an extremely healthy food you can grow in your kitchen cupboard

For several years we have been adding sprouts to our diet.

Although tiny, they are protein-rich, full of digestive enzymes and packed with essential nutrients.

My kids like to snack on them, but they are easy to sneak into smoothies, sandwiches and salads.

They are so easy to make.  Just like food from your own garden, it’s so rewarding to eat what you have grown yourself.

All you need is a mason jar with a sprouting lid, some seeds and dark cupboard.

A sprouting lid can be purchased at most health food stores or HERE in our Amazon store.

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I usually sprout broccoli seeds, as they are known to be 50 times higher in antioxidants than regular mature broccoli.  Of course different sprouts have different nutritional benefits, but they are all tiny little powerhouses.

So here’s what you do.  Place about a tablespoon of your seeds in a wide mouth mason jar.  Cover with water like the picture below, and then place sprouting lid on top.  Leave overnight.
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In the morning, turn over and strain the water through the lid. Place jar in a dark cupboard upside down at an angle.  This keeps the air circulating.

Twice a day for the next 5 days:

  • Cover seeds with water.
  • Strain out water through lid immediately.
  • Return to dark cupboard.

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After about 5 days, you will have a jar full of crunchy power-packed sprouts.

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Who doesn’t love something you can grow indoors?

-Abby

We’e linked up at Healthy Roots, Happy Souls and Kelly the Kitchen Kop and This Chick Cooks!

homemade soaked granola … I’m happy to have “cereal” again!

I’ve been working on this granola for sometime now.

Mostly in my head (every time I have a bowl I imagine what I would do differently next time).

But also in the kitchen (when I change quantities of coconut and cardamom and cinnamon … and sometimes add nutmeg or cloves, just to try something new).

And I’m finally happy enough with the outcome that I want to share it.

(Except, of course, that today several things happened … One of our toddlers got a hold of my phone and deleted photos of all the steps to making the granola … and then I got distracted and left the granola in the oven about 15 minutes too long because I forgot to set the timer … and then I crumbled it too much … So when you make yours, promise me you’ll set your timer and make sure to check it and don’t over-bake or over-mash …

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… otherwise, this stuff is awesome.)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 1/3 cup Almonds (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup Walnuts (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Coconut (shredded)
  • 1 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 cup Maple Syrup (or Honey)
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground Cardamom
  • Pinch of Sea Salt (to taste)
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup Currants (or other dried fruit … up to you)

THE NIGHT BEFORE:

Soak the Oats, Almonds and Walnuts.  Put all three ingredients into a glass jar or bowl, cover with filtered water (by about an inch) and add a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar (or lemon juice or whey).

THE NEXT DAY:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Thoroughly rinse the Oats, Almonds and Walnuts.  Put them in a fine mesh colander and rinse until the water runs clear.

In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, walnuts coconut, coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, cardamom and sea salt.  Whisk the egg white and then mix the frothy egg white into the oats mixture.

Spread the mixture into a thin layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for about 75-80 minutes (it takes longer because the oats and nuts are “wet” when this process starts.  If you’ve got a dehydrator, you can dry the oats and nuts before mixing anything else in, and then the bake-time is nearly cut in half).  About halfway through, use a large spatula to turn over the granola in big sections.

When it’s gently and evenly toasted on both sides, remove from the oven and let cool completely.  At this point, I break up the pieces with my hands … and then I put them in a large bowl and crush a little more with a potato masher.  Then I add the currents and mix until well-combined.

And then I eat bowls and bowls and bowls of the stuff when I wake up for cereal cravings in the middle of the night.  (NOTE:  The Cardamom in this recipe give it a distinctly fragrant awesomeness … if you like cardamom, don’t leave it out.  It’s really wonderful.)

chickpeas … for lunch and dinner

Abby and I took the littles to lunch today.

Which is not often a relaxing experience … four kids under the age of 4.

But today.

I have no idea what was different about today.

Today we went to a local favorite called Chickpea.  It’s one of three Mediterranean joints in town, but their garden platter is THE BEST! And they make great pita.  And falafel.  It’s just excellent.

Anyway, today the pre-schoolers decided that they were going to sit at “the kids’ table.”  And it was a revolutionary experience.

IMG_6569 Seriously.

They sat patiently.

Chatted.

Colored on their eraser boards (why doesn’t every restaurant have eraser boards for kids?  So much less messy than coloring books and crayons … eco-friendly in their great re-usability … and fun for everyone!)

And they ate.

Everything.

On.

Their.

Plates!

I’m talking Hummus.  Pita.  Tabbouleh.  Torshi (Persian pickles).  Cucumbers.  They even had a little Falafal. IMG_6572

We got in the car and the entire 7-minute drive home was filled with talk about hummus and how much our little girl likes hummus.  She said she would like more for dinner.

For real.

So what did I do?  I asked the Cowboy (who was on his way to the store) to pick up some Tahini and a lemon, whipped out the food processor and got to work, because I’m not going to miss an opportunity to embrace a happy culinary experience if I can help it.  (NOTE:  We’ve had hummus before … in fact, we eat it a lot, but it’s never been a favorite for this particular little.  She’s more of a torshi fan.  She loves herself a pickle … so it’s been a challenge to really get her to even try something else if there are tart vittles on the table.)

CONFESSION:  I kind of cheat when I make hummus.

I mean … I could soak and cook and flavor the chickpeas (which are also called garbanzo beans) for my hummus.  I could even take the shells off.  But I’ve actually never done any of those things.  I totally take the easy way out and use canned organic garbanzo beans.

So … here’s my cheating (5-minute) recipe for really delicious hummus:

IMG_6577 INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can (15 oz) organic garbanzo beans
  • 2 overflowing tablespooons tahini
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons lemon juice (juice from one large lemon)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or more … depends on how salty you like it)

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DIRECTIONS:

Rinse garbanzo beans really well until the water runs clear.

Add all the ingredients to your food processor.  Pulse until combined.  Then let it run for about a minute.  If it’s too firm, you can either add a little more olive oil or a bit of water until you get the consistency you desire.

So easy.

So good.

And not just good on pita bread … try it on chips … or on Abby’s ultimate veggie sandwich (which we’re making for dinner tonight!) … or instead of mayo on whatever sandwich you pack for lunch.  It’s good on a bagel.  It’s great as a dip for veggies.

Oh … and if you want to dress it up for a party?  Put it in your serving bowl, drizzle with a really good olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of paprika.

a green smoothie I can’t believe my kids like as much as they do

I didn’t plan on sharing this smoothie with you all.  Mostly because as it was loading into the Vita-Mix I was pretty unconvinced that the kiddos would be clamoring for it.

But I’d like to say this about the concoction … it’s a nutritious and highly digestible protein-packed power-house.

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They seriously were nearly fighting over my cup.

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I think this Victory Smile just says it all …

So … here you go (this makes 2 servings … that we had to share with four):

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup kombucha
  • 1 cup kefir
  • 1/2 cup whey (a wonderfully useful by-product of making yogurt at home)
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups of raw spinach
  • 1 raspberry flavored Emergen-C

DIRECTIONS:

Put everything in the Vita-Mix and blend on high until it’s well-blended and a frothy delicious green juice.

Good luck keeping the kids away from it!

Happy Saturday.