I recently discovered the world of wheatgrass, natural grains and bean sprouts at the farmers market. It all started several weeks ago when I took a sip of a blended wheatgrass shot.
“This wheatgrass shot is going to go right into your body and immediately you will feel the cleansing and positive energy it will give you,” said Juan Bolaños, the owner of the Bolaños Family Sprouts farm stand.
The wheatgrass has a potent smoky flavor and sipping the one ounce shot is equal to eating 2.5 pounds of fresh greens. There’s a small poster hanging at the stand where Bolaños lists the many benefits of digesting the wheat grass such as lowering high cholesterol and high blood pressure levels. It also is purported to help the digestion system and boost the immune system.
“Wheat berries are a natural form of fiber,” Bolaños said. “They have a nutty flavor that you may add to cereal or oatmeal. This kind of fiber will give you more energy.”
Bolaños also has a large variety of sprouts such as black-eyed peas, black beans and orange and dark green lentils. There are also Spanish peanut sprouts and nutty garbanzo bean sprouts which add a crunchy texture to a salad. One customer told me to add them to a sandwich, pasta or scrambled eggs.
“Adding these sprouts in this stage is delicate and pure,” said Bolaños. “If you have cancer, or another illness adding these to your system will greatly boost the good cells. It isn’t magic. It’s just nature.”
“These sprouts are filled with good healthy vitamins and nutrients,” said Dexter Scott, the owner of Jazzy Sprouts. “To many, these items are intimidating, or too new-age, but they actually are so easy to use. You just sprinkle them on everything.”
Scott shares recipe ideas to promote his items such as sprouts for helping someone who suffers from acne, asthma and arthritis. The sprouts are also used to reduce infections, hay fever and to improve fatigue. The nutritional benefits from the pure sprouts also improve impotency, hair loss and calm nervousness.
It has been two weeks since I started a diet of wheatgrass, sprouts and beans and I can already feel a big difference. I have more energy during the day and when it’s bedtime, it’s easier to fall into a deep, magical sleep. It's also improved my digestive system, which both Bolaños and Scott assure me is a sign of good health.
Please feel free to share stories and recipes of the items you find interesting at the market. If you see me strolling about, please say hello.
See you next week at the market!
The Hollywood Farmers Market is located at the intersection of Ivar and Selma avenues, between Sunset and Hollywood boulevards. Rain or shine, it is open every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market is a certified open-air street market with approximately 100 farmers, 30 local artisans and 40 baked-goods and prepared-food vendors who sell their products every Sunday. It is a direct-to-consumer marketplace with all produce and products from local, California vendors and growers.
Parking: Cinerama Dome: $2 for first two hours with validation available at the information booth at Ivar and DeLongpre avenues. Metered parking: Check parking enforcement signs. Some meters free until 11 a.m. on Sundays.
Dog Sitting: Only tagged assistance dogs are allowed at the market, but this shouldn’t stop others from walking their dogs to the public event. There’s a dog sitting service provided at the corner of Ivar and Vine streets. Your prized pooch will get to socialize with other dogs while you do your shopping at the market. It charges a small fee of $5 per 20 minutes.
David De Bacco is a writer living and celebrating life in Los Angeles. He has worked for some of the world's most famous chefs and restaurateurs, and along the way he became a little savvy about food and wine. He has published articles and cookbooks for the Shibata Publishing Co. in Tokyo and is a contributing writer for Edge Publications. He is also the creator of the Cookin with Mama Blog, a meeting place to share recipes from our mothers.