BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Island Time

We've had a relaxing week set to the pace of island time.  Pender is one of the small islands that pepper the waters between our Big Island and the rest of Canada.  Like most (all?) of the small islands it is a haven for organic farmers, musicians, writers, artists and ocean seeking vacationers.

As such, the true "islanders" at the farmer's market scoffed at my "big city" ways.  I needed to slow down my pace of shopping, chat with the farmers and enjoy being on island time.  It was a pace that reminded me of Maynooth, and suited us all very nicely.  Now we're just left wondering if our budget would stretch far enough to buy our own little piece island!

Enjoying the view.

Taking a hike with Auntie Claire.
And to embrace the hippy side of Pender Island I am doing a second blog on the most hippy of activities... SPROUTING!

I did an earlier blog on sprouting for salads and sandwiches, but this blog is something altogether different.  After Uliana's fussiness to any beans that I ate (through my milk) this spring, we switched to eating lentils.  When I was chatting about this with my doctor, she suggested that I try sprouting beans.  It worked great!

As it turns out, sprouting beans before cooking them has all sorts of advantages.  Basically it turns the complex "starchy" storage carbs in beans into easier to digest "vegetables" carbs.  It also gets rid of enzyme inhibitors that help them to store well, but aren't so good for us to eat. So sprouting makes beans much easier on our digestive system, it helps to beef up our vegetable load (who couldn't use some more vegetables?), and it makes the proteins more readily available for the body.


Sprouting Legumes
**Major Note** I'm advocating sprouting beans prior to cooking.  DO NOT EAT RAW as some beans are toxic once sprouted. (Lentils, Mung Beans and Chickpeas are exceptions).

1. Soak beans for 8-12 hours as normal
2. Drain beans and leave in a colander on the counter.
3. Rinse 2-3 times a day until sprouted. (1-3 days depending on the freshness of the bean.  If your beans don't sprout in 3 days then they are OLD.  Try a different source the next time.)
4. They only need to just be sprouted in order for the carbohydrates to be converted, so cook and use as normal!

I have sprouted everything from lentils, chickpeas, navy beans and pintos with success.  I had a batch of black beans that never really sprouted.  But we just cooked them up anyways...
And now that Uliana's digestive system has matured... we still continue to sprout.  It is so much better for all of us that the bit of extra planning required is worth the effort. (Note, the pintos are just starting to sprout, so they are ready for cooking.  The chickpeas and navy beans were quicker to sprout, but the long tail wasn't a problem for our bean salad.)

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