By: Dawn Rezvani
What exactly are sprouted grains and the flours they are made from? Other than seeing labels such as “organic flour made from sprouted grains” or seeing bread labeled “made from sprouted grains” I was not familiar with what it meant exactly to be a sprouted grain or if there were any health benefits associated with consuming them. So, with the help of the internet and my visits to organic markets, I am going to attempt to unravel the mystery of sprouted grains and hope the information will help reveal its life cycle and health benefits.
First, here is the basic definition of what a sprouted grain is: a sprouted seed/grain is essentially a step that a grain (or seed) goes through before it reaches its goal of being a mature plant. According to Tamara Duker Freuman via usnews.com, “There is a brief period in the life cycle of a grain or seed–right after it has started to sprout, but before it has developed into a full-fledged plant–when it’s considered to be a sprouted grain…. In this stage, some of the starchy portion of the grain will have been digested by the young root to fuel its awakening.” This in between moment of change is said to be where the nutritional value of the sprouted grains comes to play in the game of sprouted grains verses the standard grains. Why are sprouted grains healthier?
Because the starches are mostly consumed by the young shoot, the other nutrients, such as proteins, vitamins, and minerals increase slightly per each grain. While researchers are get caught up in understanding the full benefits of people (and animals) eating sprouted grains, there are some studies that indicate eating sprouted grains is simply better because there is less gluten being digested (still not safe for those gluten intolerant) because most of the starchy portion of the plant has been consumed by the young shoot subsequently making the amount of gluten left easier to digest. In addition, the fiber amounts supposedly changes in sprouted wheat kernels making them a healthier option. For instance, the soluble fiber triples (Wow!) and there is a 50% decrease in insoluble fiber. Remember: the soluble and insoluble fibers are both necessary for keeping your intestines healthy (http://wholegrainscouncil.org).
The other health benefits of germination, according to Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation (Weston A. Price Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt nutrition education foundation) the germination process of seeds has even more benefits: Germination “produces Vitamin C, but also changes the composition of grains and seeds in numerous ways. Sprouting increases Vitamin B content, especially B5 and B6. Carotene increases dramatically–sometimes eightfold. Even more important, sprouting neutralizes phytic acid, a substance present in the brans of all grains that inhibits the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc” (www.organicsproutedflour.net). Most importantly, the minerals iron and zinc possibly become easier to absorb via your large intestines, which is especially significant if someone is a lacking in those vital minerals.
The verdict may not be completely in on the whether sprouted grains are completely beneficial or not, but this much I do know as a Mom, a wife, and a consumer: it is better for individuals/families to eat food that is not processed (or minimally processed), to eat food that is not genetically modified, and to eat food that is not exposed to harmful chemicals. So, if eating foods made with sprouted grains (organic of course) that are not put through the rigorous cycle of other processed foods, then the sprouted grain route is the way to go.
How to sprout grains: this version is for wheat berries. Times may vary when using other seeds. This process was taken from www.huffingtonpost.com
You will need:
- 1/4 cup wheat berries
- a large mason jar
- a cheesecloth for over the mouth of the jar
- a rubber band
- Place the seeds in the jar, fill with warm water, double the cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar and seal with the rubber band.
- Drain the water,(essentially rinsing the seeds) fill the again and allow to sit in for 2 hours.
- Drain, rinse and then drain again.
- Store jar in a cool dark place. Set the jar on its side, and place a paper towel at the mouth to collect any excess water. Prop the bottom of the jar up so that any excess water will drain out. If this step is skipped, there will be too much moisture in the jar which could cause the seeds to mold.
- Rinse and drain the seeds once a day for 2-4 days, depending on how quickly the seeds sprout. The seeds will taste great once they grow tails, but are best when the tail is about 1-1/2 ties as long as the seed.
- Once the seed is well-sprouted, rinse well and store in a plastic bag in the fridge until ready to eat.
I have not attempted to sprout seeds; I am looking forward to attempting to sprout seeds in the future, and I do know they make kits sold at organic market so seeds/grains can be germinated at home: that may be an option for the novice “germinator” who is interested in testing out how to sprout seeds. Otherwise, with a mason jar, cheese cloth and a handful of seeds, experimenting with seed germination could be a fun and nutritional way to go.
NOTE: Please be aware that the UC Davis Center for Health and Nutrition Research located in California states, “Of utmost importance when considering adding sprouted grains to one’s diet are the numerous reports that raw sprouts have been linked to over 30 food-borne illness outbreaks in the last 15 years. The Food and Drug Administration recommends children, the elderly, pregnant women, and persons with weakened immune systems avoid eating raw sprouts” (chnr.ucdavis.edu).
One of the main missions of Valley Co-op (VC) is to really get to know our suppliers of food “…to inspire our members to make informed choices.” Many consumers do not have an idea of what it really takes to get that steak or egg to the table. We are fortunate to have many suppliers willing to talk with us and educate VC members to make the best choices for their needs. Katherine Ecker is one such supplier/farmer who owns and runs Legacy Manor Farms with her family and who serves as one of our four main meat suppliers. Katherine frequently volunteers side-by-side with many members of VC at the church giving us a great opportunity to get to know her and ask her questions about her farm. Here is a bit more to know:
Katherine is originally from Howard County where she had a small 35 acre farm. Her children participated in 4-H and she started researching various breeding stock of beef. In 1999, they moved to Washington County and started Legacy Manor Farm on 400 acres in Boonsboro (very close to Sharpsburg). They chose to focus on heritage breeds of animals to distinguish themselves apart from factory farmed, commercially raised animals, plus “It’s the Way Food Used to Taste!”
Legacy Manor sells pasture raised pork, beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, and goat. The pigs are Black Hog and Old Spot crossed with Berkshire. There are three types of beef available to consumers: pure Angus, pure Wagyu and Angus/Wagyu crosses. Heritage breeds of turkeys are: Broad breasted Bronze, Narragansett, and Beltsville. The farm also offers eggs from chicken, quail and goose. Depending on the year, they will offer limited produce.
All livestock are raised without added hormones or sub-therapeutic antibiotics. The animals are free to roam and intermingle on acres of pasture. Katherine explains that they make hay and silage for their cattle and sheep, which is needed for rough years when pasture just isn’t enough. Katherine has a huge heart for all her animals. I have personally seen the connection she makes with her livestock. It is clear to me that this kind of compassion can certainly not be found on a large factory farm.
Katherine is proud that they work closely with their meat processor to ensure their products are prepared without any unwanted fillers or preservatives such as nitrates and MSG. After trying many processors in she found the best working relationship with “Nell’s” A.K.A Stoney Point Farmer Markets in Littlestown PA, a small family owned business for generations who was willing to accommodate her requests of specific cuts and processing. It is Katherine’s goal to offer “good, clean food.”
Legacy Manor has been a supplier for Valley Co-op since we started three years ago. Because Katherine sells her products to several other Food Clubs and Co-ops locally and around Washington D.C., she has been a valuable advisor because she is familiar with how they successfully (or unsuccessfully) operate. She likes how VC functions since suppliers can build relationships with members; she frequently promotes VC at her markets. Katherine feels it is better business that she gets to know folks and provide the products they desire.
If you would like to learn more about Legacy Manor’s products or practices, visit them at http://www.legacymanorfarm.com/ or contact Katherine at: email@example.com.
On Saturday May 11th, the Boonsboro GreenFest will host a Recycling Zone where you can dispose of many of your hard-to-recycle items in one location. Start gathering up your stuff!
Here is the updated list of the drop-off stations in the Recycling Collection Zone:
- ARC of Washington County – Cardboard, newspapers and aluminum.
- Boonsboro High School Band Boosters – Musical instruments.
- Boonsboro High School Environmental Club – Ink cartridges, cell phones, hand-held electronics.
- Bikes of the World - Bikes and sewing machines.
- Booksavers - Books, magazines, textbooks and encyclopedias.
- Boonsboro Lions Club - Eyeglasses and cases.
- Cats Paw Organic Farm – Plastic flower pots and nursery trays.
- Conservit - Scrap metal recycling.
- Cork ReHarvest - Wine corks.
- Cotton from Blue to Green - Used denim, including jeans and jackets.
- Crazy Crayon Recycle Program – Unwanted, rejected, broken crayons made in the USA.
- Earthworks – Gift cards, store cards, credit cards (may be cut up or shredded).
- Horizon Goodwill – Wheelchairs and metal walkers, crutches and canes.
- Keefauver Dry Cleaners – Wire clothes hangers.
- Nike – Sneakers (all brands, any condition).
- Purr Haven – Car and lawnmower batteries.
- Recycled Crochet – Colored, plastic newspaper delivery bags.
- Ring Leader Recycling Program - Plastic, six-pack rings.
- Turn the Page Bookstore & All-Shred – Paper shredding from 10 AM-2 PM (limit four boxes)
- Valley Co-Op – Canning jars and lids, egg cartons.
- Washington County Recycling – Three stations:
- Television sets (no consoles)
- Rechargeable batteries, block Styrofoam, strings of holiday tree lights, and coated electrical wire
- Household recyclables: cardboard, paper, glass, metal and #1-7 plastics
- Washington County Sheriff’s Department - Unwanted prescription drugs, including lotions and drops, and over-the-counter medications. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. only
There will also be a clothing & sports equipment swap. Read more about other recycling opportunities at http://www.boonsborogreenfest.com/recycling.php and other GreenFest activities on their website: http://boonsborogreenfest.com/
Carol Britt of Slice of Heaven will be offering reusable fabric “bags” for microwaving potatoes and corn through the Valley Co-op. The bags come in two sizes: 12″x8″ and 13″x11″; they are made of cotton material and fiber batting. The large bag holds 4-6 potatoes, has a straight fold down flap; the small bag holds up to 3 potatos and has a v point flap in the front. They are not quilted, no straps, and no snaps.
There is a “how-to-use” instruction sheet inside each bag, but the directions are: Wash potatoes and wrap in the paper towel you use to dry them. Do NOT poke holes in the potatoes. Place the potatoes in the bag and microwave for 3 to 6 minutes. Check the potatoes every 2 minutes to be safe and do not leave them unattended.
These bags will be available for you to check out on Pickup Thursdays.
Last month we sent out a link to a survey asking about the new pick-up style. We had 52 members complete the survey (YEA!), with 44 voting “YES” (85%) to keep the new “off-the-shelf” shopping style, with a few modifications. The primary request was to allow for more flexibility in creating your lists of items to be added on at the cashier. There are many styles of shopping and some of you requested to be allowed to make your list ahead of time, or write out your own list as you shop.
We have developed a simple form if members wish to make shopping lists ahead of time. We need to ensure that everyone’s list, regardless of wether it was filled out in advance or at pick-up, contains the product number and quantity. If you choose to print your own and fill it our yourself, please ensure you have the completed slip ready when you check out. Download the VC Product Slip Here.
Many folks asked to start a weekly shopping cycle. We are trying to determine just how to do this since it is VERY difficult to get volunteers every other week to manage ordering, deliveries, church set up, checkouts and cleanup. Unless more members are willing to commit to working for often, moving to weekly will be very difficult. Please send suggestions or ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most of us can pick a chicken egg out of a line up and could identify it in a blind taste test, but how about turkey, duck or quail eggs? Today we’re going to give you the low-down on the fabulous variety of eggs available to you.
Let’s first take a look at some basic nutritional information:
Now we know what they look like and the nutrition behind them, but how do they taste?
All types are said to be very similar to chicken eggs. However, turkey eggs are described as having a stronger flavor; duck eggs are described as having a darker, rich flavor; quail eggs are said to be more sweet and creamy (and of course, much smaller!).
When it comes to matters of taste, the most important opinion will be your own, so try them each — you may just be pleasantly surprised!
For those of you who cannot volunteer at Pickups, here are some alternatives.
1. For our displays at the upcoming Meritus Wellness Fair (May 2) and Greenfest (May 11), we’d like to create a list or poster of all of our vendors. We envisage blurbs about them, and small labels under their names such as “local, __ miles away,” “fair trade,” “organic,” “sustainable,” “non-GMO,” etc. This task could be divided among several people for the research, and between one or two for putting it together. For more info, contact Jessica Renner <email@example.com> with a copy to Jane Bussard.
2. Also for the fairs, we want to have our Washington County producers’ map updated. If you are interested please email Jessica Renner <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
3. Our UNFI supplier team leader is relocating and will need to step down shortly. We need someone else to lead this team, which includes organizing and placing the monthly orders. For more details contact Susan Simonson <email@example.com>, and copy Jane Bussard.
There are always new opportunities for service hours from home, so if you need offsite service hours, please email Jane Bussard with some info about your skills, interests and availability so that I can watch for a good placement for you.
Please get in the habit of logging your volunteer hours when you serve them. I have attached instructions for those who may need them.
Thank you to all who serve, and thanks in advance to those getting started.
Jane Bussard, Volunteer Coordinator
Martha Stewart schools us in the wonders of the egg with videos, tips, and of course, recipes!
Eggs have many nutritional virtues. Checkout NY Times own Recipes for Health: Eggs edition.
What’s Cooking America can answer all of your egg related questions!
Mad Hungry lets us in on a Desperation Fritatta “recipe.” (Don’t you just love that name?)
Order #80 opens tonight, 4/18, at 6 p.m. With 85% 0f you saying “YES! Keep the new shopping style,” we will stick with the new format of your only needing to pre-order from our local suppliers, and volunteers not having to bag every member’s orders. You will NO LONGER need to pre-order from our in-stock inventory: to purchase those items, you’ll be able to shop off our shelves at our pickup location. See the article for details about this shopping method. Don’t forget to bring your own boxes and bags!
Highlights this order (#80):
- Mary from Good Gracious Gardens is looking for CLEAN 6-oz YOGURT CUPS and 4-PACK OR 6-PACK SEEDLING CONTAINERS (the kind used by nurseries and garden centers to sell seedlings). She will place a box for your donations at our pickup location.
- F&D Apiaries have updated their inventory. Check out the article about the wonderful mission trip Fred took, sharing beekeeping in Nigeria.
- Friedman Family Fisheries is completely sold out of salmon for the year. We will not have salmon again until September. We wish Avi a successful fishing season in Alaska this summer!
- Mulberry Farm will be offering Organic Quinoa and Organic Quinoa Flour by the pound. These products are made from pre-rised grain. Mike says he has personally used them and says that they taste great!
- Sweet Farm Sauerkraut is listed this order cycle. There products are generally listed every other order cycle, but unfortunately were missed last month. Sorry to all who missed their wonderful krauts!
Please volunteer to sort this Tuesday evening or Pickup Thursday. We are now offering childcare opportunity at the church so Moms and Dads can volunteer. Sign up online for Order Sorting or Pickup day time slots at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/pickup2
Members: Go to VCShop to Order (Opens 4/18 at 6 pm; closes Monday 4/22, at 9 p.m.)
Not a member? See How to Join Valley C/o-op as a member.
New to ordering? Visit our How to Order page.
Help out and Volunteer: What’s Needed and Signup
or contact Jane (firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-302-5262)
Have questions about ordering? Email: email@example.com
Not receiving our YahooGroups emails? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit our website (www.valleycoop.org) for other Co-op news and info on upcoming events.
If you have an overabundance of egg cartons (and have decided to repurpose them yourself instead of recycling or reusing them at the co-op), here are some amazing ideas for giving those egg cartons new life!
- Seedlings – Fill the cups of a paper egg carton with soil, place a seed in each one (along with a little finely crushed egg shells) and watch your seedling grow!
- Packing materials – Line a box with egg cartons using double-sided tape and your items are sure to arrive in one piece.
- Organization – Egg cartons are the perfect way to sort and store pocket change, nuts and bolts, buttons, golf balls or any other tiny items.
- Fire Starter – Add sawdust to each cup of a paper carton and pour melted candle wax over it. Tear a cup free when you need a quick fire starter for a fire pit or barbecue.
- Arts and Crafts – there are endless possibilities for the crafty, limited only by your imagination!
- Candles – Make scented candles. Melt wax in a double boiler. Add scents (from a candle shop) and old crayons for color. Put the wick in the bottom of each egg cup. Tie on a small washer to keep it on the bottom. Pour in the wax, holding up the wick. After wax has set, remove the eggcup.
- Game or Toy Storage – Does it drive you crazy when those little pieces keep getting lost? Use a carton to store doll shoes, game pieces, dice, Legos, etc
- Ball Toss – Give number values to each cup in an egg carton bottom – 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100s. Try to achieve your best total score by bouncing three ping-pong balls into the cups.
- Ice – Plastic egg cartons make excellent ice trays.
- Plant protection – In the garden, use egg cartons to prop up your vegetables out of the dirt when they get too heavy.
- Bird Feeder – Remove the lid from an egg carton and place birdseed in the cups. Hang the carton from a tree by threading string through the sides, or set the bird feeder on a patio ledge.
Check out many of these ideas and more on our Egg Carton Pinterest board!