Lettuce Eat Healthier Greens

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Since we are now in the second recent recall of romaine lettuce, I am grateful I have an alternative to it. Mind you, I’ve never cared much one way or the other about lettuce though I do like salads. 

Back in the early 80’s, when I became a vegetarian, I learned and practiced sprouting various seeds, including alfalfa, sunflower and fenugreek. That was put aside during some busy years and this year — now a “pescatarian”, meaning I eat fish and seafood occasionally  — I began the practice again. Basically I wanted fresh greens uncontaminated by pesticides, chemicals in water, or GMOs. Since I have mobility issues, I didn’t want to do a lot of outdoor gardening.

I chose to start by sprouting lentils and broccoli seeds. I have long loved lentil sprouts for their crunch. I chose broccoli as a cancer preventative since I am a cancer survivor. Broccoli contains sulforaphane  which boosts the body’s defense against cancer. It also is known to be anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging. Broccoli sprouts contain up to 100 times more sulforaphane than the grown plant. 

Broccoli sprouts are small, like alfalfa sprouts —  which I never much cared for because they got soggy too fast in sandwiches. I examine the broccoli sprouts minutely when soaking to be sure there is no mold starting. With cold weather coming on, I’ve switched to organic sunflower seeds (in bulk at the grocery store) because lentils are now the base for my veggie stews and soups.

Carving my Halloween pumpkin, I decided to try sprouting the pumpkin seeds I saved. I cleaned and washed them and learned paper towels don’t make the best drying surface. First they sprouted a scraggly white root then a thick, succulent, green stem with a leaf or two. I found the remaining seed attached to the plant to be bitter, and removed the roots. The green part was delicious, especially with green onions and an avocado as a small salad. 

 Technically, the leaves on my pumpkin sprouts are leading me from sprouts into “microgreens”. The difference between the two is that microgreens have mature leaves. Again, broccoli, this time as microgreen,  takes the lead for major nutrition supplying 550% of daily nutrients. Of course the sprout is only as good as the seed. I prefer to get a small amount from the health food store as opposed to a larger amount, possibly GMO, from the feed/garden store. 

My sprouts/microgreens are served on top of my veggie soups/stews which are cooked root vegetables. I prefer to keep the medicinal qualities of non-root vegetables so those are also added after cooking. That includes onion or green onion, garlic, broccoli florets (the stalks go in with the root vegetables). But cooking does not always decrease nutrients. Lutein and Zeaxanthin which support vision, Lycopene which supports heart health and fights cancer,  seem to become more bioavailable from cooking.

Locally, some folks have turned sprouting into a business. Growing microgreens can also be a business. 



Whatever your health practices are, to increase their effectiveness, consider detoxing using your computer or phone. 


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