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Archive for May, 2010

“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Yes, we’re still on the subject of growing our own food, even if we live in the heart of the city. Urban farming is very necessary for diabetics in order to have a wider variety of fresh, alkaline, raw food, at a reasonable price. This type of food helps blood sugar levels normalize and it helps you to detoxify if it is organically grown, as you can do with this system.

Vegetables, especially, should be first-choice and they should make up about 70% of your food intake. Hydroponic gardening can be as simple as tap-watering specially designed, easy-to-make planters made from 1 liter bottles, all the way to nutrient solution systems. Hydroponics has a niche for everyone.

I am referencing Professor Willem van Cotthem’s site as his sketches are very clear about how to make the simplest planters from 1 liter water bottles and a vertical rack set-up or just lining them up as a starter garden. Making a simple sub-irrigated planter from a drinking water bottle.

I do not want to make them from soda pop bottles, as I don’t drink these chemical mixtures and know they’re going to be polluted from that brew. So, I’m only using water bottles.

I have researched more sophisticated, yet still simple sub-irrigation planter (SIPs) designs and even more sophisticated systems for aeroponics and aquaponics. But, these are for later.

I’m just going to get you started, for now, and this system is skinny so it can be used indoors – in rooms or just in windows, outdoors on balconies and in any tiny space or multiplied to become a full-fledged serious growing area. You can even gather water bottles at the office; clean them carefully and then recycle them into your project for these planters or as fill tubes in my next design (which also requires food grade plastic).

The statistics for the poor recycling of water bottles, even in offices, is shocking. You can really help raise awareness about this. The plastic used in clear water bottles is very easy to recycle and is food grade plastic.

I haven’t found any really decent videos about these simple SIPs on YouTube, as the biggest fault is that they are sending you to use unsafe plastics. Frankly, I’m sick of watching all the poor videos.

See my discussion about safe and unsafe plastics in Part 4A last week; the link is below.

The plumbing tubing you need if you want to connect these planters into a system is the black kind of flexible tubing … not the clear kind (that’s PVC and its not food-grade!).

The reservoir should be covered with a layer of dark paper or plastic bag on the outside of the bottle. I think the versions with duct tape look ugly, and any paint used on the exterior may or may not actually be safe. Paper or a custom-size cut black plastic placed around the exterior is enough of a barrier to prevent algae growth in the water section.

You can also just water the planters in the one-by-one way, when you see the reservoir needs topping off. Never let them get the roots exposed, without touching into the water at some point.

For a beginning vacuum system, see Vacuum SIP System but the plastics have to be food-grade and use the narrow black flexible pipe, remember!

More next week.

Best to all — Em

REFERENCE:
Diabetics Need to Garden, Part 1
Diabetics Need to Garden, Part 2
Diabetics Need to Garden, Part 3
Hydroponics with Safer Plastics

LINKS TO OTHER WORTHY SITES:
Another van Cotthem blog: Vertical Gardening
WorldFoodGarden.org
Transplanting Young Plants
Free Seeds

Please share this article on your favorite Web 2.0 social site.
Learn more at the Title Archive tab — there’s 3 years of information on all kinds of ways to help diabetics!

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
Please respect my copyright and if you need to quote any more than 2 short paragraphs of my article, then please write for permission to the About Me page, above on the Navigation Bar. Please also include a link back to this page anytime you use my material here. Thanks!

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Diabetics need to produce their own food as they need lots more fresh vegetables than most people do, and often a wide variety of fresh organic veggies is financially beyond most people’s ability to pay. So, diabetics need to grow more of their own organic, alkaline food in order to be healthier and to make sure that they have the money to follow through on other needed aspects of their care.

As I have gotten further into researching this subject, I see that this system of gardening is really easy, for beginners and even children, but that there is a lot of mixed-message information out there on the Internet, at present.

That’s another reason for the late posting here. I really want to be true to my own roots that insist on the most organic, least invasive, most ecologically sound and economically sound way to help people get started.

I’ve been interested in these gardening practices all my adult life, and had a planned solar greenhouse on the passive solar home we built. But, now we don’t live there, and I have had to put on my thinking cap to adapt to where we live now.

I have a wide, sunny veranda on the south-east to south to south-west, but some shade from a large apple tree as the sun heads west. The original garden area is west of the apple tree but surrounded by other ornamentals which block sun.  As I am renting now, I have no choice about moving the garden or chopping the trees back or down.

I would like to have a combination of raised beds (for easy access at a height I can use comfortably) and hydroponic, self-watering containers (SWCs) or also called SIPs (sub-irrigated planters ).

I know the garden soil here has been treated organically,  and that was key, but even so, most people need to get their soil tested if they are going to use garden soil (whether their own yard or a public allotment plot). You can get soil samples tested at the University of Massachusetts (see the link below).

But, gardening hydroponically will give you more options, especially if you find your soil is not suitable.

Gardening hydroponically will also allow people in urban circumstances to garden better on their balconies, in windows, under grow-lights inside their home or apartment and on apartment building rooftops (with permission).

Many cities have groups who are encouraging and teaching about Urban Farming as it is imperative that more people have food security, whether they are diabetic or not.

Agribusiness is not doing a good job of providing a safe food supply for Americans. All they are good at is lobbying Congress for less oversight, and for less testing of the environment they are destroying. We are walking around with their chemical trash inside us, unless you have been able to buy organic food.

I will mention a few sources where you can begin to mull over what to buy in the way of seeds, plants and tubers for the next season’s planting (Fall here and Spring in the Southern hemisphere).

If you jump right to it, using already started plants (preferably organically grown), you may still get a Summer garden in.

I lean toward sharing highly nutritious food plants, ones that are really good for diabetes and ones which are heritage foods whose biodiversity we can insure as individual gardeners (because agribusiness doesn’t plant heritage varieties at all). They plant monocultured hybrids which put our food at great risk for blights which destroy the crop.

See links to the first places to learn about worthy plants, below.

During the early part of the 20th century, 40% of Americans’ foods were still grown at home. Same was true for the UK and Canada. Now we are at the mercy of agribusiness, and we have to become self-sufficient and independent once again, for lots of important reasons, not the least of which is getting healthier food for very little money!

One box, (2 1/2 feet long, 15 inches wide, and a foot tall) of the general hydroponic type which I will describe to you over the next few postings was able to deliver 137 pounds of tomatoes in one season!

A pound of squash will cost you $2.00 to $3.00 in a store, but one surviving-and-thriving squash seed will usually produce several pounds of squash! Tomatoes run $1.00 to $2.00 per pound. One surviving-to-plant seed will possibly produce around 40 pounds of tomatoes.

At the original DIY (do it yourself) site for hydroponic self-watering grow boxes, Josh Mandel has done his plastics research (as have I) and now urges gardeners NOT to use ANY PVC!

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is mentioned to use in these hydroponic systems in lots of instructions all over the Web, but you must NOT use it!. (It may already have been allowed in your home’s plumbing system … get a plumber to check. It’s OK for waste water, if you are not using grey-water for anything else, but it is NOT OK for potable water! And, it should never be used for a hot water line.).

So, this serious plastics issue is why I have decided to educate you about plastics for the rest of this post … as most of these systems rely on plastics. That’s a fact I am not comfortable with, but hydroponics is too valuable a way to farm, so we must find the safest plastics to use.

Here’s information about the best and the worst plastics. Make the changes in your life, as you need to, and learn to read the bottom imprints or call manufacturers!

___   Often times it is the “releasing” agent used to get the plastic from the mold which is as dangerous as the plastic resin recipe, itself. So you need to learn about release agents, too.

___   The safest plastics are specifically numbered types which also say they are “pharmaceutical grade” or say they are “food grade”.

I would only get new food grade, when possible, and if recycling food-grade, then just get ones from organic foods wherever possible. Some delis, bakeries and restaurants may be willing to give them to you, but you must be sure they didn’t use them in any other non-food way, too. You must also fastidiously clean them before use.

Here’s the plastics info:

The kinds of plastics we generally regard as safe are those with the numbers 1, 2, 4, or 5 (these numbers are usually found inside the recycling symbol).

The ones we seek to avoid are 3 (Polyvinyl Chloride/Vinyl), 6 (Polysterene/Styrofoam), and 7 (Polycarbonate and others).

;From the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute’s Center for Environmental Oncology

SAFER:

1. PETE or PET (polyethylene terephthalate): used for most clear beverage bottles.

2. HDPE (high density polyethylene): used for “cloudy” milk and water jugs, opaque food bottles.

4. LDPE (low density polyethylene): used in food storage bags and some “soft” bottles.

5. PP (polypropylene): used in rigid containers, including some baby bottles, and some cups and bowls.

BAD:
3. PVC or V (polyvinyl chloride): used in some cling wraps (especially commercial brands), some “soft” bottles.
6. PS (polystyrene): used in foam “clam-shell”-type containers, meat and bakery trays, and in its rigid form, clear take-out containers, some plastic cutlery and cups. I think styrofoam is part of this group.
7. Other (usually polycarbonate): used in 5-gallon water bottles, some baby bottles, some metal can linings.

#3 – PVC is hazardous in all of its phases: manufacturing, the products themselves in the home, and in the disposal of it. To soften PVC into these flexible forms, various toxic chemicals are added as “plasticizers.” Traces of these chemicals, known as adipates and phthalates (like Bishenol-A), can leak out of PVC into your food.

#6 – A recent study in Environmental Health Perspectives concluded that some styrene compounds leaching from food containers are estrogenic (meaning they can disrupt normal hormonal functioning in males, especially, but also in females). Styrene is also considered a possible human carcinogen by the World Health Organization.

#7 – a grab-bag of different plastic types. One, polycarbonate, may be able to release its primary building block, bisphenol A , another suspected hormone disruptor, into liquids and foods. Although several governments in Europe and North America currently hold polycarbonate tableware and food storage containers to be safe, this is a highly active area of research.

More about plastics and hydroponic system designs to consider, later this week. Meanwhile watch the following 90 minute movie, in pieces,  so you understand WHY you cannot do nothing!

The Future of Food movie.

Best Regards,

Em

REFERENCES AND LINKS:

Organic Vegetable Gardening

Learn about Sweet Potatoes. They are one of Nature’s healthiest foods and are very easy to grow, even inside. Their leaves are edible to (different plants vary in flavor). They are fast growing vines and when you find one that has leaves you like, you can treasure it!

If you need free seeds: DinnerGarden.org which has provided seeds to over 48,000 American families and over 120 community gardens since 2009.

7,000 Heritage Plants for the Future

Ark of Taste – Heritage Foods to preserve biodiversity.

OmniSeedSEarch Engine:170 online seed catalogues

Josh Mandel: One Hydroponic Starter Garden

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please ask if you want to use more than 2 short paragraphs from my article, and always link back to my site. Please respect my copyright. You can contact me at the About Me link on the upper navigation bar. Thanks!

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Continuing with information about growing sprouts which is needed now by diabetics in the Southern hemisphere, especially, as they head into winter, but sprouts are the most economical way to get fresh, live food, so they can help everyone in this global financial crisis to get better nutrition.

Sprouts are a low glycemic food, high in nutrition and the enzymes which let you live. When you have insufficient enzymes, you die. Only raw foods provide enzymes. They will help you detox, too, as they are a wonderful alkaline food.

With all the ecological issues of today’s factory farming and ruined, polluted land, sprouts can give you food you oversee, even if you do not have land to grow in.  And, sprouting is a way to teach children to become gardeners and build the idea of independence and self-sufficiency skills.

In the NY Times bestseller “YOU, The Owner’s Manual”,  medical doctors Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz write:  “We believe that food is the next frontier in medicine – by studying how food can be used for healing.”

Sprouts are truly powerful medicine, as you will learn, below.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD writes in “Fasting and Eating for Health” (St. Martin’s Press, NY, 1995): “Most chronic medical problems … can be reversed by adopting a more natural diet.”

There’s nothing more natural than sprouts, the baby seeds of the mature plants, which we otherwise need to depend on farmers or larger gardens to grow in. Only certain seeds made for sprouting can be used, as most seeds are prepared for planting in soil outdoors and are therefore prayed with fungicides. Only buy seeds specifically labeled for Sprouting indoors.

There’s always hope for reversal of diabetes. Our bodies and plant seeds are miracles. “Within 24 months, every atom within our body has been replaced by new atoms derived from foods, water, and air . . . in 2 years our inherent rebuilding mechanisms can rebuild us a completely new body.” says Udo Erasmus, N.D., in “Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill”, Alive Books, Burnaby, BC, 1993.

And, Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MD a wholistic practitioner for decades, adds. “A live-food diet has been used with great success to heal arthritis, high blood pressure, menstrual difficulties, obesity, allergies, diabetes, ulcers, heart and other circulatory diseases, hormone disturbances, diverticulosis, anemia, weak immune system and other degenerative diseases or poor states of health.”

“Many people have found a live-food diet an excellent aid for improving the brain/mind function …  a high percentage of live food in the diet plays an important part in creating a healthful longevity.”
(Dr. Gabriel Cousens, M.D., Conscious Eating, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA, 2000)

In her research, according to naturopath and herbalist Isabell Shipard, ND in 2005 –

Sprouts are a tremendous source of (plant) digestive enzymes. Enzymes act as biological catalysts needed for the complete digestion of protein, carbohydrates and fats. The physiology of vitamins, minerals and trace elements is also dependent on enzyme activity.

Being eaten whilst extremely young, “alive” and rapidly developing, sprouts have been acclaimed as the “most enzyme-rich food on the planet“. Estimates suggest there can be up to 100 times more enzymes in sprouts than in fruit and vegetables, depending on the particular type of enzyme and the variety of seed being sprouted. The period of greatest enzyme activity in sprouts is generally between germination and 7 days of age.”

Shipard also adds that “when seeds are sprouted, minerals chelate or merge with protein, in a way that increases their function.”

“Grains and legume seeds of all plants contain abundant enzymes. However, while grains and seeds are dry, enzymes are largely inactive, due to enzyme inhibitors, until given moisture to activate germination. It is these inhibitors that enable many seeds to last for years in soil without deteriorating, whilst waiting for moisture. Enzyme inhibitors in some grains and legume seeds (for example trypsin inhibitors in raw soybeans and certain other beans and peas) need to be inactivated by heating or other processes, before they can be safely fed. However, heating, cooking and grinding processes can also inactivate certain digestive enzymes within grains and seeds. Fortunately, during germination and sprouting of grains and seeds, many enzyme inhibitors are effectively neutralized, whilst at the same time the activity of beneficial plant digestive enzymes is greatly enhanced.”

There are increases in Protein Quality after Sprouting say Chavan and Kadam (1989).  “Very complex qualitative changes are reported to occur during soaking and sprouting of seeds. The conversion of storage proteins of cereal grains into albumins and globulins during sprouting may improve the quality of cereal proteins.” Many studies have shown an increase in the content of the amino acid Lysine with sprouting, which is usually at low levels in grains.

Expert Sproutman, Steve Meyerowitz, reports in his book “Sprout It!”:

“Plants have a remarkable ability to absorb nutrients through their leaves as well as their roots.  …  Sprouts normally have higher vitamin and mineral levels than regular vegetables because, as baby plants, their nutrients are more concentrated. But, with the addition of liquid kelp fertilizer, these levels are elevated to rival vegetables grown outdoors.”

Buy liquid kelp fertilizer online quite reasonably.

Kelp is one of nature’s most abundant mineral resources, whether you eat it as food yourself or use it to feed your sprout’s leaves and roots. Of all foods, kelp is the #1 source for magnesium, sodium and iron.

Here’s the short list of what you’ll be feeding to your sprouts (and then yourself) when you use this liquid kelp fertilizer:

Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, chromium, germanium, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, strontium, vanadium, and zinc, as well as vitamins A,B1,B2,C,D,E,K, carotene, pantothene, and the important vegetarian vitamin B-12.  You also get 21 amino acids and cell factors such as auxins, giberellins, cytokinins, RNA, DNA, etc.  And, there are hundreds of different kinds of kelp, but this one is the kind designed for plants and seedlings, and even though it is very concentrated, this kelp will never “burn” your plants.

How To Use Liquid Kelp in an automatic Sprouter:
Just add 2-4 drops of liquid kelp to the water reservoir.

In a Hemp Sprouting Bag or a Glass Jar:
Add a few drops of liquid kelp to your seeds during soaking. Understand that the soak water will take on the color of a dark tea and the seeds will absorb the nutrients. Also, for some sprouts, hemp bags are problematic as fine roots get tangled in the fiber’s weave. Hemp has natural anti-fungal resistance.

Using a Mister Bottle:
While the sprouts are growing, you may mist the seeds or leaves with your liquid kelp solution by adding just 2 drops of kelp to your mister bottle. There is no limit to how many times you may apply the kelp mist to sprouts (as much as once per day or as little as once every two or three days). For larger size bottles, add enough liquid kelp to the water to make the resulting mixture look like a cup of light tea.

As you may know, from a couple of commercial incidents in the past, bacterial infection of mung bean seeds has caused outbreaks of food poisoning when the sprouts were eaten. So, you need to learn how to protect your crop. This begins with disinfecting the seeds and your equipment and keeping your own hands meticulously clean, as well as having good culturing practices, explained below.

Now research by Apinya Vanichpun, a microbiologist from Nottingham University, UK has shown ways of disinfecting the bean seeds using natural methods which do not prevent the beans from sprouting.

She presented her findings at the Society for General Microbiology saying:

___ “If the bean seeds are contaminated with pathogenic bacteria there can be disease outbreaks when the sprouts are eaten”.

___ “The challenge is to find a means of disinfecting the seeds that kills bacteria but that still allows the seeds to germinate to produce sprouts”.

___  “Consumers who want organic, “natural” foods do not want chemicals used to disinfect them and so this must be taken into account too.”

___ Her experiments used Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, a potent (sometimes fatal) agent which causes listeriosis, a serious food borne disease which can lead to meningitis in people with a reduced immune system and abortion in pregnancy.

___ By applying hot and chilled water in turn to the mung bean seeds killed significant numbers of the bacteria. However it had the disadvantage that it reduced the germination level of the seeds so producing fewer sprouts.

___ An equal mix of lime juice and vinegar was as effective in reducing bacterial numbers as a mixture containing sodium hypochlorite, the sterilizing chemical used in babies’ bottles; however this was still not as good as the temperature treatments.

The lime and vinegar mix also had the problem that it affected the germination rate of the seeds more than did the sodium hypochlorite solution (only 78% sprouted with lime and vinegar against 98% with sodium hypochlorite).

Hot water treatment seems to be a good option to use for seed disinfection as it would be a suitable choice for production systems that required the use of only natural products for organic fresh produce.
—————————————————————————————–
North Carolina State University suggests the following for Mung Bean Sprout’s Culture, (which have been the most problematical, after wheatgrass’ mold issues):

___ For best results, use only non-chlorinated water such as well water, spring water or distilled water, because the chlorine in city water can cause poor sprouting.

___ Sprouting is best done at 70 to 80°F in a dark place. It will take 3 to 7 days to obtain mature sized sprouts, depending on the temperature.

___ Place mature sprouts in a water-filled container and wash to remove seed coats and fibrous roots. The seed sprouts will sink to the bottom and the seed hulls will float to the top. Gently skim the seed hulls off  with a small wire strainer spoon or fork. Allow sprouts to drip drain.

___ When mature, sprouts are best when used immediately after washing, but can be stored for several days in the refrigerator (38 to 50°F) in closed glass and plastic containers or freezer bags.

___ The size of mature sprouts will vary. Allowing the sprouts to grow too long (over 4 inches) may cause them to become bitter.

Additions to this Basic procedure:

___  Never touch the seedlings with your hands (contamination).
___ Place the seedlings in a sieve and rinse under running water.
___ According to the germination method and type of seeds, soak the seeds for 4 – 12 hours or place them directly in the germinator.

___ Water once or several times a day, according to the type of seedling.
___ The ideal position for your germinator is a well-lit spot near the window, but not directly in the sun, with a room temperature of 18-22° C.
___ Harvest between the 2nd and the 12th day.

___ Mold is the biggest enemy of seedlings. It may form if the seedlings are of poor quality, the room temperature is too high, the environment too moist or there is insufficient air supply. If this happens, don’t give up – have another try!

___  Seedlings that secrete mucilage (cress, alfalfa, chia) should be rinsed briefly, once only, and afterward kept moist by spraying if necessary.
___ Keep the room well ventilated. If necessary, remove the seed trays and lid from the germinator several times a day to guarantee a sufficient supply of fresh air.

___ Add a few radish or black radish seedlings to prevent the formation of mold.

___ If the seedlings smell moldy, they have received too much moisture. Throw them away. Clean the germinator with a mixture of water and vinegar or Food Grade hydrogen peroxide (explained below), and leave it to dry in the fresh air.

Or, as another sanitizer :

Wholistic Research suggests:
Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide (or H2O2), is water plus an extra oxygen molecule. The extra oxygen molecule is easily released, and it can destroy bacteria and viruses — because bacteria and viruses cannot survive in an oxygen-rich environment.

It must be Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide (which has no additives and is the only pure grade). Only that form is safe for use in food production, plant care, sterilizing and for oxygen therapy. Ask your pharmacist to get it; don’t just buy the Hydrogen Peroxide on the shelf!

At full strength, Food Hydrogen Peroxide requires care, so use vinyl or rubber gloves and make sure you have some eye protection as you dilute it to the needed concentration (instructions follow). Food grade hydrogen peroxide is 35% potent and 100% pure. Take care with it, too.

WARNING: 35% hydrogen peroxide is still a strong oxidizer. Use rubber gloves whenever handling full strength H2O2 and, as with all medicines and chemicals, keep out of reach of children.

___ Add 1/2 teaspoon of full strength H2O2 to a pint (16 ounces) of water to soak the seeds to disinfect any bacteria on the seeds and to increase the amount of available oxygen and nitrogen to them. Larger beans and grains can be soaked in a stronger dilution of 1 teaspoon per 16 ounces because they do not have delicate green leaves

___ Add 1/2 teaspoon of full strength H2O2 to a pint (16 ounces) of water in a mister bottle and spray the sprouts once or twice a day for extra oxygenation and disinfection (Note: misting with H202 does not replace regular twice daily rinsing with plain water. Use H202 after rinsing with water)

If using the Freshlife Automatic Sprouter just add 15 drops of H2O2 to the rinse water in the reservoir

Soak basket sprouters in full strength H2O2 for 4 to 8 hours to sterilize and brighten baskets that have been stained by mold or the pigments in some seed casings.

Do not however soak sprout bags or towels in H2O2 because hemp and bamboo’s natural fibers will be weakened by the oxidizing action of the peroxide. Hemp and bamboo have natural protection of their own.

___ When growing wheatgrass in soil, mold can develop on the soil surface, so use a mister bottle, spray the surface of the soil with a dilution of 1 teaspoon per 16 ounce H2O2 before spreading the sprouted grain over the soil

___ These treatments need not be applied with every rinse but only when necessary or once every 2 days as regular maintenance. It is an aid and a preventative, but not a necessity.

For more information on using Hydrogen Peroxide for sprouting and wheatgrass read “Sprouts the Miracle Food” by Steve Meyerowitz, the Sproutman.
—————————————————————
Troubleshooting tips

Some sprouts will naturally form fine, white fibrous roots, and these roots resemble mildew. If the growth is only on the roots and it is very fine and white, usually you need not be concerned. However, if you experience genuine mildew, which is gray and dense, discard the sprouts.

Mildew can be overcome by experimenting with the frequency of watering, temperature level, and location. It is also vitally important to start with very clean trays.

Some types of sprouts will emit an odor as they sprout, and this is particularly true of members of the Brassica family (broccoli, cauliflower and kale). Odor, if any, will occur within the first three days of sprouting. A slight odor is nothing to be concerned about, and it can be minimized by frequent watering and by emptying the base tray immediately after each watering.

A strong, persistent unpleasant odor indicates the sprouts are not growing and need to be discarded. Brassicas are so nutritious that it is important to learn how to sprout them properly. Broccoli sprouts are potent anti-oxidant sources and research shows they are potent cancer fighters.

———————————————————————————————-

Sautéed Mung Bean and Fresh Seaweed Salad

Sauteed mung beans and seaweed salad are both classic Asian dishes, but you don’t usually see them prepared together. This preparation provides a nice contrast of hot and cold, plus a blend of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavors.

2 ozs dried seaweed (wakame, arame, kombu, mekabu or a mixture)
2T sesame seeds
3T rice vinegar
3T tamari soy sauce
3T sesame oil
1 t raw sugar or brown rice syrup or agave nectar (best)
1 t fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1T fresh garlic, peeled and diced
1 to 2 t hot dried red pepper flakes
1C mung bean sprouts
2 t unsalted butter

Soak the seaweed in warm water for about 5 minutes. When soft, drain the seaweed, squeezing out excess water. If seaweed was purchased whole, cut it into strips.

Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds for a few minutes in a dry pan over medium heat, until fragrant. (I prefer not to toast seeds, as it impacts nutrition.)

In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, oil, sweetener, ginger, garlic and pepper. Toss this mixture with the seaweed and sesame seeds, and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

The seaweed salad can be prepared up to 2 days in advance.

Just before serving the salad, sauté the bean sprouts in butter for a just a few minutes on low to medium temperature. The sprouts should still be crispy and juicy.

Stir into cold seaweed salad, and serve immediately. Serves 6.
———————————————————————

REFERENCE:

North Carolina State University

Diabetics Need to Garden, 1
Diabetics Need to Garden, 2

OTHER SUPPLIES:

Stainless Steel screens for glass sprout jars. and also at Whole Foods.

Bamboo Ecotowel and Hemp Bags: sprouts can be sprouted that way, too, and both hemp and bamboo have natural antifungal qualities.

Bamboo Ecotowel

Please share this article on your favorite Web 2.0 social site.
Learn more at the Title Archive tab — there’s 3 years of information on all kinds of ways to help diabetics!

Please share this article on your favorite Web 2.0 social site.
Learn more at the Title Archive tab on the upper Navigation Bar — there’s 3 years of information on all kinds of ways to help diabetics!

Please share my articles at your favorite Web 2.0 site. Thanks!

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please respect my copyright. If you want to quote more than 2 short paragraphs of my article, please write for permission to my About Me page, above.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

In Part 2 I’ll get you started a bit more on gardening sprouts indoors. Sprouts are an excellent alkaline food source and they are low on the glycemic index. Children love them and this is a skill you can teach them easily which will help solidify their interest in growing their own food.

If you have had a deli sandwich, chances are you’ve had some alfalfa sprouts or in Chinese food, you’ve had mung bean sprouts stir-fried in something or had them raw as a garnish on Pad Thai. People eat sprouts because they have all the healthy enzymes that we need from plants, and as they are eaten raw most times, they retain the enzymes, which otherwise would be deactivated by heat at 118F. (Many dried beans will not sprout if they were dried too hot.)

The vitamins, minerals and enzymes that sprouts contain are critical for health. That’s why during World War I, the British Army grew sprouts as a preventative food source against scurvy. In 1940, the US Army studied how to grow sprouts to provide soldiers in the field with a fresh food source during World War 2.

You will find kits in health food stores and plans to build your own can be found online. It’s an inexpensive, high yield return for your money and time.

You cannot use seeds in regular seed packets at the gardening center, unless they are marked specifically for use for food sprouts. That means, you cannot buy regular broccoli seeds; you must use only broccoli seeds that say they are for sprouts. Otherwise, all seeds have fungicides applied to them, as they are meant to be put in the ground to grow plants!

You may be surprised that there are so many things you can sprout: grains, legumes, seeds and even some vegetables. Importantly, sprouting neutralizes many of the anti-nutrients which are originally in grains, legumes and seeds. It helps them also become more easily digested vegetables, while dramatically increasing the nutrient-density of the food.

For example, in bread when comparing sprouted wheat to unsprouted wheat on a calorie-per-calorie basis, the sprouted wheat contains:

1. four times the niacin
2. nearly twice the vitamin B6 and folate
3. five times the vitamin C amount
4. significantly more protein as well as fewer starches and sugars
5. sprouting beans before cooking them makes them more digestible and decreases flatulence

Wheatgrass is a very powerful detoxifier to use in small amounts, especially in the beginning. I also do not recommend growing wheat grass at home. Few people, even commercially, can grow it without molds. It may be possible to do it hydroponically, and I am including a link for that. No idea if this conquers the mold problem. You also need a juicer to use wheatgrass. Other sprouts do not require juicing.

I always try to eat my sprouts raw. Cooking them undoes the best nutrition that they offer. Puree them if their consistency is wrong for a recipe or use them in salads, as lettuce substitutes in sandwiches and as garnishes.

DO NOT TRY TO SPROUT RED OR WHITE KIDNEY BEANS (also known as “CANNELLINI BEANS”)! They have toxins which are not changed by sprouting and should never be eaten raw.

Here are seeds which I suggest you look for in the “For Sprouting” versions or buy some of them when you see them in the produce section already sprouted:

___ broccoli
___ micro greens
___ chia seed
___ buckwheat
___ lentils
___ sunflower
___ clover
___ pea sprouts
___ soybean sprouts
___ mung beans
___ radish
___ daikon radish (kaiware)
___ fenugreek
___ pumpkin
___ garlic
___ alfalfa sprouts
___ barley grass*
___   wheat berries to sprout, dry and grind into sprouted wheat flour

Sprouting Your Sprouts

The first step is to remove any broken or damaged seeds, as damaged seeds won’t sprout; they’ll rot or ferment, and then ruin your whole sprout garden.

You’ll need enough seeds to cover the bottom of a one-quart glass jar. Use a clean spaghetti sauce jar** which you have run through the dishwasher.

Depending on the size of the sprout-seeds you’re growing, it may be as few as one tablespoon or as many as one-quarter cup of seed.

When calculating how many to use for a batch, remember that your sprouts will increase in volume up to eight times in size. So, don’t fill your bottle any more than 1/8th full.

Next, soak your seeds for 2-12 hours (depending on the size of the seed) to allow it to absorb as much water as it can; you can find charts to help.

This soaking softens the outer shell of the seed and makes it easier for sprouts to begin to germinate. It also washes away the natural enzyme inhibitors which you do not want to ingest. Flush the seeds until the water runs clear after soaking. Learn more:
excellent raw food site’s sprout chart
Sprout Soaking Chart and
Chart – Sprouting Information

After each rinsing, you must drain the seeds thoroughly, rinse them one more time, and cover the opening of your jar with a piece of stainless mesh screening (available at Whole Foods), cheesecloth or clean nylon stocking. Secure the open-to-the-air cover with a jar ring (canning supplies) or a rubber band. DO NOT USE A CLOSED JAR CAP!

Again, don’t use canning lids to cover your sprout jar; just use the open ring portion.

Your sprouts need plenty of fresh air! Tilt the jar to provide continued drainage and air circulation, making sure the seeds are along the long sides of the glass bottle.

Be sure your seeds never sit in water. Sprouts need to be kept moist, but sitting in water will also make them rot.

Keep your sprout garden in a dark place for the next four to seven days. Again, check the online charts for the timing for your seeds. Take your sprout jar out two or three times a day to repeat the rinsing and moistening process.

As soon as the sprouts are ready to harvest them, let them sit in the light for a few hours to “green up” and then refrigerate. Use within a couple of days. Now you know how to grow sprouts!

Here are some resources:
Diabetics Need to Garden, 1
Diabetics Need to Garden, 3

the original online expert, Steve Meyerowitz – Sprout Supplies and Info
Organic Seeds for Sprouting
Source for Organic, non-GMO Sprouting Seeds
SproutGarden – intermediate level.
Wheat Grass – hydroponically
sprouting process and recipes MotherEarthNews
Step-by-step Sprout Growing Pictures and Instructions

* dehydrate the sprouted barley grass or wheat grass at very low heat (105F) and powder it, if you do not have a juicer.

** if you don’t use glass, you can also put the seed in a hemp bag (only use this fiber as it is good as an antibacterial), and hang it to drain each time.

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