Winter Sprout Slaw Recipe0
Winter is not usually a favored time of year for those of us who fancy eating fresh food from a home garden. Some of us manage to grow a few things indoors while others make it through the winter on garden goodies stored up from fall harvests. Veggies like hard squashes, carrots, onions and potatoes store well enough to make the long trek from September harvests to February meals. Maybe this doesn’t bother you, but I really dislike buying veggies at the store when I know I could be growing them at home (and preserving them for colder months). But every once in a while, I crave something green and fresh and crunchy – something I’m not likely to get out of a canning jar. That’s where sprouts come in.
Sprouts are a perfect winter-time veggie to introduce into your diet. First, they’re simple to grow and take up very little space in the process. You can grow sprouts whether the thermometer tells you that it’s -10 or 100 degrees outside. Besides being easy to grow in winter, they’re also loaded with nutrition.
Sprouts are an incredibly rich, living food that is rich in enzymes and anti-oxidants. The fermentation process unlocks huge nutrient potential within the seed. Sprouted foods have five to ten times higher B vitamins, double the vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, calcium and iron content of its pre-soaked and sprouted counterpart. The enzymes will also make the protein much more bioavailable for consumption.
How to Grow Sprouts
Growing sprouts is easy. They can be made from almost any grain, seed or nut, but some of the more common choices are mung beans, alfalfa seeds, broccoli seeds and lentils.
I’m no sprout-expert, but the people at www.sproutpeople.org are! They’ve assembled a great collection of sprouting instructions in their easy-to follow (and free) Sprouting 101 Class. (No, they didn’t pay me to say that. They don’t even know I exist!) Here are the steps in a nutshell:
- Cover your seeds in water before bed and allow them to soak overnight.
- In the morning, drain your seeds. Rinse them with fresh water and drain them again. Be sure to drain them as thoroughly as possible. This process can be simplified by using a mason jar and one of these handy sprouting lids (see picture at left). The lid allows the water to escape without losing even tiny seeds. Leave the jar upside down in a dish drainer to continue draining.
- Repeat this process 2-3 times a day until the sprouts are the length you would like. Many sprouts will be ready to eat in as little as two days.
- Store sprouts in the fridge after they have reached the desired length.
This sprout-slaw recipe was created using ingredients that would likely be available in the pantry or cellar of a well-stocked homesteader, including root vegetables that are typically stored over winter.
Winter Sprout Slaw Recipe
When one of those “I want something fresh and green!” urges hit me the other day I started thinking about sprouts. And all of their benefits. And how easy they are to grow. And then I started thinking about what I might do with said tasty sprouts… and I came up with this.
In addition to easy-to-grow-in-winter sprouts, this recipe also uses vegetables that can be harvested in fall and stored in your home pantry through the winter. I used mainly bean sprouts for my slaw, which are crunchy and sweet, but I also tossed in some spicy broccoli, alfalfa and clover sprouts. The result was a spicy – teetering on very spicy – slaw. If you’re looking for something more crisp and refreshing, you might want to stick with sprouts like bean and lentil.
Prep Time: 15 Min Chill Time: 30-60 Min Serves: 6
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup plain yogurt or sour cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups sprouts (i.e., bean, broccoli, alfalfa or clover sprouts)
- 2 large carrots, shredded and chopped
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- In a large mixing bowl combine mayo, yogurt, sugar, vinegar, mustard, fennel, salt and pepper.
- Dice onion; shred and chop carrots, chop sprouts. Add vegetables to the dressing mixture and toss to coat evenly.
- Slaw can be served immediately, but to best blend flavors, it should be covered and refrigerated for at least 30 minutes.
NOTE: For a spicy slaw, choose broccoli and clover sprouts tamed by a ½ cup of bean sprouts. For a more laid-back and refreshing slaw, stick with mostly bean sprouts and add in some alfalfa or broccoli.