Live Foods – Sprouted Quinoa Rainbow Salad

I am reminded of the importance of eating live foods, I have been planting lots of seeds at the moment and it never ceases to amaze me how something so small can grow into such incredible plants. Nature truly is magnificent.

We can tap into some of that awesomeness ourselves by eating live foods. So what do I mean by live foods? Well if you start sprouting your own seeds and beans then you can capture some of that amazing life force in your body.

I have sprouts growing at the moment in my kitchen, brown lentils and quinoa. I love the process of sprouting, it’s sooo simple and great fun to watch! I get my kids to join in as I think that it’s important for them to see life emerging before there very eyes.

There are a few lovely dishes you can do with sprouts, or you can just have some on your plate with each meal.

Sprouting raw nuts, seeds, beans and grains is one of the quickest and easiest ways to pack a group of nutrients into your body in just one handful. Raw nuts and seeds especially already have so many good nutrients in them that, when sprouted, the nutritional profile multiplies.

Quinoa is a South American grain which is a complete protein.  Protein is made up of 23 amino acids which are the building blocks of all protein in the body. The human body contains an amino acid pool which it draws from and deposits into as it needs and consumes. This pool is found in the blood, liver and cells. Even on a fruit diet, adequate amounts of protein can be supplied. Two amino acids are essential to children only, arginine (which is found in chocolate, buckwheat and wheatgerm amongst other foods) and histine (found in rice, wheat and rye). Goji berries contain both amino acids.

Quinoa also is rich in omega 3, calcium and high in antioxidants and works as an anti-inflammatory.

Sprouted Quinoa Rainbow Salad;
2 cups of sprouted Quinoa
1 cup of Spinach or Kale
1/2a  Cucumber, finely chopped
1 Carrot, grated
1 Raw Beetroot, grated
30g Butternut Squash, grated (raw)
10g Parsley, finely chopped
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 tsp of tamari
Olive oil or coconut oil

Soak the quinoa in water overnight (rinse, drain and sprout for a day). The next day, rinse the quinoa sprouts again and place on a clean kitchen towel to absorb as much excess water as possible.

Grate the carrot and butternut, chop the parsley, dice the cucumber and mix all other ingredients together. Serve and eat.

Chickweed Pesto

This week I am going to tell you a little about Chickweed (Stellaria media).

This plant grows profusely and is of great use to us. Not only can we use it on our skin to heal and soothe but we can make delicious salads and juices with it.
Here are some of the many health benefits of our humble friend Chickweed.
Chickweed when eaten can help with intestinal complaints such as constipation. It is said to help with lung diseases including asthma, kidney disorders and urinary tract inflammation. It is also used to relieve extreme exhaustion. Chickweed applied topically relieves various skin conditions such as cuts, ulcers, burns, arthritis pain and symptoms of eczema and heat rash.

Chickweed contains minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, silica, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. It also contains vitamin A, vitamin B-1, vitamin B-2, niacin, and vitamin C.

Chickweed PestoChickweed Pesto;
3 tbs of Pine nuts or Sunflower seeds
1 Clove of Garlic (optional)
1/4 tsp of Himalayan Salt
2 packed cups of fresh chickweed, chopped
1/2 a cup of olive oil
1/2 a cup of pre-soaked cashew nuts
A handful of freh Thyme and Oregano

Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend well!