Part of getting ready for spring planting is taking the time to appreciate our seeds. They provide the gift of life through their own growth and the sustenance we need to thrive. Between the seeds and the hand that sows them is a reciprocal relationship. Growers put good intentions and minds towards providing the optimal circumstances for seeds to mature and thrive. In return, the seed develops roots, its shoots reach for sunlight, the plant blooms, bearing fruit or other edibles.
I like to say good food for good minds and good minds for good food.
Seeds represent hope in getting away from a dependency on large scale, multi-national agriculture toward a self-sustaining food future. They are also a material reminder of the life cycle and of the interconnectedness we all share with the earth.
Seeds saved and selected by a family year after year also contain generations of knowledge. A family who saves seeds is able to pick out the characteristics that they wish to nurture in their plants over time. Typically, they will preserve the seeds from plants that thrive best in their particular soil.
That is why I feel the Our Sustenance program is so important. It empowers individuals to help feed their family and community. This happens through the sharing of knowledge made whole by having a tangible experience with food from seed to seed.
This week’s recipe is a guideline for how the salad at the Healthy Roots finale dinner was made.
This salad has endless variations.
Your favorite cooked seeds, you can use one or many. Most people are unaware that these items are considered seeds:|
- Millet, wild rice, wheat berries, amaranth, etc
- Dried fruit: raisin, cranberry, apricot, etc
- Seeds that can be toasted: sunflower, pumpkin, etc
- apple cider vinegar
- maple syrup
- sunflower oil
- bitter greens like arugula or watercress
- Make a vinaigrette with ⅓ parts vinegar to ⅔ part oil, season with maple syrup and salt to taste.
- Cook each seed individually in salted water until tender. When done cooking, strain well and lay out on baking sheet and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Let cool completely.
- Rehydrate your dried fruit by letting them sit in some boiling water covered in a bowl. Any liquid leftover from this process can add into your vinaigrette if you choose.
- In a mixing bowl put together cooked seeds, rehydrated fruit, your bitter greens and toss with your vinaigrette and some fresh herbs. Garnish with toasted seeds. Enjoy!
Note: You can cook the seeds ahead of time and they will keep well for several days in your fridge.
Variation: Try adding roasted or pickled beets or other roasted or pickled vegetables.