Sunchokes Three Ways + Microgreens & Black Quinoa

Posted by: on Mar 30, 2014 | 11 Comments

Sunchokes Three Ways + Microgreens & Black Quinoa www.Earthsprout.com

Many call themselves seasonal eaters nowadays and that’s just great and all but the gardener in me has come up with something a little bit more edgy. Why not go ahead and start to actually eat the seasons (yeah literally)? When spring comes around my plate seems to always resemble what’s going on in nature (remember this cake that I did for Green Kitchen Stories way back?). First a tasty base resembling the fertile, oh-so-amazing-smelling soil that I just can’t get enough of, seriously. Then comes the longed for flecks of powerful yet still a little timid greens. Lastly we have the bold sprinkles of color, yellow, purple and pink. Their brightness is still a bit surprising to my eyes which just got used to the winter tones but nevertheless they are undoubtedly here to stay (thank goodness!). Turn all this into a meal and Ta-Daa – You have officially just eaten the season. Welcome to the cool kid’s club, baby!

The incredible super hot and trés cool Eating The Season-club doesn’t have any strict rules, you can simply follow these tasty guidelines:

Dive deep into in the goodness that is now (yep, you can take that beyond food)
Tap into your inner organic veggie shopaholic/forager
Find yourself some amazing seasonal produce
Make nature reflecting art in the kitchen
Dig in and love.

Ps. You’re turned off the lights for Earth Hour yesterday, right? ..Eating The Season couldn’t be more appropriate, expanding the brilliant thoughts behind Earth Hour and turning it into something that lasts for a bit longer then, well.. an hour.

Sunchokes Three Ways + Microgreens & Black Quinoa www.Earthsprout.comSunchokes Three Ways + Microgreens & Black Quinoa www.Earthsprout.comSunchokes Three Ways + Microgreens & Black Quinoa www.Earthsprout.com

Fun & Fabulous Facts

We all know about the sensational sprouts and the greatness of including them in our diet. Sprouts pack an incredible punch when it comes to vitamins, minerals, buzzing enzymes, protein and never-ending lists of medicinal benefits. Not to mention sprouts are super tasty, crunchy and adds a whole other dimension to a regular salad/stir-fry/smoothie/other. And so lately I bet you’ve heard wispers of something new (and also quite tiny) – Microgreens. Microgreens is a fancy pants word for plants that are grown in real soil – not in water as sprouts are – and harvested after around 7–14 days. Studies on microgreens are now popping up everywhere and the results are quite grand although I’m not as surprised as many seem to be. The studies have shown among other things that microgreens can actually carry up to 40 times the nutritional load compared to their grownup counterparts.

Even if you don’t have a big garden, with microgreens you’ll still have the opportunity to eat freshly harvested greens (not to mention this is a fun thing to include kiddos or your inner kid in). I absolutely love having some microgreens growing in the house, it’s a gorgeous high-vibe interior touch and it’s also like having a few hundred besties around (yup, you can talk to them too). So go ahead and purchase some top quality organic seeds (important!), a bag of rich organic soil fit for seedlings and follow sowing instructions on the seed packets. Keep in a sunny spot and water as suggested on the specific packet. And friends, no cheating with the quality of the soil you use, ok? Remember this; that same quality and minerals (or lack of) will later be inside your microgreens meaning this makes a hell of a lot of difference when it comes to the end result. Harvesting time comes around when your tiny plants have gotten their so called ”heart leaves”. Heart leaves are the first pair of leaves on all plants, these resemble hearts and have none of the characteristics that the next pair of leaves will but all of the flavor. The most important thing I’d say is not weather you let your plants grow for 7 or 14 days, it’s that you harvest just before you’re planning to savor them in a meal. If you do this your greens will still be bursting with life force and nutrients going straight into your system insted of loosing a high percentage of these during storage. With Microgreens you can have it all, all year around and still be incredibly kind to the earth and your body.

So, is microgreens better then sprouts you ask? Well, microgreens grow in actual soil instead of just water and this enhances it’s nutritional value. Also microgreens are often exposed to more sunlight, meaning they develop and carry a wider array of nutrients, not only the alkalizing and healing chlorophyll. As microgreens are older then sprouts they also have a higher amount of fiber in them. Then again, sprouts have other benefits. My final thought is this: Whichever way you do it, upping your intake of top quality greens and vegetables will love up your body in soul in plenty of amazing and tasty ways. Sprouts! Microgreens! Grownup veggies! Munch away!

Sunchokes Three Ways + Microgreens & Black Quinoa www.Earthsprout.com

Sunchokes Three Ways w Black Quinoa & Microgreens

Jerusalem artichokes, sunchokes.. this darling has got plenty of names and is widely loved and used around the world. My favourite way to eat sunchokes is either slow-roasted or raw and thinly sliced so I though why not combine these two!? The Umami Sunchoke Sause is based on the slow-roasted ones so it’s super easy to prepare (and later savor) and while some roots are in the oven you  have your hands free to prepare the quick-pickled sunchokes and a big-ass microgreens salad. Add the gorgeous black quinoa for some extra bounce and turn it all into a salad or plate it as in the pictures for a true eat-the-season-feeling.

Quick Pickled Sunchokes
250 g sunchokes
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp whole fennel seeds
1/5 tsp paprika powder
1/5 chiliflakes
1/4 tsp high quality salt
1/2 tsp ghee or virgin coconut oil

1. Rinse and scrub the sunchokes (peel if not organic). Thinly slice using a mandolin slicer.
2. Heat the ghee/coconut oil in a frying pan and toast the fennel seeds on medium temperature until fragrant (around 1 minute)
3. Mix all other ingredients thoroughly in a medium-sized mixing bowl, add toasted fennel seeds and sunchokes last. Combine, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

Slow Roasted Sunchokes
600g sunchokes

1. Preheat the oven to 175 °C /347° F
2. Rinse and scrub the sunchokes, add to a lined baking sheet and roast for 45 min. They should be heavy and moist on the inside, not dried-up.

Umami Sunchoke Sauce
4-6 big slow roasted sunchokes (see instructions above)
3 tbsp roasted tahini
1 1/3 cup pure water
2 tsp aged balsamic vinegar
a pinch of high quality salt
3 sundried tomatoes
1 stalk celery

1. Grab 4-6 of the slow roasted sunchokes that you just prepared. Add these and all of the other ingredients for the sauce to a high speed blender (or simply use an immersion blender). Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more salt to taste.

Black Quinoa
1 cup dry black quinoa
2 cup pure water
a pinch good quality salt
a pinch cayenne
1 tbsp lemon juice

1. Rinse the quinoa then add it to a saucepan along with the 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce to heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes.
2. Add salt, cayenne and lemon juice during the last couple of minutes of cooking. 

To serve
5 handfuls mixed microgreens of your choice
some lemon zest
a few drops of virgin olive oil
a few drops of aged balsamic vinegar
 
Arrange
Either mix the cut up slow-roasted sunchokes, the pickled sunchokes, the microgreens, the black quinoa and the final additions (lemon zest, balsamic vinegar and olive oil) into a big salad OR plate it all up by putting a small handful of the quick-pickled sunchokes, a few tbsp of the sunchoke umami sauce and a couple of whole slow-roasted sunchokes onto a plate then add the microgreens, final additions and a serving of black quinoa.

Sunchokes Three Ways + Microgreens & Black Quinoa www.Earthsprout.com

 

Now head out into the sunshine and bring forth your inner eating-the-season-enthusiast. It’s spring, you guys!

Ps. Remember to show off your creations on Instagram using the #earthsprout hashtag – I for one cannot wait to see all of your innovative nature reflecting plates of goodness!

°°Elenore°°

 

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11 Comments

  1. Genevieve
    30 mars, 2014

    I love the concept of eating the seasons! I unfortunately don’t have the space to grow my own food, but I’m waiting for the day to come when I can finally grow my own fruits and veggies. Can’t wait to try all the different ways of eating sunchokes, normally I just pop them in the oven, roast, and eat- they’re so delicious!

    Reply
  2. The Naked Fig
    30 mars, 2014

    This looks so delicious! I never quite know what to do with sun chokes so I usually make soup. Next time I’m trying this. And your food styling is always top notch!
    Lots of love,
    Chelsea

    Reply
  3. The Vegan Cookie Fairy
    30 mars, 2014

    I can’t believe I haven’t eaten any Jerusalem artichokes yet this year! I love them in soup, but I’ve never tried them slow-roasted.

    Reply
  4. sil @ entre jardins
    31 mars, 2014

    What a beautiful platter of seasonal goodness!
    This year I’m starting a small urban vegetable garden in our balcony, I’m excited to see how it will turn out!..
    Why does the sunchoke sauce turn out so dark brown? is it the skins?

    Reply
  5. Lane | Green Spirit Adventures
    31 mars, 2014

    I love this idea of eating seasonally and reflecting the beauty of the earth in our food – and you’ve got me so excited to try some sunchokes! Your photos are beautiful (as always) and make me wish the ground wasn’t still covered in snow where I live. It doesn’t look much like spring here – but goodness I’m excited for it to come! :)

    Reply
  6. Maria
    31 mars, 2014

    Wow! This looks amazing! Thank you so much for sharing. We are just going to have to grow some microgreens on our balcony. This might be a stupid question, but do you only use the seed once or can it grow back after harvesting?

    Reply
  7. Kathleen
    3 april, 2014

    Eating the seasons! Way to be pro-active! I love sunchokes too. I eat them raw mostly, but your ideas look awesome. I am going to try it! Great photos too…

    Reply
  8. Michelle @LALLnutrition
    7 april, 2014

    I love that eating with the seasons doesn’t mean only what we can get in the market (ie we can grow our own food all year round). I love sprouts and really want to try micro-greens!

    Living food is essential no matter what season as you have eloquently explained! Thanks for the reminder. Love it!

    ~Michelle

    Reply
  9. Alina
    8 april, 2014

    Absolutely love reading your posts, Elenore. Love how you shine you wise light on so many issues, thank you for sharing. You and your little one look so gorgeous. Enjoy your spring. It is autumn in Austrslia, also colorful and beautiful.

    Reply
  10. Dani
    8 april, 2014

    Hey Elenore, your words make me smile – as always – and your pictures are stunning. Love your approach about the new seasonal eating, I have in fact created a spring inspired smoothie bowl a few days ago as I just had to catch all those colors around us in my food:
    it was green (green smoothie) for the lush young grass, pink (frozen raspberries) and white (banana) for all those blooming fruit trees and yellow (bee pollen) for the cheeky daffodils

    Reply
  11. Hannah
    11 april, 2014

    This is soooo delicious!
    Love your recipes!

    xxxxxx

    Reply

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