I like vegetables. But that doesn’t mean I always find it easy to eat enough, every day, year round.
I am, however, pretty conscientious about making half my plate fruits and vegetables, and I typically manage to eat at least 2 1/2 cups of vegetables a day. This is the daily recommendation for my age group, and includes starchy vegetables like potatoes, and also legumes (beans and peas).
However, because of living on a tight budget (got to love graduate school!) I don’t buy a lot of fresh vegetables, or fruits for that matter, during the winter. I can and freeze a fair variety during the summer, and then buy a few things that I really like from the store (mainly flash-frozen peas, bags of whole carrots, bananas, boxes of clementines and the occasional bunch of celery or head of lettuce). My semi-locavore conscience also decreases my willingness to purchase fresh bell-peppers in the middle of winter in West Virginia.
That being said, I don’t feel deprived. In fact, it makes me relish the deliciousness of spring all the more when the first spears of asparagus burst out of the ground.
And this year, it’s been so warm that I still have some swiss chard growing in my backyard garden.
Then, of course, there’s the option of growing vegetables inside. In the winter. In a very limited space. On your kitchen counter. With no mess, no dirt, no weeding.
Sprouts. Lots of different beans and seeds can be sprouted- alfalfa, broccoli, sunflower, lentils, clover, radish, mung beans to name a few.
A couple years ago, my mom bought me this Bioset seed sprouter, and I use it on a fairly regular basis. I thought it would be fun to walk my blog readers through a few days of sprouting in my kitchen.
Today was Day 1. I simply placed the different seeds in the sprouter- 2 Tablespoons of mung beans on one tray, 1 Tablespoon of alfalfa on another, and 3/4 Tablespoons of broccoli seeds on the last, and then filled the top tray (the white one) with water.
The water siphons down through each tray, and into the drainage tray at the bottom. This drainage tray should then be dumped immediately to prevent the water from remaining close to the seeds. Sprouting should be done carefully to prevent the growth of E Coli, but stay tuned for more on that.
Some people praise sprouts as a miracle food- I just think that they are a fun, alternative way to mix up my winter vegetable routine!
Check back over the next few days to watch my sprouts grow!
Note: You can also grow sprouts in a mason jar with some cheesecloth and a rubber band on top, but I really like my Bioset- it makes the whole process quite a bit easier.