The formula for a delicious salad is good produce + thoughtful cooking methods + an exhilarating, knock your socks off dressing. This roasted carrot salad takes advantage of the beautiful varieties of heirloom carrots and their pretty colours. But I also love it with the humble orange carrot that we take for granted, hidden in the depths of stews, soups and sauces. Simply roasting them intensifies the flavour, bringing out that sweet, almost fragrant, earthy taste. Adding spices is a beautiful way to personalize your vegetables, you could also use coriander seeds, caraway seeds, or fennel seeds. this is the perfect dish to experiment with spices and I find ones that you love, many of them also have hugely beneficial medicinal properties. Cumin seeds aid digestion and absorption of nutrients, while adding something almost lemony to the earthy, sweet carrots. Often, flavour is the perk of feeding your body something good for you.
It may seem a little time consuming but sprouting is very simple, can be done in large quantities, and used for a huge variety of dishes so I always have some on the go. The soaking process breaks down the natural defences of the seed, the chemicals that make the seed unpleasant for creatures like ourselves to digest. We assume that foods are all innately designed to be consumed by we humans at the tippy top of the food chain. Plants, just like us though slightly more directly, base their lives on reproduction. Their seeds are their beloved children. They have been provided with chemical protection so that, should they be eaten by an interloping creature, they can survive the journey. This means that when we humans eat grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes we have to work that much harder to unlock what is hidden inside.
Sprouting the seed breaks down it defences, engaging growth mode. Inside the sprouted seed is all the energy and nutrition required to produce a whole new plant, that miraculous life-force that allows a small unassuming seed to turn into living, breathing flora. We have now unlocked the high levels of micro nutrients and increased protein content hidden in the dormant seed.