Every year I post something on sprouts, those lovely little greens that are crunchy and flavorful. Articles have been written about the danger of sprouts because of bacteria, but I have been growing them for more than 35 years without a problem. Perhaps the best way to avoid the issue is to grow your own from organic seeds in jars or baby greens in soil, now called micro greens, such as pea shoots and grasses. Rather than repeat the sprouting information, here is the link to the article I did last fall: Sprout Heaven.
Instead of the information that is already in Sprout Heaven, here is a list of ideas for using sprouts from my book The Johnny Alfalfa Handbook (See My Books for ordering.) and a bean recipe with sprouts.
1. Put alfalfa, clover, radish and other delicate sprouts or micro greens in sandwiches in place of lettuce. Their moisture and flavor surpass lettuce.
2. Add mung, soy, lentil (that is, bean sprouts) to stir-fried veggies, stews and casseroles near the end of cooking.
3. Right before serving soup, top with lentil sprouts. Instead of croutons, serve “sproutons.”
4. Top raw appetizers with clover, alfalfa or radish sprouts.
5. Mix sprouts into your favorite dip for a crunchier consistency.
6. Add sprouted grains (ex. wheat, rye, oats) to pancake batters, baked goods, veggie burgers, and potato pancakes.
7. Add micro greens to potato salad, egg salad, tuna salad, and omelettes.
8. Blend radish sprouts into your favorite salad dressing for extra zest.
9. Stir sprouted wheat or rye berries into oatmeal or other hot cereal at the end of cooking.
10. Garnish hoagies or pizza with sprouts.
Be creative! Actually, sprouts and micro-greens are as versatile as your imagination. Enjoy them for taste, nutrition and fun. (Sprouting is a great science project for kids.)
White Bean Salad for Spring
Utensils: Cutting board & knife, pot for beans if cooking them, strainer, small bowl & serving bowl
Prep. Time: 15 minutes if beans are cooked
Cooking Time: 25 minutes if cooking beans; otherwise, none
Categories: Vegan, Gluten-free
1- 1 1/2 c. cooked cannellini (white kidney) or great northern (white bean) *
2-3 scallions, trimmed and chopped (mostly white with a little green from stems)
1/2 carrot, grated
1 Tbl. oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp. mustard
dill to taste
Note: If using dried beans: soak overnight, drain, spread onto a brownie sized baking pan, freeze a few hours & then cook for about 20 minutes. (Freezing cuts down on cooking time.) Or skip the freezing and just cook the soaked beans until tender.
1. Drain canned beans and place in a serving bowl. Add chopped scallions and grated carrots. Toss.
2. Whisk the oil, lemon juice, mustard, and dill in a small bowl. Pour over beans & greens and toss well before serving.
3. Garnish with sprouts of your choice. You can also mix them into the salad, but the sprouts tend to get soggy, so only mix them in if you plan to use the whole salad. (Or if you like soggy sprouts!)
Variation: I had some leftover wild rice that I had cooked for a mushroom soup recipe with wild rice. (I didn’t like the color of the soup so I did not post it, even though it tasted good.) I added it to the salad the day after I made it and had only a little left. By mixing in the wild rice, I had enough for my dinner and it also gave color to the dish. (See photo below.)
Wild Rice & White Bean Salad with Sprouts
* I used dried beans that I reconstituted with water and soaked overnight, drained, froze, and then cooked in water ’til tender, so the amount is approximate. If you use canned beans, I recommend organic beans from Eden Foods without BPA in the lining, which has shown to cause problems. (See photos below) You can use the whole can, drained, or use two cans and double the recipe for company.