One of the fortunate things about living in the greater Los Angeles basin is the accessibility to all of the diverse ethnic neighborhoods here. We have Little Tokyo, Little Saigon, Korea town, China town, Little India, Little Ethiopia & Olvera Street to name a few.
The other day we went to Little India for lunch and shopping. I love going into small markets and asking the women shopping or working there for great food tips. Today I found this great little sprouter that I'm in love with. It is 'hygenic and oder-free!' Something I never knew a sprouter could be. I can sprout two levels at once in a small area and no need for rinsing and changing the water every day.
The woman working recommended her favorites for sprouting, which included mung, moth (in the middle jar- I have no idea what this translates to) and fenegreek. I had only sprouted mung in the past. The great thing about ethnic markets is that you can ask anyone, "If I plant this will it grow?" and they will show you the beans, grains and seeds that will sprout.
The great thing about sprouts is that kids love them. If they are included in the process of soaking them (for 4 hours) and then placing them in the sprouter and watering each day- as soon as they sprout they literally cheer! I use these often with children ages 1.5 and up. We eat them plain, with olive oil, lemon and sea salt, in salads, tossed on top of soup- but mostly straight from the dish.
This is a great way for kids to connect with living food if you live in a small space with no garden. Every kitchen window has room for at least one pot of herbs but sprouts don't even require soil so it's super easy! And sprouts are super nutritious!
I often find that kids love to eat purple! We often add purple Peruvian potatoes to our soup or use them for potato salad. Makes a great potluck dish. Adding a bit of red cabbage to a slaw recipe makes it more fun. I made this one with an oriental flare by adding nama shoyu and sesame oil to the recipe and then adding black sesame seeds.
Black is a another thing kids love to eat! Black pasta made with squid ink is lots of fun because it colors your teeth black while chewing. I have seen kids nearly fall under the table with laughter by looking at each other while eating. and then the adults start and the whole table is cracking up and looking like the Munsters.