Mar 13, 2015

Carrot and Alfalfa Salad

When did winter zoom past? Nobody knows. Not only is summer on us but it is exam season too. That means two things – light refreshing meals and hydration. When spending time over the stove top is a agony, we must think smart and eat sensibly. Salads are great additions to a meal and good at quenching thirst also. Salads are great even for snacking in between meals.

Salads are mostly made of raw vegetables and fruits which have a higher moisture content. Since there is no cooking involved, the vegetables retain their juices and nourishing properties to the fullest. For more on how to make or when to not have salads, read through my article here.

So, are alfalfa sprouts good for you? Here is the lowdown on alfalfa sprouts.

These are a great source of protein, B complex vitamins, Vitamin K, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Zinc, Copper. Also high in phytoestrogens. Traditionally used to treat  kidney ailments, diabetes, these wonder sprouts also mop up cholesterol from arteries. Great news for people with high cholesterol, or arterial plaques. While they are a wonder food for most people, some sets of population may have to proceed with caution.

Pregnant women or convalescent people are better off eating all foods that are cooked, avoiding any raw sprouts including alfalfa. Since the sprouts mimic estrogen, women with low progesterone may do well to avoid eating it daily. People who have auto immune disorders such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, or Lupus may find an increase in their symptoms with prolonged daily consumption of these sprouts.

It is also useful too remember that this caution is only necessary if you plan to eat raw alfalfa sprouts daily for several months. In an otherwise balanced diet that includes alfalfa sprouts once a week or thereabouts, in combination with a variety of other foods, the food only delivers its abundant vitamins and minerals with no significant damage due to its phytoestrogen, canavanine, or other components.

Carrot and alfalfa salad

This is a salad I rustled up for lunch today. I feel it looks colourful, happy and enticing. I’ve even added a surprise ingredient to encourage the younger ones to reach out for it eagerly. Want to know more? Read on for the recipe….


  • Does not contain gluten, lactose, dairy, corn, soya, yeast, eggs.
  • Suitable for gluten or lactose intolerant people.
  • *Contains nuts. People with nut allergy can omit the nuts in this recipe.

Preparation time – 15 minutes + 30 minutes chilling time, Cooking Time – nil,  Serves – 2 main servings or 4 as accompaniment to meal

You Need -

Cookware – Peeler, Grater, Knife, Mixing Bowl, Mortar and pestle

Ingredients -

  1. 1 cup grated red carrot (I used 1 long red carrot)
  2. 1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
  3. 1 fistful alfalfa sprouts
  4. 1 cup chilled drinking water
  5. 1 green chilli OR 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
  6. 1/4 tsp salt
  7. 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  8. a 1” square of peanut brittle or any nut brittle* (optional)

Method -

  1. Rinse the alfalfa sprouts in running water and steep in the chilled drinking water until needed.
  2. Immerse the thinly sliced onion in the vinegar. Set aside.
  3. Rinse, scrub, peel and grate the carrot. Slice the green chilli into thin slanting slivers.  Coarsely crush the peanut brittle in a mortar and pestle. Do not powder it. Leave behind some small bits for your kid to pick up and and bite into with glee!
  4. Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, drain water from the sprouts, add to the bowl, and give them all a good toss with salt. You may need to separate the sprouts with fingers.
  5. Chill before serving for flavours to marry each other well.

Phulka, Rajma and Salad - balanced meal


Subha said...

Lovely salad Rajani..I have just used alfalfa sprouts once but this is tempting me so much..Thanks for the write up on nutritional value and the Side effects due to phytoestrogens.

Anonymous said...

Rajani di, the salad looks very refreshing .Where can we get Alfalfa sprouts?

Rajani said...

Uma- Alfalfa seeds are easily found in seeds/gardening stores. Ready sprouts can be found in cold sections of super markets.
Subha - thank you. Some times I wonder if anyone ever reads through. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Rajani di :-)