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Eat Fresh Greens In The Winter?

October 28, 2013

Eat Fresh Greens In The Winter?

By Joan McDaniel                               October 28, 2013

Simple Ways to Increase Eating Fresh Leafy Greens All Year Long

winter sun   Winter Sun

To maintain good health, your mother and grandmother were right when they said, “EAT YOUR VEGETABLES”.  I live in the Northern United States and it is now winter.  Because the Sun’s heat rays have gone south and is off visiting Africa and Australia the temperatures are dropping and so is my vegetable garden. I won’t be seeing much of the sun’s warmth for the next several months.  The growing season is over – or is it?



So how can I continue to eat Fresh Green Leafy vegetables that use to grow under the suns warm rays in my garden?    Maybe that is why we get sick more in the winter than summer. In order for your immune system to make fresh healthy cells, it needs the nutrition found in fresh green leafy vegetables at least three or more times a day.


From addiction to sugar to as raw as I can handle

My diet has come a long way from addiction to processed carbohydrates and sugars to as raw as I can handle.  There are many ways to eat food raw and I will talk more about them in the future. Juicing, smoothies, sprouting, steaming and stir frying, are some methods, but today I will discuss Sprouting.



The Standard American Diet promotes processed carbohydrate and sugar addiction and my illness was cause by lack of nutrition and too much body acid. As this blog shows, I stopped using the SAD (Standard American Diet) and explored what foods have the most nutrition and I ate myself to wellness. I am recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia and now know the importance of Gut Flora.


Your Health starts in your Gut


During the summer I became addicted to Green Leafy vegetables.  I found the importance of green leafy vegetables and health. Critical immune cells in your gut, respond to the foods you eat – specifically leafy green vegetables. A report published by Dr. Mercola calls Green Leafy vegetables light energy for your body.

Vegetables that Stay Fresh, Even in the Winter?

You can get Green Leafy vegetables from the Grocery Store, the store does its best, but how can a shipment from hundreds if not thousands of miles still be and taste fresh?  It isn’t.  My local farmer may grow in a greenhouse but it isn’t quite the same. I could grow vegetables in a small greenhouse but that is just beyond my energy level right now. I am stronger, but climbing stairs is my energy challenge right now.  I’ll get stronger.

Vegetables That Have Some Shelf Life or Travel Well

Last winter I wrote about my exploring vegetables that travel well like the avocado, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, onions especially the red onion, Yam, and of course, Kale and many others. I even explored the contents of Orange Juice to find it contains nothing but sugar.

By travel well, I mean they are almost as good off the grocer’s shelf as the Farmers Garden.  Of course, nothing is as good as fresh. You do get plenty of great vitamins from these traveling vegetables but what if you can still eat fresh green vegetables during the winter?

Then I Remembered Sprouts

I never really thought much about it until I saw an article from Dr. Mercola Leafy Greens Essential for Immune Regulation and Tumor Resolution

Dr. Mercola’s article covers a report the shows importance of green leafy vegetables and health. Critical immune cells in your gut, respond to the foods you eat – specifically leafy green vegetables. The report calls it light energy, “Naturally-grown fresh vegetables, raw sprouts, and sun-ripened fruits are rich in light energy.”  The further the vegetable gets from the garden the more the light dissipates.  The vegetable just isn’t as fresh.

He explains there are two ways to eat green leafy vegetables during the winter, Fermentation and Sprouting. He goes on to explain and illustrate how to plant and harvest sprouts at home. You can do it in your basement and you don’t even need the sun at all. In the above article, Dr. Mercola seems to favor growing shoots or sprouting by growing in dirt with the sun.  I explored the older method of sprouting in a Mason jars and will discuss that method. I tried growing in the dirt and found it labor intensive by trying to remove the dirt before eating. I just need more time to experiment with it. Sprouting with ball jars does require work for you need to rinse them several times a day to prevent mold growth.

I am still exploring fermentation and experimenting for I haven’t gotten it quite right yet but sprouting is turning out to be easy and fun. I still have a lot to learn about sprouting but have found enough to tell what I have found.

SPROUTGreen Giant frozen veggies also had a cute little broccoli character named Sprout.

I remember eating sprouts a long time ago. In my high carb sugar days I would eat an occasional salad and did try sprouts.   I did like sprouts but dismissed them as a California hippy Fad and completely forgot about them.



Grow Sprouts All Year Long.

But I have found a new way to prepare vegetables. Eating my veggies has now becoming a whole lot of fun and will occupy me during the winter.  Instead of growing things in the dirt under the sun, I will be germinating a complete food which may be even better than the fresh green vegetable.  And what is so great about it you don’t even need sun or 70 degree weather. You don’t have to worry about GMO’s, organic vs. non-organic, pests or critters, pesticides, and a toxic environment.

Eating raw food can be very noisy and time-consuming

You are eating the vegetable raw, but before it has grown into that chewing noisy monster.  This makes it great for being sociable during meal time, even if I am only talking to my cat, or for just listening to great music.



Sprouts, are Living Food, rich in light energy with Amazing Health Benefits.

Sprouts have been grown by ancient civilizations for over 5,000 years.  Even to this day, the Chinese mung bean has retained its ancient fame.


Naturally grown fresh vegetable, raw sprouts are considered a wonder food.  They rank as the freshest and most nutritious of all vegetables available to the human diet even most sun-ripened fruits. Sprouted foods compared to the dried embryo have increased nutritional values of minerals, protein and vitamins. They are easier to digest than the full-grown food.sprout_head_1

Sprouts are:

  • Alkalizing where Sugar destroys the cells oxygen and creates an acid (toxic) base
  • Antioxidant
  • Boost the body’s immune system better than the full-grown plant.
  • Can sprout just about any seed known to mankind
  • Considered Raw food
  • Very low in cost Beans or seeds can be purchased in bulk
  • Easily accessible
  • Easy to digest but do contain a moderate amount of cellulose fiber
  • Easy to grow (six days and require no sun)
  • 100 times more enzymes than raw fruits and vegetables,
  • Energy – with the power that enables it to be grown into a complete plant
  • Low in calories, cost, fat, fiber, and sodium
  • Nutritional even if purchased in a store.  But best if hand grown.
  • High in minerals, Proteins over 400% more than lettuce,
  • High in phytochemicals (plant compounds) that protect us against disease
  • Resist cell mutation, and toxins
  • High in Vitamins over 3900% more beta-carotene for example
  • Sprouts have a greater concentration of anti-oxidants, bioflavonoids, chemo-protectants which work against toxins.
  • You know exactly what you are eating

How to Eat Sprouts

You can cook sprouts, juice them, eat them on a salad, or stir-fry, but remember the higher the cooking temperature the more destruction of the heat sensitive vitamins. They are best eaten raw.

I use sprouts in just about everything I eat.  I even mix them with my farm fresh very sunny side up eggs.  Remember as raw as I can tolerate.  I am not into raw eggs, yet.

There are many different types of seeds that work best for sprouting; alfalfa, broccoli, clover, lentil, mung bean, radish, sunflower, wheat grass, and a range of mixes. I am exploring with beans right now.

What to sprout

Dry beans are available on your grocery store shelf. There are large bags of seeds, like sunflower are available to feed birds. I avoid seeds that are packaged for planting first because they are expensive and second they may be GMO or contain other toxic chemicals.  I do get reliable seeds from Johnny seeds but they are expensive. I did find that the sunflower seed and wheat germ is best sprouted in dirt.  Look on the internet for sprouting kits and seeds.  I found that I did not need an expensive kit; I could use what I had on hand.  Once you get started, you will find all edible grains, legumes, and seeds can be sprouted.

Equipment you need

You will need Cheese cloth or wire screening, rubber bands, Mason jars with lids, an old wine rack, a towel, pure water, and beans or seeds.

I found this Video which shows one way to sprout seeds.  There are many other methods and Videos available on the net.

Sprouts Video

As a review

Soak the seeds (Mung Beans shown)

soaking beans


I found I could cover the lid of the jar with cheese cloth available in your grocery store and the outside (lid or the ring) could then fit over the top and be screwed in place.  Below shows a wire filter later pictures shows cheese cloth and rubber bands.

The time to soak depends on the type of seed or bean.  Small seeds need less time than the larger bean.  After the initial soaking of 10 to 12 hours the sprouts should be rinsed and drained at least every 12 hours.  Do not store the spouting seeds or beans in standing water to prevent mold.





Once the Mason jar containing the sprouting seed or bean has been drained, lye it on its side to allow complete drainage  then cover it with a towel.  I found an old wine rack or dish rack (to dry dishes) works great.


Keep bottle on its side or at a slant for completsprout bottle on sidee drainage

The length of time it takes to sprout depends on the temperature between 60 and 75 degrees and the size of the seed or bean.  I found when growing beans just after they start to sprout is the best.  This includes black eye, lintel, and mung, Sunflower still has a hard shell which has to be removed and I let it grow a longer stem.



ready to eat

Ready to Eat






Till next time


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