Clover Sprouts for Spring

Most people associate the clover plant with St. Patrick’s Day, but clover sprouts are also very healthy. See articles from the net below & directions for sprouting after the excellent article excerpts.

This is the clover grass I grew at home, which I found takes almost two weeks to grow. And the grass is still very short & hard to harvest. So this is for display only. See directions below for sprouting clover in a jar.

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I have long known that clover has a role to play in cancer. This excerpt from the International Sprout Growers Association, which I believe we joined when my first husband & I operated a sprouting business, http://www.isga-sprouts.org/clover.htm, is just the tip of the iceberg. Even more interesting and enlightening to me is the link provided on this site about clover & menopause. (See second article) ellensue

 

#1- An Anticancer Clover

When James Duke, Ph.D., an economic botanist and former U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher, tosses red clover sprouts into salads, he isn’t seeking simply flavor or crunch. Red clover (Trifolium pratense) contains genistein, an anticancer compound that prevents new blood vessels from forming with in a tumor. (Genistein can also be found in soy, black beans and peanuts.) Since tumors rely on new blood vessels to grow, genistein effectively starves the cancer.

clover sprouts
Clover Sprouts

Red clover is one of the world’s oldest and most common natural cancer remedies. In fact, one study found that 33 cultures use the herb against the disease. However, it may create problems for certain cancer patients. For example, says Labriola, women being treated for breast cancer with the drug tamoxifen should avoid red clover because tamoxifen prevents estrogen from reaching a tumor, and phytoestrogenic compounds in red clover could undermine that action. In this case, it’s possible red clover could feed, not starve, an estrogen-dependent breast tumor, Labriola warns. (Editor’s Note: These same phytoestrogenic compounds can be helpful with menopausal symptoms in women who wish to naturally increase their estrogen levels.)

The scientific study of red clover is still new. Although its anticancer compounds make it an effective cancer-fighting food for some people, only further research will clarify red clover’s future cancer treatment role (Cancer Research, vol. 48, no. 22).

An Extract from “In Concert Against Cancer,” October, 1998

 

#2 – Clover Sprouts and Menopause

Studies in humans, animals and cell culture systems suggest that dietary phytoestrogens play an important role in prevention of menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease. Broadly defined, phytoestrogens include isoflavones, coumestans, and lignans. Alfalfa sprouts, soybeans, clover and oilseeds (such as flaxseed) are the most significant dietary sources of isoflavones, coumestans, and lignans, respectively. A number of these compounds have been identified in fruits, vegetables and whole grains commonly consumed by humans.

Proposed mechanisms include estrogenic and antiestrogenic effects, induction of cancer cell differentiation, inhibition of tyrosine kinase and DNA topoisomerase activities, suppression of angiogenesis, and antioxidant effects. Although there currently are no dietary recommendations for individual phytoestrogens, there may be great benefit in increased consumption of plant foods; especially sprouts such as Alfalfa, Clover and Soybean, and flaxseed.

A News Extract from the Annual Review of Nutrition, 17:353-381 1997, DIETARY PHYTOESTROGENS
By Kurtzer MS, Xu X

P.S. This website has an excellent page on different ways to use sprouts. Check it out! http://www.isga-sprouts.org/clover.htm

Growing Clover Sprouts (by ellensue)

Clover seeds are very small, so you need only a couple of tablespoons to get started:

1. Place 2-3 tablespoons clover seeds in a tall jar with a wide mouth. Add pure water to cover the seeds. Cover the mouth of the jar with a  net and strong rubber band. (You can use the netting from panty hose and the thick rubber band found wrapped around produce.

2. Soak 4-6 hours. Smaller seeds require much less soaking, so you can start them at dinner and drain them before the 11 pm news. Once drained, place the jar on its side at an angle, away from direct sunlight.

3. Add water to the growing seeds at least twice each day and drain thoroughly. Place sprouting sees at an angle to continue to drain. (If they sit in water, they will rot!) After 3 or 4 days (warmer weather hastens their growth but also he chance they will spoil, so rinse & drain more often in summer)  they will be almost fully sprouted. These are ready to be hulled & harvested. (I believe removing the hulls prevents spoilage & bacteria growth.)

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4. Remove the sprouts & place in a large bowl filled with cool water, separate the sprouts gently with your hands,  allowing the hulls to rise to the surface and be skimmed off, and the seeds that did not germinate to settle to the bottom. Just skim off the now hulless sprouts & place in a colander to drain for a few minutes.

5.  After lifting the sprouts gently into a colander to drain, place them near the window or on a windowsill to “green up” so that the chlorophyll “blossoms.” When they are well-drained, but not bone dry, place the fully grown & green sprouts in a clean jar with a lid and refrigerate. Below is the photo of my ready-to-eat sprouts before putting them in the jar.

I washed and dried the same jar I used for sprouting because the wide mouth makes accessing them easier. About mid-week, I start another batch of seeds of my choice so that they are ready to harvest about the same time as I finish off this jar…a constant growing & harvesting of fresh greens. Check the ideas for how to use your sprouts on the ISGA website: http://www.isga-sprouts.org/clover.htm. I generally use them in wraps, salads, & on top of crackers spread with nut butters.

You can’t get any more fresh, local,organic* food than sprouts grown in your own kitchen & greened up on your windowsill!

*My organic seeds are from www.sprouting.com in Canada.

P.S. Several years ago, when I co-operated a sprouting operation, I also had a non-profit division called Johnny Alfalfa Sprout, like Johnny Appleseed only with sprout seeds. We donated seeds to missioners in Third World Countries through Maryknoll Sisters & I wrote a book at their request. If you want to purchase a signed copy of The Johnny Alfalfa Handbook, go to MY BOOKS & place your order. Thanx! ellensue

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