Here’s your chance to ask Sheree your most compelling questions! 

Q: What can you tell me about buckwheat groats? I have Celiac; is it OK for me to eat? 

A: Buckwheat groats are the hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant. Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat and contains no gluten. Buckwheat provides a nutritious, complete source of protein. To eat buckwheat groats raw, soak them for 20-30 minutes, rinse a few times and enjoy them added to your oatmeal or yogurt. You can also sprout them—a process which can take up to 48 hours (rinse frequently). There are many things you can do with sprouted buckwheat:  dehydrate and sprinkle on salads, ice cream, nondairy yogurt, oatmeal, chia porridge or just eat by the handful. Using groats in place of nuts in some recipes lowers calories and fat content.   

Q: My garlic has sprouted a green root. Can I still eat it? 

A: The green sprout simply indicates the garlic is a little mature, but it is not spoiled or inedible. You can slow down the aging process of garlic by storing it in a cool, dark and dry place that has good air circulation.  

The green sprout can give garlic a bit of a hot or bitter flavor—especially if you’re using it raw—so just cut the clove in half and pull out the sprout. When you’re buying fresh garlic, try not to buy garlic that’s already showing signs of sprouting.   

Q: Do sprouts carry a risk of illness?   

A: Like anything edible, sprouts carry a risk of food borne illness due to contamination. The warm and humid conditions sprouts need in order to grow are also ideal for bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli. That said, I personally grow and eat sprouts on a regular basis. I realize there may be risk, but I am willing to take it, because sprouts are so nutrient-rich. If you have concerns, take precautions. Ask for restaurant and carry-out meals to be sprout-free. If you’re preparing your meal at home, you can opt to immerse sprouts in boiling water for five seconds to kill off any possible pathogens.  

Please remember that your health is your own responsibility. Nothing here is to be construed as medical advice. This information is not meant to replace the guidance offered by your health practitioner.