Monday 26 June 2017

Supergrass: Eat shoots and leaves

Add seeds and honey, says Susan Jane Murray, and let the health benefits of wheatgrass ooze into your body

A shot of wheatgrass is like a little factory of seraphic nutrients. It gifts us with an immodest amounts of vitamins, amino acids, minerals, phytochemicals and chlorophyll. Enough to make a cup of green tea blush. Is it exceptionally rich in any one nutrient?

No. But its broad nutritional spectrum makes it a first-rate tonic for achy limbs and mental atrophy. And that's a personal testimony.

Wheatgrass is also an excellent way of firing highly armed antioxidants into your bloodstream. Antioxidants are the Lara Croft of the food world. They help wage war against invaders and scavenge mischief-makers. Lab reports on wheatgrass suggest a possible protective role in cardiovascular health as well as against other immune complications and degenerative diseases. I suspect that eating profuse quantities of steamed green leafy vegetables would offer similar results.

However, wheatgrass is a lot quicker and easier to prepare. So, how many of you grow your own wheatgrass? Or live beside The Happy Pear in Greystones where Damien Rice is whispered to source his daily fix? For the rest of us, powdered wheatgrass is the nearest we'll get to this magical green magma. One hundred grams should last two to three months and set you back €20. While this may sound steep, it's much cheaper than a visit to your GP. To get your veins fizzing, mix a tablespoon of powdered wheatgrass with a splash of lemony water, and knock it back.

If you would rather kiss a camel than neck a shot of wheatgrass, this recipe is for you. Its taste is incognito under the chewiness of pumpkin seeds and sweetness of honey. Who said New Year's resolutions had to involve penance?

BEAUTY BONBONS

You'll find these particularly useful for the office and sports field. They're hopping with brainy minerals, antioxidants, fibre and protein. Each bonbon will cost around 20 cents to make, which is substantially cheaper than popping vitamin pills or scoffing energy drinks every afternoon.

Almonds are temples of nutrition. They house loads of healthy stuff that manufacturers try to make anti-ageing products from. Just eat them instead. Almonds of course, not your night cream. You'll do your body and bank balance a favour. If you are serious about how you look, you need to feed your skin from the inside. Think about it — your body produces your skin and needs the right ingredients to do so. These include vitamins E and C, protein and zinc to ensure skin elasticity. Beauty — or booty, in a nutritional sense — bonbons purposefully contain all four, and a lot more.

A final caveat. Your skin excretes toxins, so you'll need to consume less of these if you want luscious, luminous skin. Or consume more antioxidant-rich foods such as beetroot, broccoli and Beauty Bonbons.

You will need:

4 tablespoons ground almonds

4 tablespoons Linwoods Milled Organic

Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds

1 tablespoon runny honey

2 tablespoons tahini

1-2 tablespoons wheatgrass powder

2 tablespoons desiccated coconut (optional)

Mush everything together with a fork until it looks like thick cookie dough. Taking a teaspoon amount, roll into little bonbons between both palms. If they plan to find a child's palate, try rolling them in desiccated coconut first. The colour green is usually associated with vegetables, repelling even the most intrepid children.

Store in an airtight jar in the fridge, and liberate when required. Makes around 16 big bonbons, depending on how many times your spoon found its way into your mouth. www.susanjanemurray.com

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