I love Lentil. A whole lot. And they are easy enough to make and very nutritional etc etc.. 

Always keep boiled lentil in small bags in the freezer so that I can use them in a salad in no time. 

But lately I started looking into sprouts more and lentil well they are a prime candidate for that. 

So, I know that sprouts are full of nutrients a lot more than the seeds they come from but did not know what happens when you boil them... 

Well, it turns out that a lot of the nutrients just remain after boiling.. and because the seeds become tender with sprouting you do not need to boil them as much as before. 

Also I found out that all legumes they contain phytic acid that makes them hard to digest. But sprouting gets rid of the phytic acid making the sprouted lentils a lot easier for the intestines. 

Another thing is that when you compare sprouted or not 

Μου αρέσουν πολύ οι φακές... Πολύ όμως.. τις θεωρώ πολύ εύκολο φαγητό να γίνουν.. εξαιρετικά θρεπτικές και γενικά μια υπερτροφή. 

Έχω πάντα βρασμένες σε μερίδες στην κατάψυξη για σαλάτες αλλά και χωρίς να έχεις βρασμένες και χωρίς μούλιασμα μπορείς να έχεις ένα γεύμα σε λίγες ώρες. 

Αλλά τελευταία ξεκίνησα να το ψάχνω λίγο περισσότερο με τις φύτρες... Και γενικά με τα όσπρια όταν βλαστάνουν.. 

Γενικά οι φύτρες είναι γεμάτες θρεπτικά συστατικά και βιταμίνες. Αλλά τι γίνεται όμως με το βράσιμο; διατηρούνται; αξίζει να μπούμε στη διαδικασία; 

Έκανα μια μικρή έρευνα και βρήκα τα εξής: 

Οι φακές όπως όλα τα όσπρια περιέχουν φυτικό οξύ που τις κάνει δύσπεπτες και πολλές φορές παραπονιόμαστε ότι μας τουμπανιάζουν, ότι κλάνουμε συνέχεια κτλ... Με το μούλιασμα λοιπόν και το φύτρωμα τους το φυτικό οξύ χάνεται κάνοντας τις φακές πολύ πιο εύκολες στην πέψη.

Επίσης το φύτρωμα τους αυξάνει τη διαθεσιμότητα τους σε βιταμίνες Β και D.. αυτό έχει ένα τεράστιο πλεονέκτημα και κάνει τα όσπρια ακόμα πιο θρεπτικά! 

Επίσης το φύτρωμα αυξάνει τις πρωτεΐνες τους κατά τουλάχιστον 10%.

Με το φύτρωμα μειώνουμε το χρόνο βρασμού στο μισό περίπου.

Αυξάνονται οι φαινόλες στο διπλάσιο. Οι φαινόλες είναι αντιοξειδωτικά που υπάρχουν και στο ελαιόλαδο για παράδειγμα. Αυτό έχει σαν αποτέλεσμα να βοηθάνε στη μείωση της κακής χοληστερίνης και του διαβήτη. 

Και τέλος αλλάζει τη γεύση τους και την υφή τους. Μπορούμε να φάμε τις φακές ωμές σε σαλάτα αλλά ακόμα και όταν τις βράζουμε έχουν μια εντελώς διαφορετική γεύση. Γίνονται πιο απαλές, αποκτούν μια γεύση σαν ξηρούς καρπούς και γενικά είναι σαν να τις έχουμε ανεβάσει μια σκάλα. 

Αρνητικά δεν υπάρχουν καθόλου στη διαδικασία. Το μόνο που μπορούμε να πούμε είναι ότι απλά αυξάνουμε το χρόνο κατά δυο μέρες πράγμα που σημαίνει ότι αν θέλουμε να τις φυτρώσουμε πρέπει να το προγραμματίσουμε λίγο.. 

Εγώ προσωπικά τρελάθηκα με τη γεύση και είναι ο μόνος τρόπος που θα τρώω τις φακές από εδώ και πέρα. Θα το δοκιμάσω και με τα ρεβίθια σίγουρα αλλά και με τα φασόλια. 

Να πω επίσης ότι το δοκίμασα με τις υπέροχες φακές από το δικότυλο και μάλιστα ήταν και προπέρσινες.. Έχω να πω ότι βλάστησαν όλες πράγμα που σημαίνει πόσο καλή δουλειά κάνουν τα παιδιά με την καλλιέργειά τους. 

Ας δούμε λοιπόν τις λεπτομέρειες.. 

Published in NO MEAT

I have posted in the past about the wonderful legumes I bought and they grow at the Feneos plateau in the northern Peloponnese and how tasty those products were. 
I was not able to go there and visit the farm at the time so I had promised myself to do that at one point.

So at the beginning of the summer I was able to visit them. The day was not the best as the rain that was threatening to fall on us started falling but when I reached the village of Goura next to the Feneos plateau the sun was out and inviting. 
I had already talked with Kostas Daris one of the founders of the company who told me that upon arrival at Goura I should order a coffee at the local coffee shop and wait for him. So this is exactly what I did and was enjoying it all till the rain caught up with me and had to move inside. 

So I took my nice coffee and some sour cherry preserve that the good lady who runs the shop brought me and went inside. Not many people in the village at the time and after talking with the woman there she told me that most young kids leave for the big cities to study and do not return to their mother land so the village is almost empty these days. At some point Kostas and his wife came in and joined in the conversation after the necessary introductions and we continued talking about the difficulties of farm life and their everyday problems. 

After that we left to visit the fields. As they grow the different pulses at different places around the plateau. The soil after the long needed rain smelled really beautifully and inviting. A wonderful early summer day! 
Already the beans had sprouted and as most of them are climbers they need some type of support in order to grow. In Feneos they use canes for that job. The workers create a frame using the canes and on that frame the beans start growing.  

The whole of the plateau used to be a lake in ancient times so the soil is rich in nutrients and the land is quite fertile. Cultivating pulses only does good in the soil as in the roots of most legumes live nitrogen fixing bacteria that take the nitrogen from the air and convert it in a form that is easy to absorb by the plants. 
In this way the cultivation of the legumes actually makes the soil richer and better as time goes on. Of course you have to feed the plants with other nutrients but legumes are an easy and cheap crop to grow as it does not need much of anything. On the other hand it uses a lot of hand labour to set up the frames and then harvest by hand and sort etc... 

During the conversation Kostas told me that many years ago some scientists came from the Agricultural University of Athens and took sample;es from the soil and roots of the legumes they grow so that they could find those bacteria. The girl in charge at the time was working on her PHD. When I asked him about her and whether her name is Io he said yes and asked me how I knew that.. Well that is a very funny story as at that time I was doing my thesis in that university and my research was on those bacteria and whether they produce phyto hormones... Io was in charge of my thesis! 

So.. it shows you how small the world is!!! 

Manual labor especially in the fields is very very hard monotonous and lonely. Nothing compared to the jobs that we have sitting down in front of our computers. You wake up very early in the morning, tying cakes under the sun all day, you can imagine how your hands will be afterwards.. So in a way it is logical all the young kids not wanting to get a job like that any more... 

Spoke about that with Kostas too.. The worst thing of all is the feeling of mistrust from the rest of the farmers in the area.. And he explained to me why.

In the company that they have set up other farmers can join in as long as they follow the same good practices so that they can all gain even better prices for tools and also to be easier to sell their products around and solve the problems a lot more easily. But the other farmers are afraid f all that! And that is the biggest shame.

I must say that I was a bit disconcerted with all those things that I heard.. it seems that there is not much future if people continue on the same path. 
Anyway.. afterwards Kostas took me to the rest of the fields and saw the production of lentils and lava etc and my spirits lifted a bit.

As it was getting darker I took the road back to Athens.. I passed by the Stimfalia lake.. beautiful place!!! 

So, if you have time take a little road trip around that area... it is beautiful and really worth it! Besides I want to be there for the harvesting of the beans... Shall we go together?



Published in LEGUMES- HERBS
May 09, 2019

Lentil Soup

A conversation between friends...

You are adding tomato to the Lentil soup?

Why shouldn't I?

Because it is not as tasty with tomato!

It is very tasty with tomato!

No, Tomato will just overpower all the rest of the taste in the soup!!

Do we have to act like we are in a hospital to eat them plain like that?

Put a potato in the soup and you will see how nice it will be!

OK! I'll humour you!

And I did humour him and did not add tomato in the soup. But to be honest just to be on the safe side I fried some sausages to eat with the soup.

But really it was not needed. The wonderful Lentils from the Feneos area by Dikotylon and a few other ingredients made an excellent soup. 

Added onions and garlic. I also added some nice home made chicken stock and some herbs from the garden and it turned out great! I served it with some grape molasses but they were not really needed. Better to add some good vinegar! 

Let's see what we will need! 



Published in NO MEAT-EN

A month ago I was at the food exhibition Expotrof.

Once again I tried the wonderful products from small producers around Greece.

What great cheeses, cold cuts, jams and seafood! A huge variety and great products. Of course it wasn’t as good as last year but we had a good time anyway!

I was just about to leave when I passed by the stall run by “Dikotylon”.

A company based in Feneos near Corinth which makes and sells local pulses, legumes.

I love Feneos and all that mountainous section of Corinth. I have been there many times, and have been to Lake Doksa and its village and it is a magical place.

The problem is there is not a good road to cross from there to the mountains of Achaias which is a shame but you can’t have everything!

The very first thing that won me over were the labels on the products and I later found out they had been designed by Kiki Dimopoulou (http://trepanmark.com) . I say that the labels won me over because unlike the other products it’s not easy to try pulses like the cheeses and the cold cuts for instance how do you try pulses..not easy..

As I wanted to buy some Fava (Split peas) and lentils anyway and speaking to the lovely man at the stall, he told me I should also get some ‘vanillias’, small little beans which they have grown in the area for years now. The name does not indicate that the taste of them but they are lightly sweet and super white and look like sweet vanilla in appearance.

I forgot about them in the cupboard for a while until just yesterday I made a bean soup (Fasolada) ! And without most of the ingredients I usually need and it was incredible- the result was magical! It was the best Fsaolada I have had in years!

The Fava (Split Pea) soup I made today was also fabulous! I haven’t tried the lentils yet but I am sure they will be amazing!

I looked for their site (http://www.dikotylon.gr/index.html) and it really shows what a great job they are doing and how passionate they are about their products.

On the site you can find where you can get there products..I will go and get mine from the Mediterranean diet Shop in Athens next time I am in town….

I should also take a trip back to Feneos!!

How many trips I have yet to make I don’t know…

Published in LEGUMES- HERBS