Sprouting Beans…How to do it and why you should!

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Legumes are an extremely important part of a vegetarian or vegan diet providing a very healthy protein and carbohydrate source while at the same time giving the body what is known as the “second meal effect” or “lentil effect” which blunts blood sugar surges the day after consumption – something that can be very important for those who are vegetarian or vegan because they tend to consume more carbohydrates – which raise blood sugar – than their meat eating counterparts.

With that said legumes also contain anti-nutrients (compounds that interfere with nutrient absorption). As well as natural insecticides and enzyme inhibitors that can cause us digestive problems. That is why raw beans should be soaked before consumption (especially kidney beans!), but sprouting can be even better. Sprouting neutralizes those hard to digest compounds and can make nutrients and vitamins more bioavailable.

Dried beans are far more nutritious than their canned counterparts and are best sprouted but if you can’t sprout then soak!

The instructions below are taken from vegitariantimes.com and have never let me down!

HOW TO SOAK BEANS

PLACE in a large glass bowl or mason jar, and cover with warm, filtered water (about a 2:1 ratio) and about ½ tsp. Celtic sea salt. Cover with a light cloth for desired time.

RINSE food thoroughly and drain.

 

HOW TO SPROUT BEANS AND LENTILS

GET a quart-sized (or larger) mason jar. Remove the solid middle insert of the lid, and cut a piece of cheesecloth or breathable mesh to fit inside.

FILL one-third of the jar with beans, and fill the rest of the jar with warm, filtered water and about ½ tsp Celtic sea salt. Screw the lid on with cheesecloth or breathable mesh screen in place.

SOAK For soaking times, see table below.

DRAIN/RINSE Remove the mesh insert of the lid, and replace with metal insert. Pour the soaking water out of the jar, fill with fresh water, replace lid, and rinse well by shaking jar. Replace the metal insert with the mesh lid again, and drain.

INVERT the jar and lay at an angle so that air can circulate, and the water can drain off. Allow to sit in the light.

REPEAT this process, rinsing every few hours, or at least twice daily.

WAIT In 1 to 4 days, the sprouts will be ready. When ready, rinse sprouts well, drain, and store in a jar (with the solid part of the lid replaced) in the fridge.

ENJOY within 2 to 3 days cook as you would canned beans.

****you need not wait for the sprouts to grow as soon as they begin sprouting use them!

FOOD SOAKING TIME (hours) SPROUTING TIME (days)
Adzuki Beans 8-1 4
Black Beans 8-12 3
Chickpeas/Garbanzo 8 2-3
Lentils 7 2-3
Mung Beans 8-12 4

Meal Plan Recipes: Spaghetti Squash “Noodles”

Spaghetti Squash Noodles –

Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Grain/Gluten Free, Soy Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free

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image taken from steamykitchen.com

preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut in half lengthwise and seed, place cut side down in baking dish and add 1/2 cup water. Bake for 30 min or until tender. Use fork to scrape out stringy flesh. Use as you would a pasta noodle. Great with pesto, lemon and capers, or your favorite tomato sauce.

Meal Plan Recipes: Avocado Chicken Salad (with vegitarian and vegan options)

Avocado Chicken Salad –

Paleo, Vegitarian, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Egg Free

Ingredients

1/2 avocado
1 handful shredded chicken (boil entire chicken for 25 minutes and shred)
1 teaspoon no salt seasoning
or
curry powder
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard (if you like it a splash of balsamic vinegar tastes great too) salt and pepper to taste

Vegetarian Option: 2 Hardboiled eggs

Vegan Option: 1/4 can of garbanzo beans and 1/4 block of soft tofu

Instructions

Mash all ingredients in a bowl. Feel free to add in anything you normally would to a tuna or chicken salad sandwich except for the mayo! Try olives, pickles, celery, apples tomatoes, fennel, cilantro and lime, or fresh basil. Serve over a bed of spinach or steamed sweet potato, in lettuce cups or in a flax wrap.

Flax wrap (pita/naan replacement): https://dancersdish.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/paleo-pita-bread-or-naan-alternative/

Flax tortilla: https://dancersdish.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/paleo-flax-tortillas/

Paleo Flax Tortillas!

Grain free, Nut free, Dairy free, Soy free, Vegitarian, Vegan, Gluten free, Paleo

Recipe

I got this recipe from a friend and fell in love! Makes 6-8 tortillas.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup flax meal
6 tbs Hot water

1 additional cup of flax meal
2 tbs coconut flour
Couple pinches of salt and any other spices you might like (basil, cayenne, oregano, curry etc.)

Instructions:

mix 1/4 cup flax with hot water until it becomes gooey.
Add to other ingredients.
Mix and then knead into a thick dough. It should not be sticky but elastic.
Divide dough into 6-8 balls (depending on how big you want them) and roll with rolling pin between 2 sheets of parchment paper.
Oil (a little coconut oil or butter is preferred) and heat a pan to about medium-high.
If you want them to be soft cook for 30 seconds on each side, oiling pan as needed.

Use these in place of tortillas and don’t be afraid to throw a couple in the freezer for next week!

Have any of you tried a similar recipe with a tortilla press? If so did it work!? Let me know by commenting below 🙂

Hydration: Making Water Taste Better for the Whole Family!

Cucumber Mint Water

It is easy as heck, extremely refreshing and will save you lots of $$$ on silly flavored waters.

image  photo taken from http://www.examiner.com/article/recipe-mint-cucumber-water

Ingredients:

1/2 gallon of water
1 cucumber washed well and sliced
1/2 lime sliced or squeezed
1/2 lemon sliced or squeezed
1/2 bunch of fresh mint leaves coarsely chopped

Use the same recipe but with unsweetened carbonated water for your next party – instead of soda!

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher or gallon jug and let chill in the fridge for two days. If you aren’t going to drink it within the week drain out the produce after a couple of days.

Tips: pre fill some water bottles leaving an inch of space at the top and freeze them for your kids school lunch or sports event.

Get creative and find a mix of fresh fruits and veggies that really appeal to you!

Have a similar idea? Post about it in the comments!

Healthy Sinfully Delicious Breakfast/Dessert: Coconut Flour Mixed Berry Crepe

Paleo, Vegan, Nut-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten/Grain-Free

So last time I had guests over and wanted to make something DELICIOUS and healthy(I just had to show them you could eat well while still eating WELL). I whipped up coconut flour crepes. I adapted the recipe I used to use before quitting the grains and they turned out great 🙂

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Crepe Recipe

makes about 10 crepes – Enough for you and your guests!

2/3 cup milk (whatever you normally drink instead – I recommend Almond Milk)
4 Eggs – you can also use flax eggs here
4 Tbs Coconut Flour
4 Tbs melted butter or coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
If you have to have it a little squeeze of honey or pure maple syrup but you wont need it 🙂

Instructions

Combine ingredients adding the milk last (If the milk is really cold it will solidify your coconut oil if you don’t mix it in first).

Heat your pan on about medium, melting a bit of butter or coconut oil. Pour in a ladle-full of batter and swirl the pan to get a thin layer of batter. Your crepe should be 6-8 inches in diameter.

Fry for 1-2 min (or until golden). Similar to a pancake it will bubble and the edges should be cooked a bit before flipping. Once flipped cook for another 1-2 min or until it is done to your liking. Keep adding oil as needed.

Crepe Filling

I pretty much make this up on the spot every time so feel free to experiment… but this mix always turns out great incase your not feeling adventurous.

6 cups frozen mixed berries (or 5 cups fresh)
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
A splash of amaretto or almond extract

put all the ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer while you cook the crepes (you can also throw in some dark chocolate bits to melt with the berries if you want to be indulgent)

Assembly

Feel free to get creative here! Some of my favorite mixes are:
– Greek yogurt with honey spread on the bottom toped with berries and wrapped up.
– bananas mashed with coconut cream topped with berries and wrapped.
– A little Coffee Liquor added at the end of cooking the berries.
– Just the berries with some strong maple syrup drizzled on top
– Lemon Curd with berries wrapped up.

yes they get less healthy as we go down the list…but sometimes thats what I need…I think o.0

These are great with out whipping cream but if I just have to have some I make fresh whipping cream with the electric mixer and sweeten with honey or maple syrup.

 

Done anything yummy with this recipe lately? Have any suggestions?! Be sure to comment 🙂

Power Snack – Carrot dipped in Almond Butter

Almond Butter and Carrots vs. All That Other Stuff You Might Eat…Accidentally

This is one of my top snacks these days (thanks to a very good friend and his college roomate. Thanks Guys!). It is filling, savory, just a little sweet and the best part is it is great pre and post workout!

A medium sized adult carrot along with 2 tablespoons of pure almond butter (this means ground almonds only) has:

Nutritional Info
205 Calories
5g sugar
7.5g protein
12g carbohydrate

Depending on where you live I just picked up ten pounds of carrots from costco for $5 and a jar of almond butter (also from costco) for $8. Considering how well carrots freeze I should have healthy snacks for weeks to come.

. . .


Compared to your other crunchy and savory treats
Snack bag of potato chips
150-225 calories
Sugar is variable
no protein
15-20g carbs

Peanut Butter Cups
210 calories
21g sugar
5g protein
24g carbohydrate

Banana
110 calories
1g protein
19g sugar
30g carbohydrate

This will keep you fuller longer than any of the options above (seriously carrots are filling!) and it will satisfy your crunchy craving, sweet tooth, and fatty food craving all in one without the damage!

To your health!!!