Turmeric, Cauliflower and Carrot Brine Pickles

Have you ever wondered how those delicious pickled cucumbers or vegies were made when you grew up? I certainly did.
If you happen to ask any chef about pickles, they will highly likely start talking about vinegar, sugar etc. The art of preserving and enhancing vegetables with a salt brine, creating a lactic fermentation process is almost forgotten.

Large jar

Thank Heavens and himself for Sandor Ellix Katz’ book: ‘Wild Fermentation’!!! It reconnected me with more than one traditional way of preserving and enhancing food.

These brine pickles have become an absolute staple in our kitchen. And here we go:

Cauliflower and Turmeric Brine Pickle
adapted from Sandor Ellix Katz’ recipe for Sour Pickles
Time frame 1 – 4 weeks
Will make enough to fill a 4.5l jar/crock pot.

  • 2-3 heads of organic cauliflower, cut to small florets, stalks peeled and diced
  • 1kg organic carrots, sliced into thin ‘coins’
  • 500g fresh turmeric.
  • 3-5 heads of garlic, peeled, cloves cut in half
  • ½ t Grape tannin powder (home brewing supply shops). Or a handful fresh grape-, cherry-, oak-, and/or horseradish leaves (if available).
  • 20+ black peppercorns
  • 1T black mustard seeds
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves, optional
  • 6 T sea salt and 2 liters filtered water (keep ratio to 3T salt/liter of water, if more liquid is required!)
  • 2-3 cabbage leaves, outer
  1. Chop cauliflower into small florets. Peel the stems and dice. Using a mandolin, grate/cut Turmeric into small matchsticks.
  2. In a large bowl mix all the vegetables, turmeric and garlic. Keep a few cloves of garlic aside to put on top of the finished crock. Keep cabbage leaves aside.
  3. Dissolve the sea salt (6T/90ml) in 2 liters of water to create a brine solution. Stir until salt is thoroughly dissolved.
    This concentration works well in most applications: 3T sea salt/1 liter water
  4. Clean the crock, then place at the bottom of it some of the mustard seeds, fresh grape leaves and a pinch of black peppercorns.
  5. Place the mixed vegetables in the crock. Disperse some more of the black mustard seeds, bay leaves and black pepper throughout. Finish with the remaining garlic cloves on the top.
  6. Pour brine over the vegetables. Fill the jar/crock almost to the top. Put folded cabbage leaves on the very top of the mix and press down. The cabbage leaves should be partially covered by the brine. Now put lid in place and close the crock/jar.
    Cabbage leaves on top
    The jar in the picture has been fermenting for a week or so. You can see that some of the brine has been forced out by the fermentation. You can top that up with fresh brine (3T sea salt/liter of water)
  7. If the crock pot does not have a tight fitting lid or you are using a traditional Sauerkraut crock pot, place a clean plate over the vegetables  then weigh it down with a jug filled with water or a boiled rock. If the brine doesn’t cover the weighed-down plate, add more brine mixed at the same ratio of just under 1 T sea salt to each cup of water.
  8. Cover the crock with a cloth to keep out dust and flies and store it in a cool place.
  9. Check the crock every day. Skim any mold from the surface, but don’t worry if you can’t get it all. If there’s mold, be sure to rinse the plate and weight. Taste the pickles after a few days.

10. Enjoy the pickles as they continue to ferment. Continue to check the crock/jar every day.

11. Eventually, after one to four weeks (depending on the temperature), the pickles will be fully sour. Continue to enjoy them, moving them to the fridge to slow down fermentation.

The same recipe works to create different colours, e.g. with zucchini (add tannin to keep crisp!!!), beetroot, carrots and garlic. This will be a deep purple pickle! Experiment with greens too! Silver beet pickles beautifully!

Purple Pickles

Feel free to play with other spices too! Ginger, coriander seeds, juniper berries etc.

Cauliflower Turmeric

This one was made at the last Raw Chef Training Level 1 http://wp.me/P1RysK-5F

I find it not necessary to weigh down the top of the pickles etc.. It is usually fine to fill the jar to the top with vegies and brine and then just seal the lid, put the jar into a bowl to ferment – to catch the brine that gets squeezed out during fermentation.

For metal lids I use a double sheet of cling film over the top of the jar before putting on the lid. That prevents the salt brine from corroding the lid.

Pickles

Enjoy your pickles as a side dish, vegetable part of your meal or a yummy snack between meals!

René
🙂

PS: Yes, we’ll make these kind of pickles at the Raw Chef Trainings, Level 1.

2012 in Review and new Events Calendar for 2013

Happy New Year Everyone!
May it be a vibrantly healthy and peacefully conscious one for all of us!!!
Thank you for your loyal readership and support in 2012. Below a little statistic summary of the most popular posts from last year. I promise to keep it up in 2013. There is quite a bit in the pipeline 😉 Stay tuned!

My events calendar for the first part of 2013 is posted here. Have a look!
I will have a few dates available to facilitate demo classes and workshops on our way through Europe and Canada from June to August 2013. Please get in touch early so we can align our schedule.

Warm regards and my best wishes,
René
🙂
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 16,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Apple Spice Granola Recipe – a staple in our house

Ever been suspicious of what these supermarket breakfast cereals contain? Often less nutrition than the cardboard boxes they come in.

Here is a time proven raw granola recipe I was introduced to years ago by my good friend and mentor Chad Sarno. Not much tweaking needed to happen since. Some creations are just perfect. Saying that, especially this basic granola recipe is almost crying for some playful changes or addition of ingredients like Maca powder, chia seeds, cacao nibs, Sacha Inchi powder, freeze dried fruit slices etc.. Knock yourself out! 😉

wet nut mix for apple spice granola

Don’t be afraid to substitute or add other nuts and seeds like pumpkin seeds, coconut chips or brazil nuts. Just adjust the amount of date paste to obtain the desired sweetness.

I often use sprouted buckwheat for this recipe as it is a reasonably priced alternative to lot of highly priced nuts, like pecans or walnuts. Buckwheat also dehydrates beautifully into a crispy crunch. I believe the thick ‘slimy’ run-off from the sprouting grains also helps to bind the granola clusters together – similarly to what happens with flax and chia seeds when you soak them.

This brings us to another great little secret wit this recipe. By soaking and sprouting the nuts and seeds and then mixing the wet ingredients with date paste, apples and whatever spices and superfood powders you want to add, you achieve a natural clustered crunchy granola after dehydration. Adding wet and dry ingredients to nuts and seeds before dehydration and then dry the lot together in clusters, bars or any shape, will nicely attach the flavours and hold all other components together.

Now just pop your granola clusters into a bowl, add some banana slices and pour your freshly made almond milk or raw organic Jersey cow’s cream over it and enjoy!

Fresh Fruit Salad with Granola

You are still waiting for the actual recipe, right?!
Here it is:

Apple Spice Granola
Makes 4 cups

  • 1 c pecans or walnut pieces, soaked10-12 hours
  • 1 c almonds, soaked 10-12 hours
  • 1 c sunflower seeds, soaked 10-12 hours
  • 1 c hulled buckwheat, sprouted for 1-2 days
  • 1-2 c date paste
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 3 apples, diced small
  • 2 T cinnamon, ground
  • 1 T maca powder
  • t natural sea salt
  • 1/2 t lemon juice
  1. Keep the sprouted buckwheat aside. Using the food processor, pulse all other nuts and seeds until coarsely ground. Add in a large bowl to the sprouted buckwheat.
  2. Also using the food processor blend the dates with a small amount of water until it becomes a smooth paste. Dry dates will require soaking over night.
  3. Toss the paste along with the diced apples, chia seeds, maca powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt with the nut mixture. Hand mix well. Adjust flavour with lemon juice.
    wet nut mix for apple spice granola
  4. Continue by crumbling the ‘wet’ granola onto Teflex dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 145 F for 2 hours. Over the next hours turn the temperature gradually down to 115 F. Turn trays periodically. After 6-8hours flip over and remove Teflex sheets. Dehydrate at 105 F for 12 more hours or until crisp.
    wet granola ready for dehydrator
    This process is important to stop the granola from fermenting during the dehydration process. Not that it would be bad for you, yet the flavour would be slightly different 😉 It would definitely clear up any phytic acid remnants after the soaking and sprouting.

    Spaced granola clusters on dehydrator tray

    Notice the space between the clusters when wet!

  5. Store in sealed glass jars.

4 dehydrator trays of granola

Enjoy!
René
🙂

Fermented Foods – nourishing traditions re-discovered

[Please be aware that this is an old post from 2012 in preparation for one of my still very popular ‘Traditional Cultured Foods’ workshops!]

Have you ever pondered the miracle of digestion?

How is it that we can eat certain foods and in a matter of, literally, seconds we feel a surge of energy? While at other times we eat things for comfort yet we feel horrible shortly after.

How come?

You have probably heard the term ‘gut flora’ before. Did you know that our intestinal tract, where most of the digestion and assimilation of food happens, contains Trillions of micro-organisms? These little critters outnumber our human body cells by a factor of 10! Means 90% of the cells and the genetic material we contain in our body is our gut flora!!!

In an ideal world our bodies live in perfect symbiosis with these friendly micro-organisms. They even take charge of the health of our gut lining and the cells it consists of. While we in return are supposed to provide a healthy nourishing living environment for them.

So where shall we look first to improve our state of health and wellbeing?

Right! Our GUT FLORA 🙂

Unfortunately most of us have a less than optimal cultural mix in our digestive tract. Many environmental factors, the contraceptive pill, anti-biotics, alcohol, stress, etc. can devastate the healthy and beneficial bacteria in our gut. This opportunity is used by toxic and foreign bacteria to populate our gut. That means the percentage of beneficial bacteria can drop dramatically with severe health implications. For a more complete explanation please inform yourself on Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s website, her books on  GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) and many youtube videos.

Fermented foods variety

One key factor in one’s nutrition on the way to restored wellbeing is Fermented Foods. Our ancestor’s diet consisted of a variety of fermented foods and beverages. Through the commercialisation of the world’s ‘food’ supply many of these traditional fermented foods are not any longer part of everybody’s diet. Fermenting food was a prime way of preserving food and simultaneously increased its digestibility and nutritional profile. That’s how our symbiotic relationship with our beneficial gut flora evolved. We are meant to consume fermented foods on a regular basis!

A glass of Kombucha

Kombucha with Curry Cashews

The Weston A. Price Foundation is doing excellent work in educating the public about this important factor in our nutrition. And so am I 🙂

We have secured the beautiful Mahurangi West Hall as our regular venue for one-day workshops and raw food chef trainings. It is a historical building, in the most scenic setting, newly renovated with all the creature comforts (including our dear, yet superfluous dishwasher).

Mahurangi West Hall

So what’s on the menu? Shortened as of today, 18.8.2012!

  • Sauerkraut, of course!
  • Coconut yoghurt
  • Sour Beets and other fermented vegetable

    Sour Beets

    Sour Beets

  • Kim Chi
  • Natto
  • Kombucha

    A glass of Kombucha

    Kombucha

  • Water kefir

    Water Kefir

    Water Kefir

  • Kefir (dairy) and yoghurt from organic milk
  • wild-fermented sourdough

    Sourdough

    Sourdough

  • Gundru from Nepal/Tibet

    Gundru

    Gundru

  • Cider
  • Chinese Pickles
  • Japanese Nuka Bran Pickles
  • Quinoa Chicha
  • and more… What is crossed out we’ll deal with in future workshops!

This will be a very interactive workshop, balancing demo with hands-on preparation. You will take home the absolute confidence that fermented foods are easy to make and can be a regular staple in your diet.
As always, samples of all our organic food and the full recipe booklet is included. We will have a late lunch at the end of the workshop sampling our creations.

The workshop starts at 10am. We will be finished by 3pm.
That will give you enough time in the morning to visit the Matakana Market and get your knives sharpened there by Mike. 🙂

To ensure a very private atmosphere and an optimal learning environment this class is limited to only 12 students.
We are receiving bookings already. This workshop is going to be sold out shortly.

Your investment is $300+gst for the half day, including an organic lunch and samples as well as the comprehensive recipe booklet.

For bookings please refer to our Event Calendar page.

Bookings are essential for this workshop! Your payment confirms your booking. Due to the high demand and limited space we are not able to hold spaces which are not paid for in advance.

Feel free to get in touch with questions and booking requests here.

OK, I’ll better get back to all those bubbling vessels in our kitchen and hot water cupboard 😉 This is the most Fun I have had in preparing a workshop. I’m determined to pass that Joy on to you!

See you on August 25th for a nourishing Fermented Foods workshop!

Much Love,
René
🙂

Water Kefir, Kombucha, Curry Cashews

Raw Chocolate Bar Recipe – Finally!

After filling my Facebook page and ‘Timeline’ with tempting pictures of raw chocolate bars I received so many orders that I will have to move to a more empowering strategy. How about you make these beauties yourself and send me a sample?! 😉

Yumberry Chocolate Bear

“Give a man a chocolate bear and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach him…”

Although the recipe listed below has been working well for me over the months you might encounter problems when adding nut flours or fruit powders to your liquid chocolate mix. Sometimes the cacao butter separates when cooling down (especially when adding liquids). To avoid this from happening you can melt just 50% of it and shave the rest with a grater. That will keep the temperature of the whole mix down. That also means your chocolate will solidify quicker. I tried it today. Worked like a Charm! Also the surface of the finished bars seems to be much smoother.

Freeze dried Passionfruit chocolate bars

Be aware that when making raw chocolate you will leave the field of approximates and enter the Sacred Realm of Alchemy. So tread carefully and record your recipe trials and precise amounts!

And here we go with:

Raw Chocolate Bars

Makes enough chocolate to brighten a hairy day
(36 ice cube tray bars and 1-2 teddy bears)

  • 1 lb (454g) raw organic  cacao butter
  • 2 c cacao powder
  • 1.5 c cane sugar/xylitol, ground into a powder
  • 1 t + vanilla powder
  • 1-2 drops lime juice (Not more!)
  • 1-2 drops tamari sauce
  • ¼ c raw cacao nibs, optional
  • 1 t freeze dried fruit powder, optional
  1. Melt the cacao butter carefully in a bowl over hot water. Be careful not to overheat it. Stir continuously! That will yield about 2.25c of liquid.
  2. Transfer to a blender jar and add the remaining ingredients. Mix at high speed till everything is emulsified into a homogenous mixture.
  3. Pour the liquid mixture into chocolate molds or small plastic wrapped tartlet shells. You can drizzle some fruit powder into the mold before pouring the liquid chocolate. Silicone ice cube trays are best.
    Silicone ice cube trays
  4. Drop the cacao nibs into the liquid chocolate. They will float. You can stir them in if you wish.
    Chocolate Buttons
  5. Chill. The quicker the chocolate solidifies the better.
  6. Serve on cold dishes or paper as the chocolate melts easily.

Tip: Variations can be made with different essential oils and essences. Use your imagination! Citrus oils work well, Geranium goes, and even Basil rocks!

Great New Zealand made freeze dried fruit powders and whole fruit here: Fresh As!

Yumberry and Cacao nib bars

Enjoy and Happy Birthday!
René
🙂

PS: While we are on it… To further your raw chocolatier education please do yourself a favour and visit my dear friend Amy Levin’s website www.ooosha.co.uk! She is the ‘Master of Raw Chocolate’ and has a bunch of her best recipes listed on that website. Make sure you try the Textured Mocha Truffles!

Almond Lime Cookie recipe – a versatile sweet raw treat

You would never think these little darlings are raw, would you?!
Trust me, they are 🙂

A cookie jar of Love

Among the White and Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart and Amy Levin’s Candied Hazelnut Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting they almost disappeared at last week’s Divine Desserts class. Yet… try them! The flavour and texture is pretty close to marzipan, well worth the effort of hot-soaking, peeling, soaking, dehydrating… Double the batch and have your family help you peel the almonds. They might get a cookie for it 😉

And here is how:

Almond Lime Cookies

Makes about 60 cookies

  • 3 c almonds, hot-soaked, peeled, soaked for 6-8 hours, dehydrated until crisp
  • 4 T agave nectar or light honey like clover
  • 1/4 t natural sea salt or to taste
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1 t lime zest
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  1. Process all of the almonds in a food processor until coarsely ground.
  2. Add the other ingredients and process into a firm dough.
  3. Form dough into a ball and flatten between two teflex sheets into 0.5cm thickness. With a cookie cutter cut out heart-shaped cookies and place on dehydrator sheet.
  4. Dehydrate at 42° C for 8-12 hours or until crisp.

Enjoy!

René
🙂

A lunchbox full of sweet Love

Chocolate Müsli Slice – a glutenfree and vegan Power Snack

A lovely chocolate treat!

Be warned, this one will be a staple in your power snack repertoire. A thoroughly nourishing and satisfying chocolate treat. The basic recipe below is not fully raw as presented here, due to the use of 72% dark chocolate. I like to use the vegan Whittaker’s’Dark Ghana’. ‘Green & Blacks’ works as well. By all means, go ahead and make your own raw chocolate topping!
Oh, have I not posted that recipe yet?! Hang in there, it will pop up shortly 😉

When I am making this Chocolate Müsli slice I always make more of the dry crust mix than I will need for one standard baking tray. I store it in a sealed container till the next batch is due. That way I only have to add date paste, mix it thoroughly, press it into a paper lined tray and pour the chocolate.

And yes, the recipe below is not suggesting for the nuts and seeds to be soaked and dehydrated. For better digestion and utilization of all nutrients feel free to soak and dehydrate the sunflower- and pumpkin seeds as well as the almonds.
It is ESSENTIAL to dehydrate the nuts and seeds completely dry after soaking them over night. The base of the Müsli slice is held together by the moisture being evenly distributed throughout the crust.

And here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Chocolate Müsli Slice

Makes approx. three standard baking trays with 64 pieces each

  • 7c sunflower seeds, ground into coarse meal
  • 5c pumpkin seeds, ground into coarse meal
  • 10c dried finely shredded coconut
  • 4c almonds, ground into coarse meal
  • 2c cashew pieces, ground into a coarse meal
  • 4c chia seed flour
  • 3c cranberries
  • 2c sultanas
  • 3-6c smooth date paste, depending on moisture level
  • 9 x 250g bars of Whittaker’s 72% Dark Ghana chocolate (750g per tray)
  1. In a large tub hand-mix all dry ingredients well.
  2. Put a pot with 1-2cups of water to the boil, place a stainless steel bowl on the rim of the pot so it completely covers it. Break 3 bars (750g) of the dark chocolate into the bowl. Turn the heat down to a minimum once the water boils. Stir the chocolate occasionally until it is completely melted.
  3. While the chocolate is melting take 12c of the dry müsli mixture and hand-mix 1-2 cups of date paste in until everything sticks well together and is evenly moist and covered with date paste.
  4. Line a standard baking tray (approx. 2cm deep) with one sheet of baking paper. Now press the moist müsli mixture evenly into the tray.
  5. When the chocolate is completely melted pour it over the compacted müsli in the baking tray. Make sure you dry off the bowl underneath beforehand to avoid water dripping into your molten chocolate! Tap the tray lightly on the work bench to distribute the chocolate evenly and to make the surface level. Use a cranked spatula to help spread the chocolate, if necessary.

    Freshly poured chocolate

    Can you smell the freshly poured chocolate?!

  6. Place the tray in the fridge (walk-in coolers are handy here! ;-)) to let the chocolate solidify. Check frequently for the chocolate surface to turn matt. Do not wait till the chocolate is thoroughly chilled through. It will be too brittle to cut. A very sharp and thin (Asian) chef’s knife helps!
    Solid chocolate on top
  7. Once the chocolate surface has turned evenly matt and is sufficiently solid to cut, carefully, while holding on to the paper, slide the chocolate-covered müsli block onto a large cutting board. Cut into 64 equal pieces and stack them into a tight-sealing container with baking paper between the layers.
    Scored chocolate top
    Return to chiller overnight. The chocolate will solidify and the moisture in the müsli mix will spread evenly through all ingredients, making them hold together better.
    The cut chocolate muesli slice

Caution!

  • Do not touch the chocolate surface after it is poured!!! Your fingerprints will remain visible.
  • From the time of cutting into individual pieces till serving the individual müsli slices should stay refrigerated. Alterations in temperature will cause moisture in the air to condense on the chocolate coating. This ultimately leads to bright brown spots on it and makes it look unsightly and old.

The final result!

Enjoy!

René
🙂

PS: Yes, this might be one of the recipes featured at one of my next demo classes!

Stir Raw recipe – a simple classic!

Sometimes it is just the brilliant colours of a picture that inspire me to share a recipes. I’m sure you understand. Forgive the mess and enjoy the aliveness! 🙂

This recipe is by my dear friend and raw food mentor, Master Chef Chad Sarno. Such a simple way to make a delicious warm raw meal!!!
If you don’t own a square dehydrator like the Excalibur or Sedona, just put the dish in your oven at about 50°-75°C with the door ajar. Stir it frequently and after 30min it should be ready to be served. Test the food temperature with your little finger!

We made this dish at last week’s ‘Warm Winter Raw Foods – Asian’ class. Very enthusiastically received! Make more of the sauce and keep it in the fridge as an addition to your salads, sprouts or boiled potatoes/kumara!

You can add some lemon grass and kaffir lime leaf if you feel adventurous.
Here it is:

Stir Raw

By Chad Sarno
Serves 4-6

¨      1 c broccoli florets
¨      1 c julienne red bell pepper
¨      1 c red cabbage shredded
¨      1 c carrots julienne thin
¨      1 c portabella mushrooms, cubed and marinated in 3 T olive oil and
2 T tamari sauce
¨      1 c Asian bean sprouts
¨      ½ c cilantro chopped
¨      ½ c basil, fresh and torn
¨      ½ c olive oil
¨      2/3 c orange juice
¨      3 T white miso
¨      2 T tamari sauce
¨      3 T ginger chopped
¨      T garlic minced
¨      ½ T natural sea salt
¨      t cayenne
  1. In large bowl toss the broccoli, bell pepper, cabbage, carrot, marinated portabella mushrooms, Asian bean sprouts, cilantro and basil. Set aside.
  2. In high speed blender, continue to blend the olive oil, orange juice, miso, ginger, garlic, tamari, sea salt and cayenne.
  3. Toss the sauce with the mixture of vegetables. Allow to marinate for about an hour.
  4. Spread on dehydrator sheets and continue to dehydrate at 105°F for 2-3hours. Serve warm.
    Stir Raw, fresh from the dehydrator

Enjoy!

René
🙂

Raw “Chef” or what?! Your Feedback requested!

Help!!!

at recent chef training with Anna

This is not a recipe post – for a change, and neither is it a class announcement. However, classes and teaching it is – my Passion!
My dear friend Sanjiv Deva of Total Business Solutions, after studying my business plan, pointed out to me that I’m sending mixed messages. Right he is!
Nowhere in my planning attempts was there talk about ‘real’ chef work. Coming out of mechanical engineering that might not surprise you. It did surprise me however when Sanjiv pointed it out.
What comes up a lot when describing my business and calling is: education, inspiration, teaching, raised consciousness, entertainment, health awareness, culinary education… You get my drift.

So, if there is no catering, cooking, baking, feeding people – means: no chefing, what is it???

Yes?

What does one call a person who enjoys inspiring others to explore unknown culinary territory, that comes with the side effects of increased energy, wellbeing and fun? …and puts the responsibility for peoples’ health and food choices back to where it belongs: to the people themselves.

Demo class at Wise Cicada

This is a serious request for your, dear readers’, input.

Initial attempts: raw food teacher, culinary educator, living foods consultant… all sound a bit klutzy.

Teaching at Green Expo

So with my main service being raw food demo classes and hands-on trainings and workshops for lovely mainstream people as well as freaks like you and me ;-), what shall I call myself, apart from René Archner???

The raw BBQ Man

The raw vegan BBQ Man?

There is plenty of space below ↓ for your constructive comments. Asking for ‘baptism by fire’…

With great anticipation and much Love,

René
🙂

Chef training lecture

Wheatgrass and Sprouting – vibrant Life Force home-grown! Recipe and Class

Ever thought of growing your own Greens without a garden? We have! – thought it and have a garden 😉

Infant Wheatgrass

Below a thorough description of how we grow wheatgrass without fuss and mess in planting pot trays in our house.

Let me just quickly announce our upcoming ‘Sprouting and Wheatgrass’ demo class on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012, from 7-9.30pm at the Wise Cicada in Newmarket, Auckland, New Zealand.

Come and Learn:

  • How to grow different sprouts and micro greens both in jars and on soil.
  • How to most effectively grow your own wheatgrass and juice it.
  • What benefits do different sprouts and micro greens offer you.
  • How to grow alfalfa, red clover, fenugreek, buckwheat, radish, wheatgrass, sunflower greens, pea shoots…

Your investment only: NZD60 – just click the PayPal button below to book your seat.

PayPal Buy Now

Full recipe booklet and samples included.

You will learn how to confidently grow different kinds of sprouts year round and how to maximize the yield of your efforts.

And here the promised Wheatgrass ‘recipe’/growing instruction:

Wheatgrass

Yields one ø32cm tray or 240ml Wheatgrass juice

  • 1 cup (250ml) organic winter wheat (sprouting quality) or for a much more intense green flavour use organic barley
  • 1l ‘Agee’ jar
  • Sprouting lid or mesh cloth and rubber band to cover the jar opening
  • 2 big plastic flower pot trays ø32cm and approx. 3.5cm deep or something of similar size
  • Approx. 1.5l organic compost soil, make sure it is sterilised (as most of the stuff you buy in bags from garden centers is) to avoid weeds and undesired micro organisms.

1st day (front left in picture below)

Wheatgrass Instructions

Place wheat berries in jar and fill jar ¾ with water. Cover opening with sprouting lid or mesh cloth and rubber band. Leave to soak overnight.

2nd day (front centre in picture below)

Drain the water and rinse the wheat berries a few times until water runs clear. Place jar on an angle with the opening facing down so the remaining water can drain. Make sure the jar is not exposed to direct sunlight as it can get too hot for the sprouting grains.

Rinse once more in the evening and put back again to drain.

3rd day (front centre and right in picture below)

Rinse the now slightly sprouted grains and put jar back to keep them sprouting.

Once the wheat berries have developed small shoots and fine hairy roots it’s time to plant them.

Fill one of the trays evenly with organic compost soil, approx. 2cm high.

Carefully spread the sprouted wheat evenly over the whole soil-filled tray. Water the tray evenly with not more than 1 cup (250ml) filtered water. Cover the planted tray with the second one (upside down) and place in a warm (room temperature) spot out of direct sunlight.

5th or 6th day (back right in picture below)

Wheatgrass Instructions

The young plants have now probably grown strong muscles and lifted the lid. Take it off and place the tray with the young plants in a well ventilated and lit spot out of direct sun light.

Water evenly with approx. 0.5l filtered water.

6th or 7th day (back centre in picture below)

Water the young grass when the soil is getting dry.

When the greens are long enough and the roots have grown into a solid system, holding the soil together, you can carefully grab a fist full of greens close to the edge and lift the whole pad on one side. Now pour the water into the tray under the lifted roots. Do this equally all around the tray to make sure all plants get watered. Watering the grass this way keeps the space between the greens relatively dry which prevents mould from growing.

The plants will now tolerate a few hours daily of direct sunlight to develop their dark green colour.

8th day (back left in picture below)

Once the greens have reached 10-15cm in heights you can start harvesting them. The optimum harvesting time is just before each individual plant brings out its second leave. At this stage the wheatgrass has its highest nutrient content. However, you can still use it afterwards.

Wheatgrass Instructions

To harvest the grass, use a sharp 20cm long chef’s knife. Starting at the outer edge of the tray, grab a fistful of greens and cut them about 1cm above the soil, avoiding any mouldy spots. Depending on the heights of the grass and its moisture content, a quarter tray of grass yields approx. 40ml of wheatgrass juice.

Put the greens in your hand directly into your wheatgrass or Greenstar juicer.

Should you not own such a juicer, you can cut the harvested greens in approx. 0.5cm long pieces and put them into a blender. Add 0.5l filtered water and blend at highest speed until the greens are completely dissolved. Now pour the blender content through a cotton cloth into a bowl or jar. Squeeze out all the juice by tightly squeezing the cotton cloth.

Wheatgrass juice is best consumed fresh as the delicate active ingredients oxidise very easily.

Keep the juice in your mouth and squish it around for 2-5 minutes. That allows the absorption to begin through your mucus membranes in your mouth and under your tongue.

To mellow the very strong ‘green’ taste try juicing carrots, apples, lemon and ginger with the wheatgrass.

When you start to take wheatgrass juice, begin with 30ml full strength juice per day. You can increase the amount or frequency day by day. Juice you make with a blender is not as strong as the one made with a juicer. That means, you can take more of it.

Dr. Gabriel Cousens recommends the use of wheatgrass juice for enema’s too. Please refer to his books: Rainbow Green Life Food Cuisine. Anne Wigmore’s books are another great resource on the topic of wheatgrass and its many uses.

To juice a whole tray of wheatgrass daily you also need to start a new jar of wheat berries a day. For a continuous process you will require 4 jars with mesh cloths and 8 big flower pot trays as well as a steady supply of sterilised organic compost soil.

The harvested root mats with soil can be put upside down directly into the garden or the garden compost.

Cheers!

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Best regards and see you on Wednesday!

René

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Wheatgrass