Date Published: March 08, 2015, by Mercola.com
Growing your own food is one of the best and most satisfying things you can do for your wellbeing, and maintaining an organic garden is a becoming a favorite among many people today. But what if you only have a small living space with no room to grow and harvest crops? Here’s a great idea: grow some sprouts.
Sprouts are an authentic superfood that not only have a superior nutritional profile, but are also really easyy to grow if you’re an apartment dweller, as you don’t need to plant them outdoors. Plus, you can use them to make refreshing recipes, like this simple sunflower sprout salad recipe.
Did You Know?
Sprouts are a powerhouse of nutrition that can contain as much as 30 times the nutrition of organic vegetables
During sprouting, minerals like magnesium and calcium bind to protein, which makes them more bioavailable. The vitamin and essential fatty acid content of foods also dramatically increase during the sprouting process
Discover the delicious flavor and crunchy goodness of sunflower sprouts in this easy salad recipe – a truly healthy and satisfying meal
Sunflower Power Salad Recipe
1 large head red cabbage, shredded
1 pound spinach
2 cups packed sunflower sprouts
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup toasted sunflower seeds
For the Basil-Cider Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup Dr. Mercola’s apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Serving Size: 4
Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
Place sunflower seeds in a rectangular glass dish and place in oven to brown. About 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine and mix all of the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl.
Place the cabbage, spinach, sunflower sprouts, and cilantro in a large bowl. Mix with dressing and toasted sunflower seeds.
Sunflower Power Salad Cooking Tips
This simple salad recipe does not require much cooking – however, you need to bake the seeds to enjoy their crunch and flavor. If you want the seeds to have a bit of saltiness to them, soak them in salt water overnight1 (Instead of regular table salt, I recommend using Himalayan salt for this). The next day, lightly dry the seeds using a paper towel.
Make sure to stir the seeds every now and then to make sure they are roasted evenly. You’ll know they’re done when you see them turning brown and crisp. Sometimes, they will develop a small crack down the center as they roast. If you have any leftover seeds, store them in an airtight container – you can snack on them later on.
When buying leafy vegetables for your salad, make sure that you buy organic as much as possible. For example, the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 2014 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticide in Produce2 includes spinach in their “Dirty Dozen” list – meaning it’s one of the top crops that are heavily tainted with pesticides.
Sunflower Power Salad Nutrition Facts
Carbohydrates 38 g
Fat 43 g
Protein 17 g
Why Is Sunflower Power Salad Good for You?
Sprouts are a powerhouse of nutrition that can contain as much as 30 times the nutrition of organic vegetables. This is because during sprouting, minerals like magnesium and calcium bind to protein, which makes them more bioavailable. The vitamin and essential fatty acid content of foods also dramatically increase during the sprouting process.
Sprouts, like sunflower sprouts, also help extract more of the nutrients – vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fats – from the foods you eat them with. They also offer multiple benefits for your body, such as:
Support for cell regeneration
Alkalizing effect on your body, which helps protect against disease, including cancer
Helping protect against abnormal cell growth, viruses, and bacteria due to their abundant supply of oxygen (viruses and bacteria cannot survive in an oxygen-rich environment)
Providing an abundant and powerful source of antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins and minerals
But sunflower sprouts are not the only nutritious component of this salad recipe. It also contains:
Spinach – It’s high in zinc, niacin, protein, fiber, vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K, thiamin, calcium, magnesium, iron, folate, potassium, copper, and manganese, but low in fat and cholesterol. Spinach also contains abundant flavonoids that act as antioxidants that prevent cholesterol from oxidizing and protect your body from free radicals. Spinach is also good for your cardiovascular system and helps lower high blood pressure and maintain your vigorous brain function, memory, and mental clarity. I advise buying organic wholesome spinach though, to ensure that it’s free of pesticides.
Olive oil – This healthy vegetable oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and is linked to many health benefits, such as decreased breast cancer risk, reduced LDL or bad cholesterol level, lower heart disease and stroke risk, and weight management. However, please note that olive oil is only beneficial if used cold – drizzled over salad or mixed in a vinaigrette, like in this recipe. Heating olive oil destroys its structure and makes it susceptible to oxidation.
Apple cider vinegar – The antioxidants in apple cider vinegar, including epicatechin, catechin, and gallic, chlorogenic, and caffeic acids, help fight free radicals that may cause oxidative stress.
Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Mercola, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Mercola and his community. Dr. Mercola encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.
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