Sprouting Health and Vitality

Sharon and Randy Muller. Daniel Lane photos

Rainbow Garden grows about 2,000 pounds of sprouts a week and has been sprouting since 1991.

What’s growing:

Alfalfa, Broccoli/Clover Mix, clover, Crispy Mix (sprouted peas, lentil and adzuki beans), sprouted garbanzo beans, mung bean, radish, sunflower and wheatgrass.

SPROUTS

Records indicate that Chinese physicians prescribed sprouts for curing many disorders more than 5,000 years ago. Although accounts of sprouting appear in the Bible in the Book of Daniel, it took centuries before the West fully realized their nutritional benefits.

Mung bean sprouts

Season: Rainbow Garden grows sprouts and wheatgrass year-round. They make deliveries three times a week providing fresh sprouts islandwide.

What to look for:

Look for plump, white stalks. Browning stalks and roots are a sign of age. Inside the bags, it should be clear and moist, not cloudy and filmy.

Storage:

Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

The Mullers grow sunflower sprouts outside; photosythesis turns the leaves green

Tip:

To make a healthy condiment, dehydrate excess sprouts and powder them in a clean coffee grinder. For sprout salt, combine 1 teaspoon sea salt, 5 teaspoons powdered sunflower, 1 teaspoon powdered radish, 2 teaspoons powdered alfalfa and 1 teaspoon dried dulse flakes.

Preparation:

Sprouts can be eaten raw in smoothies or added to sandwiches and salads, and they make a fine addition to any stir-fry.

Susan likes to use mung bean sprouts as a pasta replacement. She recommends cooking them for several minutes before adding marinara sauce. “It’s really good,” she says. “And it’s really healthy.” She also adds a handful to sautéed mushrooms and scrambled eggs. They have even found their way into the couple’s ramen.

Crispy Mix is a blend of peas, lentils and adzuki beans

Health benefits:

Sprouts are a concentrated source of nutrients necessary for life. These baby plants are rich in protein, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and amino acids; amounts vary according to type. Alfalfa sprouts are 35 percent protein, and sprouted soybeans are a highly effective blood sugar regulator.

Rainbow Garden’s sprouts can be found at:

Grocery: Big Save/Times, Cost-U-Less, Foodland, Hoku Foods Natural Market, Papaya’s Natural Foods and Harvest Market.

Restaurants: Coconut Cup. Farmers Markets: Kukui Grove, (Mondays at 3 p.m.), Kaua’i Culinary Market at Kukui’ula (Wednesdays at 4 p.m.), Kapa’a, (Wednesdays at 3 p.m.), Vidinha Stadium (Fridays at 3 p.m.) and Hanalei (Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.). Rainbow Garden also distributes islandwide through Esaki’s and Kaua’i Growers Exchange. Call 634-3280 for details.

Sprouted garbanzos, mung bean, sunflower, alfalfa, radish, Crispy Mix and clover

SPROUT FRIED RICE

This recipe makes great use of Rainbow Garden’s Crispy Mix and sprouted garbanzos. Sprouted beans are easier to digest, higher in protein and lower in starch than dried beans. To preserve nutrients, use low heat and cook until beans are soft all the way through.

* 4 ounces Rainbow Garden Crispy Mix
* 4 ounces Rainbow Garden sprouted garbanzos
* 1 cup rice
* 1 1/3 cups water
* 2/3 cup coconut milk
* 2 tablespoons oil
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 2 lime wedges

Sprout Fried Rice. Daniel Lane photos

Rinse rice in a strainer until water runs clear. If you have a rice cooker, add 2/3 cups coconut milk and add enough water to cook 1 cup of rice. If not, add rice, 2/3 coconut milk and 1 1/3 cups of water to a pot and bring to a boil; reduce heat. To keep it from boiling over, I like to transfer the pot to another burner set to low. Cook for 45 minutes.

Place pan over low heat and add oil. Add sprouted garbanzos and cover. Cook for 10 minutes, until soft. Add Crispy Mix and cook for five minutes. Add soy sauce, rice and sugar and cook for two more minutes.

Put on two plates and sprinkle with lime juice.

Makes two servings.

KauaianFresh.com

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