily. By day 3 the rice has sprouted and when cooked it tastes amazing.
“Sprouting grains causes increased activities of hydrolytic enzymes, improvements in the contents of total proteins, fat, certain essential amino acids, total sugars, B-group vitamins, and a decrease in dry matter, starch and anti-nutrients. The increased contents of protein, fat, fibre and total ash are only apparent and attributable to the disappearance of starch. However, improvements in amino acid composition, B-group vitamins, sugars, protein and starch digestibilities, and decrease in phytates and protease inhibitors are the metabolic effects of the sprouting process.”
My Favourite Recipe to Stimulate the Liver & Gallbladder!
Spring Vegetable Quick Fix with Quickly Pickled Radishes
4 cups bok choy (thinly sliced and steamed gently)
2 cups bean sprouts
2 cups chickpeas (organic canned)
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tbsp shelled hemp seed
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
1 bunch red radishes
2 tbsp umeboshi vinegar
1 cup water
Place the radish slices in a bowl. Add the vinegar to the water in a small pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and pour the liquid over the radishes. Allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
1 tbsp sweet white miso
1 tbsp shoyu or tamari
1/8 cup brown rice vinegar
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth adding more water if required.
Finely slice the bok choy and steam gently for a few minutes. Allow to cool in a large bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients into the bok choy and take about two heaped tablespoons of the pickled radishes, mix well and pour over the dressing.
Follow the guidelines for spring detox, teas, soups and home remedies in my book ‘Macrobiotics for all Seasons’
In good health