This Sprouted Barley Butternut and Beet Salad is a great way to introduce yourself to sprouted grains if you are unfamiliar with them. I love salads like this. A blend of whole grains, awesome fruits and veggies, and a tasty dressing (this one was a warm maple dressing). I served this salad warm, the first time, then the leftovers chilled. I can tell you it was really good both ways! You can't go wrong here!
What Are Sprouted Grains and Why Use Them?
While most people are familiar with whole grains, a recent poll I took with my Instagram followers showed me that hardly any are familiar with sprouted grains. So, here is a little info about sprouted grains, then I will tell and show you how to sprout.
Consuming sprouts during their germination period increases the nutrients you get from the grain. A great article about this from Harvard explains better. I don't sprout as often as I should, but really love it when I do.
How to Sprout Grains
I wrote up a complete guide on how to sprout whole grains. It was a subject that needed a post all its own as I had so much information to share. Check it out for all the tips and tricks!
It is ready to go! You can let it go longer if you want, but I like them at about this point. Now, the grains are tender, but I wanted to cook for an even more tender grain.
I added them to a pan of salted boiling water and cooked them for about 5 minutes. It won't take long, but I wouldn't skip this step.
Caution on Sprouted Grains
One thing I need to note, there are and have been cases of food born illnesses from sprouted grains. I would really like to know how many of those cases are from home-sprouted whole grains and not the store-bought alfalfa sprouts.
The sprouts like that are where I hear most of the cases come from. If you are worried, here are a few precautions.
Make sure and rinse the grains well, don't them sit too long in the water ( it is the moisture and temperature that make them candidates for bacteria growth), then refrigerate whatever grains you don't use right away. Again, this is just a precaution.
I have never had anything from them, and neither has anyone I know!
Baking the Butternut Squash
Let's start roasting the butternut. I only want to use half my squash, so that is all I peeled. I peeled the neck, but whatever you want. So, peel well.
Then I cut it off the squash.
Then cut it into moon shapes. You can cut it in the thickness you want, mine was about ¼ inch.
Roast at 425 degrees until tender.
Beets in a Pressure Cooker
Have you ever cooked beets in a pressure cooker? This method is new to me, but I am sold!!So, prep just like you would for roasting. Cut off the greens and wash the beets well. Place them in your pressure cooker with about a cup of water. If you have a steamer basket, use that. I didn't and it was just fine.
Pressure cook for 15 minutes then do a natural release. Peel your beets and you are ready to go. See, I told you, so simple right??
Warm Maple Dressing
I served this salad warm the first time and wanted a warm dressing to drizzle on it. Since this was a fall-flavored salad I would go with a maple dressing.
Assembling the Sprouted Barley Butternut and Beet Salad
Everything should be coming together at this point. The grains have been cooked as have the beets and butternut squash. Drain your grains and cut the beets.
To this salad, I also added some dried cherries, pepitas, and pistachios. I am telling you, this salad has it all.
I only mixed it at the last minute as the beets dye everything a nice pinkish-red hue! Drizzle with the dressing and carefully mix. You want to be careful not to break up the butternut squash when you are mixing.
Here is the finished, beautiful salad. It was just wonderful.
If this salad isn't what you are looking for, I have plenty of other options. Check all these ideas out!
- mason jar, sprouting lids or cheesecloth.
- 1 cup einkorn or other grain of choice I have also done almost all whole grains and had really great results!
- water enough to cover the grains with about 1-2 inches over.
- Rinse your grains well. Place in a mason quart canning jar. Add enough cool water to cover the grains about 2 inches over. Allow the grains to sit in the water for about 4 hours. It is important to cover your grains, just so no bugs get in. You can either use a sprouting lid, as I did or even cheesecloth. Place in a dark, warm place.Rinse, fill with water again to cover, and allow to sit another hour. Rinse again and tip your jar upside down to drain. I balanced mine upside down in a small bowl. The jar will need to be covered with a sprouting lid or cheesecloth tied on with a rubber band. Make sure to keep it in a warm, dark place.The grains will need to sit like this for about 12 hours. This will depend on the temperature of your house and the grains. In 12 hours, check again. You may need to rinse and repeat again. for some grains, you may need to do this several times. The grain should be fully sprouted within 24-56 hours. I like to use mine after I see the small sprout starting to poke out. The grains will be nice and tender at this point. You can let them continue to grow if you prefer, up to about ¼ inch. For the salad I created with this recipe, I boiled about 4 cups of water with 1 teaspoon salt. Once it came to a boil, I added the grains and allowed them to boil for about 5 minutes. Once it had boiled for the time, I drained it and added it to the salad. Whatever you don't use right away, refrigerate for safety. I have never had anything happen, but better to be safe!Now, sit back and enjoy any way you prefer!! You deserve it!
Sprouted Barley Butternut and Beet Salad
- 3 cups sprouted barley recipe included in post
- 3 cups chopped butternut squash
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped roasted beets recipe in post
- ½ cup pepitas
- ¼ cup pistachios
- ⅓ cup dried cherries
- 1 recipe warm maple dressing recipe included in post
Roasting butternut squash
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.In a small bowl, drizzle olive oil over butternut squash then sprinkle with the salt. Lay in single layer on parchment lined baking sheet.Place in oven and bake until the squash is tender.
Assembling the Salad
- Combine all ingedients and mix carefully with a rubber spatula. I try not to mix too much as the beets dye EVERYTHING! I also set asdie some of the pepitas and cherries to place on top after plating, you can do this too if you choose. Whatever is not eaten the day of can easily be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!!
Warm maple dressing
- mason jar
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
- salt, to taste
- Mix the olive oil, maple syrup, red wine vinegar, and dijon mustard in small mason jar. Tighten lid and shake well. Start with ¼ teaspoon salt, mix again and taste. Add more if needed. To warm the dressing, place in microwave for about 10-15 seconds. It will heat quickly, so be mindful. This is perfect on any fall salad or roasted squash!Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!
Beets cooked in a pressure cooker
- pressure cooker
- 3-5 beets
- 1 cup water
- Prep your beets for cooking by removing stems and washing well. Place in pressure cooker with water. If you have a steam tray, add that in before adding the beets. Seal your pressure cooker. Set for 15 minutes on high pressure. Once the timer has gone off, allow for the natural release. When the pressure has been released, carefully remove the lid. The beets will be very hot, of course, so be careful. They are ready to peel at this point.Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!