Last Tuesday was officially the first day of Fall of 2014, or the Autumnal Equinox and we can definitely feel it here in Canada. The trees are putting another awesome spectacle of colours up here in Fort McMurray. Such a variety of earthy warm colours out there!! Even-though I know winter is coming and I am not a fan of it, these short Fall weeks ahead, are not only beautiful, but they also give me a “romantic” kind of feeling. A good thing about this small northern community of Fort McMurray is that we get to see such a wide array of tree types, leaves forms, colours and landscapes that include the Athabasca River in the portrait. No picture can actually portray the beauty and the peaceful feeling that being surrounded by these living things give you.
I started my 5 day juice and raw detox yesterday. I am mostly drinking lots of liquids and veggie juices. Also, I wake up to drink a tall glass of water along with physillum husks and bentonyte clay, then a warm lemon water and then I drink a cup of green tea. Normally, one should not drink any caffeine during the detox (because caffeine is a stimulant drug for the nervous system mainly), yet I need to wean off of coffee little by little. Literally one day at the time, otherwise I get massive migraines that won’t let me live until I drink an Advil or something of the sort. So doing this would completely defeat the purpose of my detox. Sometimes “you have to chose your battles” they say, so I chose to drop my caffeine intake to one cup a day only and at the end I hope to only drink Expressos haha!
I LOVE coffee. I love the entire ambiance fresh ground coffee brings into the kitchen. I love it’s smell, love it’s taste and love the company it brings along. But, in my case I do know that I need to give it up until I get completely back in shape; until I feel that my body will gladly have it again without turning my inners into an acid environment. Remember, with a detox we are aiming at become as alkaline as possible. Disease cannot thrive in an alkaline environment. Green vegetables as well as most fruit, beans, peas, seeds and nuts are the most alkaline forming foods one can consume. That’s why in my detox I do not hesitate on including for lunch great big hearty raw salads supercharged with the nutrients that only sprouts can give us.
DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE SPROUTS based solely on their tiny size and modest-fragile look. Sprouts are a powerhouse full of vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes that provide our bodies with the necessary ingredients to function optimally. Sprouting is an great convenient-economical way to constantly have fresh vegetables for salads, and most important of all for us northern seasonal depending people, sprouts can be germinated all year long -yes! WINTER SALADS- at home! You can also buy them at the supermarket but you end up paying for a package that will also eventually end up either in the recycling bin or the garbage.
We can do this at home! Honestly, it is easy, quick and I can say safe too. I need to say safe too because, unless you are not hygienic at home and you keep your dishes and hands clean, there is no serious risk of getting a bacterial infection. Commercially grown sprouts have been associated with multiple outbreaks of harmful bacteria, including salmonella and E-coli. These are a result of unhygienic production practices and manufacturing.
So actually, by doing this at home yourself, it will be the safest and cheapest way to provide you and your family with a salad packed with nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium and Calcium. Alfalfa also has small amounts of magnesium, iron, folate and Vitamin A. You only need seeds, potable water, a jar (or other resources as you can see down here), cheesecloth and 3-6 days patience and love.
INGREDIENTS for a big size Ziplock baggy full of Alfalfa:
- 2 TBSP of Alfalfa seeds
- Fresh potable water
- A Mason Jar or wide mouth glass jar
- Some screen or netting or cheesecloth and a rubber band
- A bowl of the right size and weight to prop up the jar
- commercially bought sprouter (follow instructions)
- Place the 2 TBSP of seeds in the clean jar. Cover up well with water (about 1 1/2-2 cups) and let them soak for 4 to 6 hours. Cover the jar with screen or mesh and secure with the rubber band. This is the sprouter I use. I bought it in Montreal and the company’s name is Passion Santé, but as I show you, you can use any other method, results will be the same.
- After the soaking time, drain the water out of jar and refill with new fresh water, swirl and drain. Do this at least two times, to make sure we are “cleaning” well the seeds.
- Rinse your seeds two times a day. Three times a day if it is summertime just to be on the safe side. Rinse your seeds by refilling the jar with water and gently swirling. Drain the water, invert and prop up the jar at an angle in the sink or bowl. Make sure there is space for air flow in the jar.
- Keep them out of direct sunlight either by placing a cloth over the jar or away from a window.
- Repeat this rinsing step until your alfalfa is ready. I normally have it ready in 5 days.
- The hulls are edible, but they are very hard. So, what I do is I take the sprout bunch out of the jar and sink it in a bowl and let the hulls float and then catch them with a spoon. DRAIN your sprouts VERY WELL after separating them from their hulls. I leave them upside down for a couple of hours, letting them air dry and then put them in plastic ziplock bag or glass container padded with some paper towels just to make sure no dampness is in there.
And there you have it! Easy, cheap, 100% quality nutrients and in your own house, under your own hygienic watch. You can also try it out with mung beans, radish, clover, sunflower….options are various my friends. Check out this tutorial from the Boulder Locavore http://boulderlocavore.com/2013/06/sprouting-101-homemade-sprouting-jars-tutorial-diy-mason-jars-giveaway.html Can it get more local than growing them in your own house??
I hope you do try this out because it is extremely easy and you’ll reap enormous health benefits from it. If you have questions or doubts, please don’t hesitate on writing back.
If it’s good for the gut, it’s good for the soul!
Song of the day: Bole to Harlem