Sprouted Quinoa Bowl with Kale Almond Pesto {Gluten-free and Vegan}

Since I have started sprouting foods myself, a few months back, I have been pretty excited not only with how much more delicious so many of my favorite foods are, but how much easier they have been to digest. Sprouting seeds and beans especially, have seriously reduced the amount of bloating I have felt with certain foods. Sprouted quinoa is one of my absolute favorites to sprout. It’s super simple and I love knowing that I am maximizing the full nutritional benefits of the quinoa this way. Be sure to check out my recent post on how-to sprout, to read more about why this is and how to do it.

Sprouted Quinoa Bowl with Kale Almond Pesto {Gluten-free and Vegan}

This super easy, vibrantly-colored quinoa bowl is so easy to throw together and it’s full of so many amazing flavors. Seriously, if you don’t count the sprouting time, you can have this for dinner – completely made and on the table in under 30 minutes. It’s just that easy. Besides the food processor to make the pesto, it’s a one pot meal, which I am ALL about. I love easy meals like this, where it can all cook in one pot and your entire meal is in one bowl. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

With all of the many different greens we’ve been getting in our CSA box each week I have actually made variations on this recipe too, last week I actually made it with swiss chard instead of the kale and it was just as amazing. I know arugula or spinach would be incredible, too.

Sprouted Quinoa Bowl with Kale Almond Pesto {Gluten-free and Vegan}

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Tutorial Tuesdays // Tasty Yummies

How-to Sprout: Seeds, Beans and Grains

Much like making homemade almond milk, which I have done for years now, preparing sprouts at home, has now become a weekly thing for me. I absolutely adore sprouted foods and all of their many benefits. But, I have to be honest when I tell you the sprouts they sell at the store creep me out, a bit. Knowing just how short their shelf life is, it makes it hard for me to believe they are fresh and that their exposure to harmful bacteria has been limited. I would much prefer to make my own at home, where I know how fresh they are and exactly how they were handled. I started doing this late last year and I have become obsessed.

Sprouting is a way of creating “living plants”, loaded with nutrients and vitamins such as Vitamin C, B E and carotene. Some believe sprouted foods contain up to 15 times as many nutrients as their unsprouted counterparts. Sprouting also helps the absorption of minerals due to their ability to be better digested. Some people refer to sprouted foods as ”pre-digested”, for this reason.

Sprouting takes time, but it’s much more of a waiting game, it doesn’t require a ton of work. Sprouted foods simply requires you to have patience and to be paying attention, tracking their sprouting time and making sure to tend to them, when needed. That’s about it.

 

Why Sprout?

As we discussed in both the nut butter and nut milk posts – many nuts, seeds, legumes and grains contain natural chemicals that protect them while growing, both from sprouting prematurely and also from predators. These protectors also act as enzyme inhibitors to us, meaning we get much less of the crucial nutrients from these foods than we should be. Plus, this “armor”, of sorts, makes digesting them much more difficult. Soaking these foods releases these chemicals, helping you to absorb your food’s essential minerals and nutrients. Additionally, by soaking the nuts with the removal of these nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances, the flavor and taste is much more ideal and appealing.(read more in depth about these chemicals and why we soak, here)

So, we are back to the soaking idea again.  Soaking is not only necessary for sprouting to occur, but we are also unlocking the full nutritional potential of these foods, as we did with the nut butters and nut milks. After soaking, when that natural protective armor has been removed, the sprouting process can then occur. So basically, if soaking is the first step of increasing the nutritional benefits of these foods, then sprouting is the incredible finishing move to creating the perfect nutritional superfood out of something that would otherwise leave us feeling bloated and tired, due to the strain they would typically put on our digestion.

Sprouted foods, also known as “activated foods” are incredibly nutrient dense foods, they encourage production of healthy bacteria that aids in our digestion and in turn, boosts our immunity. Sprouts are great on salads, on top of soups or stews, in stir fries, inside of wraps or sandwiches, in smoothies – really they are great in any dish that you want to add a nutritional boost to.

How-to Sprout: Seeds, Beans and Grains

What Can you Sprout?

Most seeds, legumes, grains and some nuts will sprout, but be aware some will not. Because many nuts you find in the stores have been pasteurized or treated with heat in some way, they aren’t technically raw and although soaking can activate and allow us access to their nutrients, sprouting likely won’t happen. Oftentimes, when I am simply looking for traditional sprouts, I will buy premixed ready to sprout blends of organic seeds and legumes exclusively meant for sprouting.  It gives me a nice wide variety and I know that, since everything in the blend is meant for sprouting, it will do just that. See the bottom of this post for pre-made sprouting blends that I recommend. For the step-by-step photos, I used this organic blend, Spicy Salad Mix, which contains lentils, alfalfa, red clover, radish and black mustard seeds.

Once sprouted, you can also cook grains and legumes, as you normally would. Sprouted quinoa cooked in place of regular quinoa, is one of my favorite things as are sprouted lentils. Once sprouted, grains and legumes not only cook quicker than their dried counterparts, but they are, as you now know, much easier to digest and taste much better, as well.

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Handmade Eco-friendly Organic Floursack Cotton Tea Towels from Tasty Yummies

Hello friends, Happy Monday!

I am taking time today to share a little something other than a recipe. Still created by me, with love, for you – but instead of a dish to serve, today I am sharing a brand new line of merchandise I have been working on with my amazing husband, Mark.

Handmade Eco-friendly Organic Floursack Cotton Tea Towels from Tasty Yummies

Handmade with Love

As many of you know, outside of running this website and besides being an aspiring yoga teacher, my husband Mark and I run a small design studio.  Our studio has always been run on the idea of making good looking products that make people happy. Whether that be a logo for a client, a poster for a band or a greeting card that a consumer buys for a special occasion. The foundation our business was built on has never changed, though the type of work our studio has done, in recent years has. Currently we are in the middle rebranding our company as Hero Handmade Goods and we are focusing on creating more of our own products than ever before, both for retail and wholesale. What hasn’t changed is the fact that our designs have always been a means to share what we are most passionate about, a way to express our creativity and to (hopefully) make others happy in the process, much like sharing my recipes with you on this website, has always been, for me.

Handmade Eco-friendly Organic Floursack Cotton Tea Towels from Tasty Yummies

Over the past few months we have slowly been building a line of products inspired by my love of cooking, eating and well, just food in general. Recently, we created a series of organic cotton tea towels with various messages, quotes and ideas. Some inspired by me, some inspired by my husband (can you guess which one?) and others inspired by you, my readers. I realized that I had shared them a little bit on social media, but I had never taken the time to introduce them here on the blog. So, here we are!

Handmade Eco-friendly Organic Floursack Cotton Tea Towels from Tasty Yummies

EXCLUSIVE OFFER – SAVE 25% NOW

In addition to sharing this new line of products with you, I also wanted to post an exclusive offer for you, my most loyal readers. To celebrate the release of this new line of products, from now until the end of the month – I am offering a Tasty Yummies reader exclusive deal of 25% off any purchase from the Tasty Yummies store. Now is the perfect time to treat yourself to some new eco-friendly, foodie inspired gear for your kitchen – all while supporting this website!

To save 25% - use coupon code “TYNEWTOWELS” now through April 30, 2014.

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Carrot Cake Smoothie {Gluten-free and Vegan}

After moving out here to California, from New York last year, the list of things that we love about living out here just continues to grow and grow. There really isn’t much to complain about when you live less than a mile from the ocean, the sun shines every day and you are living the life you always dreamed of. That said, the one major draw back to being here in California, is being away from family. After living 15 miles or less, away from my family my entire life, being roughly 2,500 miles away from them this past year has been the only thing I don’t love about being in California.

Carrot Cake Smoothie {Gluten-free and Vegan}
This is something that bothers me most of the time, but for obvious reasons with the holidays it is the hardest. Even the smaller holidays, like memorial day or labor day. Because I know if we were living at home in New York, no matter what we had going on, we would all take a break from our busy lives to get together at my parents house for an entire day, brunch in the morning, cocktails and snacks in the afternoon, playing with the kids and of course, a huge dinner. Since living in California, Mark and I haven’t gone home for any of the holidays and we have done out best to make the most out of them together. Both Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years were full days, planned with friends and majorly delicious meals and we made brand new traditions and memories. Walking barefoot on the beach on Christmas day, definitely didn’t suck. That said, both last year and now likely this year too, we didn’t plan a thing for Easter. It kinda crept up on us.

Easter isn’t a big holiday for my family, by any means, but we would always get together with the family, the kids would have some sort of easter egg hunt, we would often times have brunch with the extended family and then we would have a traditional dinner or ham or something similar back at my parents house.
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