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by Sarah Baker
Since I am such a food freakazoid, I try to circle out greens on my shopping list to focus on each week to use in recipes, and this week it's Alfalfa! This super food is one of my favorite salad toppings and smoothie ingredients.
I sprout alfalfa quite regularly and try to incorporate it as much as possible into my meal plan so that I can enjoy its benefits.
Did you know that alfalfa starts out as a legume? We typically see alfalfa already sprouted in stores, but you can also buy the seeds and do it yourself at home. For recipe ideas: I love putting alfalfa sprouts in avocado wraps (avocado, alfalfa, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts, wrapped in romaine lettuce), and in my Asian salads (shredded kale, alfalfa, shredded carrots, zucchini, sesame seed oil, nori flakes and a teasoop of miso paste).
Alfalfa sprouts have some pretty great health benefits, as well:
Health Benefits of Alfalfa
- - Contains Vitamin A, C and K
- - Is known as a tonic to flush toxins from the body
- - Has minerals such as iron, calcium and magnesium
- - Packed with phytoestrogens, plant compounds which some believe help to fight cancer and heart disease
- - Super low in calories
- - May lower cholesterol from the compound saponin found in the plant
There are some side effects to using alfalfa in larger quantities, so if you are pregnant, have a hormone-sensitive condition or an autoimmune disease, you should consult your physician before taking any alfalfa supplements. Other side effects and how it can interfere with specific medications can be found here.
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