I am not sure why it's taken me so long to share a sprouts recipe here on the blog, but one reason might be that sprouting is something I do occasionally rather than on a regular basis (although I buy sprouts regularly), and having been just bitten by the sprouting bug (again), I couldn't resist sharing a recipe with you. I must warn you, however, that there may be many more sprouts recipes to follow in the near future!
My earliest memories of sprouting are from well over 15 years ago when I had learned about sprouting at school and was eager to give it a try at home. Mum helped me choose an easy seed to start with (alfalfa), and so I went and bought some seeds (a lot of them, in fact) without realising just how many sprouts I'd end up with. Needless to say there were plenty of seeds to keep me busy for a while, but I was so happy just to be growing something. Plus I really loved the taste of sprouts!
Even now, sprouting gives me all the same joy, and I think it's so exciting to see the sprouts grow over a few days. There is certainly a sense of accomplishment, as though I had actually grown the whole produce myself. I also love the versatility of the sprouts - you can sprout just about anything from alfalfa to almonds (which is obviously more like soaking as there won't be any visible roots), buckwheat, sunflower seeds, lentils, chickpeas, mung beans, you name it. Needless to say, there are many health benefits of sprouting too - they are one of the super foods you should certainly include in your diet!
This sprouted chickpea salad is light and crunchy. I've kept the flavours quite mild and the colours pale. It's like harmony in a bowl, don't you think?
Sprouted Chickpea Salad
250g raw chickpeas*
1 zucchini/courgette, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 green onion, finely sliced
handful of sprouted (soaked) almonds**
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
tiny pinch of sea salt
* To sprout the chickpeas:
1) Rinse the chickpeas under cold water to remove any dust or dirt. Place the chickpeas in a big bowl and cover with fresh water. Leave to soak for 8-12 hours (overnight).
2) The next morning, drain the chickpeas well and place them in a glass jar. Cover the mouth of the jar with a piece of muslin (with a rubber band holding the muslin in place).
3) The same night, rinse the sprouts and drain well again. Place back in the jar and cover with a muslin. I tend to leave the jar upside down (with a muslin as a lid) for a while to make sure I get rid of all the water. I keep the jar on the kitchen bench.
4) The next day, rinse and drain twice (morning and night).
5) On the third day (including the soaking time), rinse and drain the peas. The roots should now be about 1-2 centimetre long and ready to be used. Store the sprouts in the fridge and use within 1-2 days.
** To sprout the almonds:
1) Soak the almonds overnight in plenty of fresh water.
2) Drain well and use in the salad or to make almond milk.
For the salad:
1) Combine all ingredients and enjoy whilst fresh!