Sunflower Sprouts & Mulberries

After a crazy week and an extremely delayed flight last night, I finally made it back to Omaha, NE to visit my family for the holiday weekend. We started off the morning with a trip to the Benson Farmers Market, where I had my first shot of fresh wheatgrass juice and a taste of sunflower sprouts! The wheatgrass had a sweet honey after-taste, which was a pleasant surprise! Click here for more information about wheatgrass.

One vendor at the market was selling sunflower sprouts, which I’ll admit, I had never seen/heard of people selling before. Apparently they clip the sprouts of the sunflower after about 6 weeks of growth and sell them to mix in with salads or toss in a juicer. I had the opportunity to sample one – the little green leaves and stem had a slightly nutty flavor to them similar to sunflower seeds, it was delicious!

sunflowersprouts

Sunflower greens or sprouts are considered to be a super food because they contain protein, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc. I will have to be on the lookout for these little guys at the farmers markets in Chicago! I eventually came home from the market with garlic, green onions, and Chinese spinach (more on this later) in hand; all to use tomorrow at the July 4th barbeque!

After the farmers market it was time to harvest some mulberries. Every summer wild mulberries grow in my neighborhood, and this year the crop was quite abundant! I ended up picking about a quart of them! In addition to using them on top of my breakfast cereal and in smoothies I think the plan is to either bake some into muffins or a pie this year!

mulberries 

Mulberries grow wild throughout the United States and are often overlooked when it comes to summertime berries. Like blackberries and raspberries, mulberries are packed with nutrients and provide numerous health benefits. Mulberries are a great source of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B, iron, fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

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Mulberries contain antioxidants that help lower cholesterol, aid in treating digestive problems, and help to prevent cancer, blood clots, and diabetes. If you have a wild mulberry tree in your neighborhood, harvest the berries between May and July and reap the great benefits mother nature has to offer us!

sources: image 1, image 2

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