It’s late spring and hopefully your gardens are beginning to take shape. If you sowed your seeds directly to soil, now is about the time to thin out your rows. It’s important to overplant in case some seeds are sterile, but then it’s just as important to remove the excess, preventing competition. Sad for the little ones that don’t get to stay, but that’s the way it’s got to go.
I was in the middle of this process last weekend – pulling up seedlings and flinging them onto the compost heap – when it hit me. Hey! These are totally edible! Of course I felt like an idiot as soon as I made the realization (think of all the greens I’ve wasted!) Just because they’re not fully matured, doesn’t mean they’re not ripe for your kitchen. In fact, sprouts and seedlings are nutrient powerhouses!
You can save and eat all sorts of seedlings, from lettuces (of course) to hardy greens (like collards or kale) to brassicas (like broccoli or cabbage) to beets. Sprouts are touted by raw foodists and other health aficionados as awesome, enzyme-rich and nutrient-dense little wonderfoods. So don’t make the same mistake as me and discard these garden treasures! Bring them inside, clean them up, and put them to work nourishing your body.
You can pretty much use them as you would use their older counterparts, aside from steaming or sautéing by themselves (they’re too tender for that). Make a fresh salad, or throw them into a stir fry, pack them into a hummus wrap or top off a sandwich, cook them into a scramble or just munch them by the handful. Or, you can do like I do and blend them into a delicious, delectable green smoothie!
So, how are your gardens growing? Will you be thinning the beds any time soon? What will you do with your sprouts?
Green smoothie for life!!!!